New options for plant-based meats and proteins appear on grocery shelves regularly. Here are the major players behind these animal-free foods.

Plant-based eating is widely recognized as a part of the future of food, a key part of addressing the climate crisis and improving farmed animal welfare. Despite dips in sales for industry leaders like Beyond Meat, the industry persists: plant-based meat companies continue to respond to demand for vegan meats and dairy alternatives with new products. Gone are the days of scouring grocery store shelves hoping to find tofu and canned beans. In addition to the enduring staples of a vegan diet, plant-based eaters can now enjoy everything from paté and fish sticks, to burgers and chicken nuggets.

New options for plant-based meats and proteins appear on grocery shelves regularly. Virtually every kind of animal-based protein has a delicious plant-based alternative on the market, including plant-based chicken nuggets, crab cakes, beef, eggs and even sushi fish. Below is a list of some of the many brands behind these animal-free foods.

1. Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat has taken the plant-based culinary world by storm and skyrocketed in popularity in the Global North since the introduction of its first products in 2012. Their products include proteins like burger patties, ground beef and sausage, and can be found both in grocery stores and at a variety of restaurants. In 2021, the brand relaunched its line of chicken products as well. “Beyond Meat” has perhaps become synonymous with “meat alternative” to some; the decline of its stock alone prompted a firestorm of headlines prematurely predicting the demise of the entire sector.

2. Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods is a powerhouse in the world of vegan meats. Their burgers can be acquired from thousands of different restaurants, including chains like Burger King, White Castle and Red Robin. Their sausage, ground beef and burger patties can also be purchased from retailers.

3. Eat JUST

While not strictly a producer of vegan meats, no list of plant-based proteins would be complete without Eat JUST and their vegan egg. The brand’s egg alternative line is small, but its products are extremely versatile, and can be used to make frittatas and scrambled eggs, or on sandwiches. Now, the company is also moving into the cultivated meat space; it recently launched cultivated chicken in Singapore, where it garnered regulatory approval. The company plans to bring cultivated chicken to the U.S. as well.

4. Kellogg

Chances are that when you think of Kellogg’s, breakfast cereal comes to mind. However, the breakfast giant is also behind the brands Incogmeato and MorningStar Farms. The former’s full line of products includes seasoned sausages, chicken, ground beef, patties and breakfast links that are all fully plant-based. MorningStar Farms has a wide variety of products that are plant-based, such as corn dogs and meatballs. However, not all of their products are fully vegan, since some contain egg whites.

5. Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf Foods is the Canadian company behind popular brands Lightlife and Field Roast. In addition to offering vegan deli meats, hot dogs, burgers and bacon, Lightlife also offers flavored tempeh. Field Roast is best known for its plant-based holiday roasts, which they offer in three different varieties. In addition to these, the brand also produces pepperoni, deli slices and even plant-based cheeses, among numerous other items.

6. Pinnacle Foods

In 2014, Pinnacle Foods purchased Gardein, a brand of fully vegan meats and prepared foods. The brand’s plant-based offerings include various cuts of chicken in a variety of flavors, burger patties, fish filets and flavored pork. Frozen prepared foods, such as their plant-based chicken sliders with buns, are also available. Pinnacle Foods is now owned by Conga.

7. Quorn Foods

When purchasing Quorn meat alternatives, look for the ones marked vegan; some of their products, including all their refrigerated offerings, contain egg whites. The brand still offers a wide variety of fully vegan products, including their chipotle cutlets, buffalo dippersand fishless sticks.

8. Tofurky

Tofurky has been producing plant-based meats since 1980, growing from a small startup to one of the most well-known brands in its industry. Many consumers know the brand for its Thanksgiving holiday roasts, but Tofurky also makes other plant-based meats in the form of deli slices, a ham roast, burgers, sausages, tempeh and more. In February 2023, Tofurky was purchased by tofu producer Morinaga for $50 million.9. Gardein

9. Gardein

Gardein is a very popular brand that offers a variety of plant-based options such as fishless filets, chicken nuggets, and sauced and seasoned plant-based meats. The brand also offers convenient frozen prepared foods, such as black bean sliders with buns. Gardein was purchased by Pinnacle Foods for $154 million in 2014.

10. MorningStar Farms

Perhaps one of the most familiar plant-based meat brands in the United States, MorningStar Farms has been available on grocery store shelves since 1975. Though not all of their products are presently vegan, the company once committed to making the transition to being fully plant-based (however, its goal of achieving that by the end of 2021 was missed). In the meantime, many of their products are already vegan, including their grillers veggie burgers and chik’n patties.

11. The Vegetarian Butcher

The Vegetarian Butcher was founded by Jaap Korteweg, an animal farmer turned plant-based meat maker. Among the company’s vegan products are its Impeckable Chicken breasts, Patty on the Back ground meat, and the Happy Go Clucky patty. In 2018, The Vegetarian Butcher was purchased by Unilever, a multinational corporation now worth over $132 billion, for an undisclosed amount.

12. Sunfed

Sunfed is a brand based out of New Zealand that offers “Chicken Free Chicken, Bull Free Beef and Boar Free Bacon.” The company’s products are ideal for seasoning and preparation in virtually any recipe.

13. Gold & Green

The Finnish Gold & Green brand can be found in restaurants around the world, and in grocery stores in Finland and the Netherlands. The products available for purchase at retailers include oat-based meats, seasoned in a variety of flavors . Earlier this year, the brand partnered with Taco Bell to bring vegan meat offerings to all 53 locations of the fast food chain in the United Kingdom.

14. Boca Foods

While most of BOCA’s offerings are vegan, consumers should make sure to check when purchasing; some of their foods, such as their All American burgers, do contain animal products. Among the brand’s numerous vegan offerings are turkey burgers, chick’n patties and even falafel bites.

15. Vbites Group

Vbites is a fully vegan brand that produces a considerable range of products in the United Kingdom for global distribution. The brand has been around since 1993, and offers a wide array of vegan meats and cheeses. While the company produces standard offerings like burger patties and chicken nuggets, it also manufactures plant-based pates, salmon slices and other more unusual products.

Despite the challenges it faces, the plant-based meat industry is growing overall, amid rising consumer concerns over the treatment of animals raised for food.

With so many options to choose from, plant-based eating is easier than ever. Consumers are recognizing the environmental, welfare and health detriments of a diet full of animal-derived meats and dairy. The decision to eat more plant-based meals and reduce meat consumption becomes even easier when we recognize the intelligence of the animals who are being slaughtered and consumed.

The best way to withdraw one’s support for conventionally produced meat is to choose from the many plant-based alternatives now available in stores and restaurants.

Original source: https://sentientmedia.org