Food products that cater to unique dietary needs, such as gluten sensitivities and animal rights activists, are making their way into mainstream grocery stores. Consumers no longer have to visit a health food store or specialty chain to purchase spouted grain bread, organic produce, or vegan butter. Large food manufacturers have introduced natural or organic product lines to compete with manufacturers that specialize in health-oriented foods. Some companies focus on specific dietary lifestyles, such as veganism. The dietary needs of vegans fall under the broader spectrum of vegetarianism. While vegetarians abstain from eating meat products, vegans also avoid any products produced by animals. This includes eggs, butter, honey, and gelatin.
The latest products by Hampton Creek align with the needs of the vegan lifestyle. These products include salad dressings, condiments, pasta and grain dishes, and baked desserts. These food products can be challenging for vegans as they are usually made with eggs, butter and milk. In the past milk alternatives such as soy were limited, but additional products have all but made the switch from dairy milk to plant based milk a breeze. Almond, coconut and soy varieties are now plentiful, including both sweetened and unsweetened flavored versions. The challenges that exist for vegans shopping at mainstream grocery chains continues to be plant based cheeses, yogurt alternatives, sour cream alternatives, baked goods, condiments and dressings.
Plant based alternatives allow those choosing alternative lifestyles the ability to enjoy familiar foods. It can be difficult to stick to only vegetables and obtain all necessary vitamins. Restricting one’s diet to plant based foods can also make it difficult to be around others during special occasions and celebrations, where food becomes a centerpiece. Being able to participate in these celebrations and not go against one’s dietary needs is a great benefit. Plant based products, such as vegan dressings, side dishes, and beverages make dietary restrictions easier to stick with. Companies that make plant based products also make the vegan lifestyle practical in contemporary society. Many would not be able to make the switch or find the diet to be a viable choice without the availability of vegan food products.