October 1, 2020
World Vegetarian Day was created by the North American Vegetarian Society back in 1977 "to promote the joy, compassion, and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism." Since then, vegetarianism has moved from a fringe position to the mainstream, with one in four people in the U.S. saying they want to eat less meat and millions who have cut it out altogether. This is a great time to think about the companies that make it easier to go vegetarian or vegan. In honor of the day, here is a look at some brands with meatless offerings:
Beyond Meat, Inc. (Tii:BYND)
There are more and more brands making plant-based meats with an uncanny resemblance to animal-based ones these days, but Beyond was the first innovator and still one of the biggest brands out there. Their burgers and crumbles are available in a variety of grocery stores and restaurants so that folks who are cutting meat out or just cutting down can still enjoy the same flavors and textures.
Tyson Foods, Inc. (Tii:TSN)
Wait, aren't they the chicken company? Yes, but they're not just that. Tyson has been investing in the innovation of plant-based meats for years. They started out helping Beyond get their burgers into restaurants and consumers’ freezers. They now have their own plant-based nuggets, marketed under the name Raised & Rooted. Reviewers say these taste just like McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, so these are perfect if you're a recent veg convert who still gets cravings for fast food.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (Tii:CMG)
When you're a vegetarian, restaurants are always a chancy thing. Even now, many restaurants have no vegetarian or vegan options at all. In others, you're limited to the pasta primavera or have to cobble together a meal out of side dishes. Some may not be aware of this, but Chipotle has a wide array of veg-friendly options. Besides the savory Sofritas, vegetarian folks can choose from a wealth of meatless topping options. Because of this, this chain has remained a stalwart favorite among vegetarian diners. And, with over 2,600 locations in the U.S., there's always at least one nearby.
Yum! Brands, Inc. (Tii:YUM)
Payday still a couple of days away? For those days when you can't quite put Chipotle money together, there's always Taco Bell. While this chain is the home of some excessive meaty offerings, it is also one of the most reliable sources of vegan and vegetarian food on the go. Most menu items can be veganized by holding the cheese and substituting beans for any meat-based protein offerings. And the chain is well-cognizant of their role as a fast-food vegetarian option. Taco Bell now even has a specifically vegetarian section of their digital menu for quick ordering.
Danone S.A. (Tii:DANOY)
The first exposure to vegetarian and vegan alternatives for many people comes in the form of plant-based milks. And the brand that paved the way is Silk, created by WhiteWave Foods, which is owned by French yogurt giant Danone. WhiteWave was responsible for bringing plant-based milks, creamers, and protein options like tofu and seitan into grocery stores all over the country. WhiteWave also brought more organic produce into supermarkets as well, through their purchase of Earthbound Farms, the country's largest producer of organic produce.
These are just a few places to start when looking around at the vegan and vegetarian brands that make a plant-based diet possible. By looking at where your food comes from and the impact it has, you can make choices that allow for a better diet and one that's easier on the planet.