equivalent products (or ‘what can I use instead of…’)
Many familiar food products already have an equivalent vegan version.
This is a guide to the main types of products available in the UK, and the types of places that typically sell them.
This is not intended to be a complete list of all the vegan equivalent products available! There are new products coming out all the time and there are far too many to keep track of every single one. We’ve included a few brand names here to give you an indication of what you’re looking for.
Where do I get them from?
Supermarkets: Many of the products listed here are available from supermarkets (see the vegan food in the supermarket page). If a product is available in the supermarket, assume it is also available from the places listed below.
Holland and Barrett: Larger Holland and Barrett shops stock many of the products listed here.
Wholefoods shops: Independent wholefoods shops often have the best range of vegan products, and some will order items in for you if they don’t already stock them. Use happycow.net to find your local vegan-friendly shops.
Online Shops: If there’s something you can’t get hold of in the shops near where you live, try online shops such as Vegan Store, Alternative Stores, Veggie Stuff or Goodness Direct.
Vegan equivalent: Many different varieties and brands of plant milk
For example, available brands include:
Soya: Alpro, Provamel, supermarket own brands
Rice: Rice Dream, Provamel
Hemp: Good Hemp
These often come in sweetened or unsweetened varieties, plain or flavoured (e.g. chocolate, vanilla).
Where to buy them: Supermarkets (look in the ‘long life milk’ and ‘free from’ sections), smaller food shops often have at least soya milk, Holland and Barrett, Wholefoods shops, Online shops.
- Also see further detail about using plant milks on the dairy-free living page
Vegan equivalent: Various brands of vegan cheese
Hard cheeses: Cheezly, Vegusto, Sheese, Tofutti (grated cheese and cheese slices), Tesco own brand
Parmesan-style cheese: Parmazano, parmesan-style Cheezly
Cream cheeses: Sheese, Tofutti, Tesco own brand (made by Sheese)
Cheese sauces: Vegusto (ready-made sauce), Free and Easy Dairy Free cheese flavour sauce mix
Where to buy them: Supermarkets (Parmazano, Free and Easy cheese sauce mix, occasionally Cheezly), Holland and Barrett (Cheezly, Tofutti, Parmazano, Free and Easy), wholefoods shops and online shops (all).
- Also see the dairy-free living page for other alternatives to using cheese
Vegan equivalent: Chocolate!
There are so many types of vegan-suitable chocolate it would be impossible to list them all here.
For example, vegans can choose from pralines, truffles, ‘white’ chocolate, ‘milky’ chocolate with cranberries and hazelnuts, chocolate buttons, caramel-filled chocolates, rum and raisin chocolate bars, even vegan versions of mars bars and creme eggs! And yes, they do taste good .
A visit to a well-stocked wholefoods shop or online shop is the best way to get an idea of what’s available. Have a browse of Vegan Store, Alternative Stores or the vegan section of A Lot of Chocolate.
Vegan equivalent: Vegan ice cream
There’s some really nice vegan ice cream out there!
Swedish Glace is often available in supermarkets and Holland and Barrett.
Look out for Booja Booja and Bessant and Drury’s vegan ice creams which are sold in wholefoods shops.
Vegan equivalent: Custard powder or vegan ready-made custard
Ready made: Alpro custard
Where to buy it: Supermarket ‘free from’ sections, Holland and Barrett, wholefoods shops and online shops
Custard powder: Standard custard powder is often free from animal ingredients, just make it up with a plant milk of your choice.
Vegan equivalent: Vegan margarines/spreads, vegetable oils for some cooking uses
Margarines/spreads: Pure, Vitalite, Tomor (supermarkets), Biona, Suma (wholefoods shops/Holland and Barrett/online shops).
Note that many brands of ‘vegetable’ margarine/spread are not suitable for vegans. These contain milk and/or non-vegan vitamin D. Look for a brand that specifically says ‘vegan’ on the packaging.
Oils: Instead of using margarine, vegetable oil can be used for some cooking purposes (for instance, in some cake recipes). Oils such as rapeseed or olive can be used on bread.
Vegan equivalent: Various brands of plain and flavoured vegan yoghurt
Alpro plain and fruit yoghurts (supermarkets), some supermarket own brands of soya yoghurt, Provamel, Redwood Foods (wholefoods shops and Holland and Barrett), Sojade (wholefoods shops).
Also look out for soya desserts (such as Alpro), similar to yoghurt but in chocolate, caramel etc. flavours (in the ‘free from’ section of supermarkets).
Vegan equivalent: Vegan cream of various types
Pouring creams: Alpro, Oatly (available in supermarkets and H&B)
Whipping cream: Soyatoo (‘free from’ sections, wholefoods shops, online shops), Soyatoo squirty creams (soya-based and rice-based varieties)
Sour cream: Tofutti ‘Sour Supreme’ (available from Holland and Barrett, wholefoods shops and online shops). Alternatively, it’s quick to make your own from silken tofu.
Vegan equivalent: Vegan mayonnaise
Brands: Plamil (Holland & Barrett, wholefoods shops, online shops), Life Free From, Granovita Mayola and various other brands sold in the ‘free from’ section of supermarkets.
- Various vegan meat/fish/Quorn-style products.
- Vegetable-based burgers, roasts, cutlets.
- Ingredients such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, beans, lentils, mushrooms, vegemince and TVP.
Chicken nuggets, bacon, polony, sausages, pies, sausage rolls, schnitzels, beef-style strips, fish fingers, chorizo… there are vegan versions of various meat, fish and Quorn products.
Adopting a vegan diet isn’t about swapping meat for ‘fake meat’. However, these products can be convenient on occasion, as well as being useful for some new vegans who find they are still missing the taste of non-vegan things or their old methods of cooking.
The two main UK brands are Fry’s and Redwood Foods. Their products are widely available in Holland and Barrett as well as wholefoods and online shops. Have a look at their websites or browse your local Holland and Barrett or wholefoods shop to get a feel for what’s available.
The Taifun and Wheaty ranges of sausages and sandwich slices are becoming increasingly available in wholefoods shops.
Also, Linda McCartney sausages, sausage rolls, vegemince and some of the pies are suitable for vegans and widely available from supermarkets.
There are also some other brands sold in Holland and Barrett.
There are other products which can be used in places of burgers or sausages and aren’t intended to resemble meat – for example, beanburgers, vegetable burgers, nut cutlets, kievs and roasts.
For example, the Goodlife range of products is available from many supermarkets. Some supermarket own-brand products are suitable. Also have a look what’s available in your local wholefoods shop, such as the Dragonfly brand.
Tip: when looking for vegan burgers, roasts and sausages at the supermarket, look in the freezers first (in the ‘vegetarian’ section). Most of the fridge space is usually taken up with Quorn (which isn’t vegan).
Various vegan ingredients give a chewy texture and add bulk to dishes and also provide protein content. These are often used in traditional recipes where a non-vegan version would use meat.