VEGAN FOOD at natural products expo west!53
whew! natural products west 2010 has finally come and gone, and boy was it awesome. the world’s largest natural and organic products tradeshow took place over the weekend in anaheim, and of course we were there checking out all the new animal-free products.
there was a lot of cool vegan shit there this year…so sit back, relax, and get ready for an epic photo-filled post of food porn. here we go! (i am posting stuff in the actual order we tried it, so be sure to scroll through the whole post—i don’t want you to miss anything!)
of course the first booth we had to check out was daiya. the revolutionary vegan cheese made a huge debut at 2009′s expo west, and i remember reading about it on jennshaggy’s blog and turning green with envy. now just one year later, it has completely changed the world of vegan food…
this time around, daiya’s big news at the expo was the introduction of their snazzy retail packaging which will be available in whole foods by the end of the month! did you hear that?! you are gonna be able to buy daiya everywhere…it’s official. no more paying by weight and weird deli containers full of vegan cheese…this is legit!
of course daiya was also serving up samples of their amazing product on pizzas and in grilled cheese sandwiches. i ate approximately 8,000 servings of each. it was awesome. while i was chatting it up with the daiya inventors and CEO’s, michelle sass from cruzer pizza stopped by the booth. she is the one responsible for getting daiya into cruzer in the first place, and she was also behind the decision to turn it into a 100% vegan pizzeria…so of course i had to get a shot of michelle and the daiya dudes:
ahhh i love daiya so much! they have given me the opportunity to eat veganized foods like delivery pizza and boxed mac and cheese, foods i thought were gone forever. it was super exciting to meet the team that’s behind making our dreams come true.
next up we tried some “heaven sent” ice cream from grow your family healthy. i have never had their stuff before, but from the looks of their website they seem to be some kind of super jesusy company. i won’t hold the religiousness against them though….their product was really damn good. praise the lord, and stuff!
we also sampled some raw superfood snacks of goji berries, chlorella, maca root, and cacao. very yum.
next up was le grand pesto. they had tons of vegan options that were quite nice…
the crackers pictured above, however, were not vegan! if you ever go to expo west, remember to double check everything. it is super easy to eat non-vegan stuff by mistake. anyways, the pesto peeps were happy to serve us some on a spoon, and it was really excellent. the best pre-packaged pesto i’ve had to date.
one of the most exciting products i tried this weekend was j green’s vegan meat substitute…
i’d never even heard of this product before, and it was fantastic! i tried both the beef and chicken, and loved each one. look out for j green!
we stopped by the falafel republic stand as well. as the name would suggest, they make pre-cooked and ready to go falafel. it was decent, but nothing to write home about.
much to my delight, lucy’s cookies of starbucks fame also had a booth at the expo. i ate a bunch of their samples, and as usual they were awesome! if you haven’t tried lucy’s yet, you gotta get to a starbucks and check them out. they are pretty healthy and actually taste really good….that’s not a combo you come across everyday.
there was also a stand called japanese delight, and their pure vegetarian ginger soy sauce with noodles and tofu was surprisingly good.
one booth i spent a lot of time at was the field roast booth…
as you probably know, field roast is one of my all time favorite vegan meats. they make their meats from grains, and have the best animal-free sausages around.
right now you can find most field roast products at whole foods, but i did try something i’d never had before at the expo—field roast vegan cheese! the herbed chao cheese is made from soft tofu in small batches and is absolutely perfect for spreading on crackers.
next up was our other favorite vegan meat substitute, GARDEIN!
dudes, gardein has so many new and great products in store, i can’t wait. they’ve got more stuffed chikn breasts, marsala scallopini, a burgundy beef trio, and more!
we tried some of the new stuff and it was off the chaaaaain. gardein just keeps out-doing themselves. if you haven’t had their frozen goods, you should really rush out to your nearest ralphs or whole foods and take care of business. you have to try all their current products before these new ones come out!
in the drinks department, we spotted a new natural diet soda called zevia, which is made with stevia. this is pretty exciting for me, because i was a diet soda addict for years but recently gave it up because of all the crap ingredients. zevia now seems like a way i could get my soda fix without any of the guilt.
we also came across a pre-packaged vegan noodle product marketed at children. allegaroo reminded me of the spaghettio and chef boyardee products i ate as a kid, yet it was entirely animal and gluten-free. allegaroo is not available in any whole foods around here yet, but i really hope it will be soon.
galaxy foods was also present and was serving up vegan quesadillas made with their cheese. while their booth was definitely not as hoppin’ as the daiya booth downstairs, i wanna remind you that they do make the best vegan parmesan ever.
tofurky definitely had one of the major breakthrough products at the expo—a 100% vegan frozen pizza!
they actually had 3 different varieties, all made with daiya cheese, and they were so good!
when this comes out, it will definitely be the best vegan pizza that you can buy at a supermarket. it’s so great to see daiya sneaking into all these frozen products. it’s making everything so convenient, i almost feel like an omnivore.
tofurky was also sampling their tempeh bacon, which was brilliant…
i think i have seen this stuff on sale at the meet market, and i definitely need to track it down and buy some.
we also sampled the so delicious coconut milk and coconut milk ice cream…both very rich and creamy.
next, we stopped by the vbites booth for some pizza made with cheezly. this was by far my favorite booth at the expo, and i will elaborate more on the exciting stuff vbites has in store in later post.
the pizza was just perfect though, i love the flavor of cheezly and the vbites toppings. they were also sampling some really great ready made curries that will be hitting whole foods soon (but not soon enough!).
next stop was justin’s nut butter, and OH BOY IT WAS INSANE! our friends over at vegnews told us we had to try it, and they did not steer us wrong. it was thick, creamy, nutty and chocolately—like a vegan version of nutella but even better, if you could imagine that.
another expo favorite of mine was definitely el burrito…
i knew of the company already because they are the ones who make the soyrizo we all know and love. but whoa, i had no idea the soyrizo was just the tip of the iceberg!
at the expo, el burrito was serving up taquitos, chips with vegan beef toppings…
…and they even had their own taco bar! it was fucking epic!
i stood around and ate tacos until i could hardly walk.
el burrito is an vegetarian company, so some of their fake meats contain milk products. don’t worry though, they have so much vegan stuff and are super knowledgeable about what is what. the vegan shredded beef and chicken tacos they were serving was better than any animal-free mex i’ve ever tasted. unfortunately these amazing products are only available to restaurants, and aren’t for individual sale. maybe mama’s hot tamales or cinnamon could get in on this stuff….
they also had a new vegan pepperoni they were sampling, which beat the hell out of any faux pepperoni i know of that’s currently available.
fabe’s bakery was also on hand with their natural vegan baked goods…
they were very generous and sent us away with loads of double chocolate cookies….guuuh….so good. you can buy fabe’s now at most whole foods, and i think i’ve even seen them at some of the fancier ralphs locations.
i know i am a bit late to the game on this one, but at the expo was actually the first time i ever tried tempt.
the nondairy frozen dessert is made with hempmilk, and is actually the straight up creamiest ice cream replacement i’ve ever tried. both the chocolate and biscotti flavors were flawless, so i’m sure the other ones are great as well. tempt also had dispensers set up to give samples of their hempmilk, which was delicious! everything was so good, i am a tempt fan for life.
of course the champion of healthy vegan eating, dr. mcdougall, also had a booth at the expo.
mcdougall already makes a line of quite tasty instant soups, and focuses on low-fat oil-free cuisine. they have a few new noodle products coming out, and some spiffy new packaging…so i am looking forward to this stuff hitting the stores. for more info on mcdougall-style eating, please check out our friends at over at the healthy vegans.
double rainbow ice cream wasn’t just giving out samples, they had a full on ice cream parlour set up. luckily, they had some vegan options and they handed me a large-sized serving of dairy free mint and chip. i did not complain.
blue diamond had all their almond breeze milks lined up in a row with little cups for people to serve themselves. you best believe i made an almond milk suicide! booya!
our favorite amino acids ever, bragg, were also in attendance…
and i even spotted patricia bragg herself, owner of the health food empire! starstruck!
last but not least, we grabbed some vegan h’orderves from the nasoya booth, which was tofu and faux mayo mixed up on crackers….i think. whatever it was, i loved it.
after 7 hours, we could only take so much walking around and eating (life is hard!), so we decided to split. i know there is some awesome vegan stuff we missed, but i feel like we got a pretty good idea of the new stuff we should be looking out for. hope you enjoyed the pix and review.
to re-cap, the most exciting new stuff we tried was…. products from vbites, justin’s nut butter, new el burrito meats, more gardein frozen entrees, and a tofurky pizza with daiya cheese!
here’s to another great year filled with vegan goodies!!Tags: daiya, expo west, gardein, tofurky, vbites
Thanks so much for the tip off on the new McDougall asian noodles & the shout out!!! Fantastic report, I seriously don’t see how anyone can ever have an excuse not to be vegan ever again!!!
Frozen vegan pizza!!!! YEAH!!!!
Wow – what a long post! ; ) So upset I missed the Gardein booth! There were just so many companies there! Also sad I missed the Field Roast cheese – heard it was yummy. Can’t wait for next year!
Thank you for this amazing overview of all the goodness at the Expo. It’s so exciting to see what is to come in the vegan market. Can’t wait!
I was there for 2 days and still didn’t see everything. I missed a few of these booths! So many great new companies and old familiars too. Sunday I came home with 6 bags of free stuff so I’m set for the next few months.
Have you tried Viana vegan meat? I’ve been eating tacos for days with their meat (with Le Grande pesto) and it’s really good and I don’t go for fake meat so much.
I helped myself to a Tempt float with Pumpkin Pie Maine Root soda after the tacos. Heaven.
what a great post. thanks so much for detailing all this. i know expect to see follow-up posts when everything will be available and where to find it. quarrygirl.com has made me a lazy vegan as I can just sit here and buy whatever you post about.
Wow. This post made me so hard.
I get so excited and nervous about these products as a Canadian. Half of them don’t end up making it here (Toronto). Where is my Field Roast anything?? Nomnomnom.
Wow I join the ranks of envious readers, each new product you shared my jaw dropped a little more. I think the most impt. news you shared is about daiya, and so I THANK YOU IMMENSELY for sharing the good news!
Next year, I’m definitely going both Saturday and Sunday…I missed so much stuff! I also saw and sampled so much, though, so I suppose it evens out.
I was bad about taking photos at the Expo itself (too much to carry), but I snapped a few and got photos of all the samples I brought home, so a post is in the works!
I wanted to attend the expo myself, but it’s so pricey for regular people. Were you able to attend at the discounted rate because you write this awesome blog? Anyhow, I’m glad you shared all of this amazing info and photos. Thanks!
YES! J Green’s new faux meats were aMAZing! Really excited about that product line. Bummer about Maison Le Grand’s crackers… didn’t even think to ask… but, did you also try their preserved lemon product. So good!
Did you see Cheezly and Heather Mills?
With so many vegan products out there now, I’m hoping someone opens a totally vegan store.
I need to hit up this Expo next year and eat my way thru it for 2 days. I’d not heard about it before. (gasp!)
Oh man, now I’m all sorts of hungry. I can’t wait to try the tofurkey pizzas.
I was there too!! epic.
is that what heaven looks like?
this post brought back so many delicious memories. honestly, it was hard to read it.
SO AWESOME MEETING YOU TOO!!!! That was one of my expo west highlights, for sure!
Thank-you for all the photos and reviews!!
Can the general public attend this? It sounds awesome. Thanks for all the updates on upcoming products. I cannot wait to find a number of these!
I’m a huge fan of Zevia drinks (particularly the root bear) and So Delicious ice cream.
This looks like a wonderland of delights!! Yum!! So excited about the daiya coming to stores! I am pretty picky with my cheese substitutes, so I am glad to have something new to try!
thanks for the comprehensive review…i’m looking forward to seeing some new goodies on the shelves of whole foods and other markets.
p.s. the correct spelling is “hors d’oeuvres” not “h’orderves”.
your comments for daiya cheese coming to whole foods and your experience at the expo is hilarious! –btw, I am so excited daiya cheese is coming to whole foods, I know its going to be gooood
Any new field roast sausages?
This is the best darn vegan coverage of Expo West I’ve seen! I almost felt as if I was there tasting everything with you! Thanks so much for sharing!
It really is amazing how Daiya and Gardein changed things so much, pretty much overnight.
you might find allergaroo products at target, they have them in the seattle area at least.
Oh man, every year I say I’m going to go & I miss out! It looks like it was awesome!
I love Daiya, but that’s not the first frozen vegan pizza – the Tofutti Vegan Frozen Pizza has been around forever! Even though I bought Tofutti slices once and they were so gross I threw them out, their frozen pizza is one of my top 3 favorite vegan pizzas IN THE WORLD. It tastes EXACTLY like the pizza they used to make for lunch on “pizza day” at public schools. This is a good thing. Thanks for the awesome post and for saving me the one hour drive to Anaheim!
Haha, it does taste just like school pizza, or “skating rink” pizza! That was cool at first bite but made me want to die after that.
I am SO INCREDIBLY JEALOUS that you went this year and I didn’t haha. I had such a great time. It looks like the food was even better this year than last.
And thanks for the comment I’ve been writing some great ones lately.
I love that my Ralph’s is carrying some of these things! I got the Fabe’s cookies on clearance recently, and they even have that delicious raw cheesecake. Also, I hope that daiya stays the same price once it comes packaged (It probably wont though). I love that I can buy the right size for the occasion.
Hahaha almond milk suicide
Holy crappers! You’ve gone and made me all hungry!
Now i truly regret not going on saturday. my lame ass excuse was “i dont wanna go alooooone!”
i didnt realize the selection of products were going to be so badass!
Fuck it! Next year, I’m there! Solo or not!
I love this post, and I drooled along with everyone else. I am so excited about Daiya everywhere and those Tofurky pizzas. Wish I could have been in town last week, instead of next.
Thank you so much Quarry Girl for doing the footwork for us! Looks like it was a tough day (haha).Would have LOVED to have gone to the Expo, but alas, finances are strangling me as always as well as geographical constraints. Keep up the good word and work!
Thanks for the great review. I need to do my own, only I don’t have pictures. I wish I had seen the Field Roast cheese. I skipped them on purpose because I LOVE their products but can’t have gluten anymore (though I cheated too much the 3 expo days). And yes you are right about checking what the product is being sampled with. So many lovely GF vegan breads and crusts were topped with cheese. So many lovely vegan GF spreads were on crackers with who knows what in them. Etc.
One of my favorite booths was peanut butter (Sunland). Most were organic, all were vegan. You haven’t lived until you’ve had the fire in your mouth from southwestern peanut butter put out by cranberry vanilla peanut butter. Mmmmmm….
Coconut Bliss ice cream was another vegan product you don’t list. Worth checking out. I think it’s better than the others I’ve tried.
And of course there is the Follow Your Heart booth which is always good for some treats (not all vegan I discovered). These are the folks that make the only decent tasting vegan mayo (Grapeseed is my fav).
Lots of other things too. I am so glad to see other people’s reports because I did spend 3 whole days there and still missed things. Thanks!
How FUN! You must have been in heaven! I LOVE all the tasty photos!!!
I ate chicken wings, a steak and a corn dog today, just the corn dog alone was three different animals. Sooooo Yummy!!!
I am dying from all of those pictures. I can’t wait to even try one of those delicious products!
That vegan pepperoni is AMAZING! I’ve been looking for it at stores for a year now (I had it at VegFest in Seattle in April 2009)… SO GOOD, and I haven’t seen it anywhere!
They have the packaged Daiya and the CoOp now! Woot woo!
I wish more of these amazing options were available in small-town Canada. Just a note, the link to J Green’s isn’t working (not sure if its you or them).
@Terri P. Try this link:
There are 19 products/companies on this page that I have never heard of! I feel underprivileged right now.
The J Green’s and El Burrito products have me intrigued.
I’m looking forward to more soy-free vegan products coming down the line. I don’t believe they are necessarily more healthy than their dairy free counter parts, considering how many GMO’s they have.
The Daiya cheese is probably the most revolutionary vegan substitute on the market right now. The coconut ice cream is also more delicious than any dairy counterpart I’ve ever tasted! The almond dream praline ice cream is also very delicious.
In general, I’ve found I get more allergies to soy products than dairy. Which is why I’ve been reluctant to switch to more vegan products. But now with coconuts, cassava root, almonds and other substitutes out there it is becoming easier to make these choices.
i am always looking for some free stuffs over the internet. there are also some companies which gives free samples.*-’
Are there any other sites that gives free sample products and some other free stuffs?:’:
Oh my God! so much interesting food that was there! I envy you, who have the opportunity to be there. Maybe one day I can experience something similar. I hope so
Ps: Great blog! <3
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