2019 is already a big year for veganism and not just because The Economist predicted it. In the first month alone, mouthwatering products (think ricotta-stuffed tortellinis and dark chocolate sunflower butter cups) have debuted, fast-food restaurants have opened or announced plant-based options, and vegan meats have gotten even meatier. Here are our 12 of our favorite vegan moments that happened in January alone.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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1. Carl’s Jr. Beyond Meat Famous Star Burger
In a move that shocked just about everyone, Carl’s Jr. announced the addition of Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger to its nationwide menus on January 2. For a 100-percent plant-based burger at this fast-casual chain, request the Famous Star with no mayo or cheese. The sesame bun is already totally vegan. Minds. Blown.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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2. Chobani’s Dairy-Free Line
This cult-favorite Greek yogurt brand announced its first venture into dairy-free goods on January 9 with single-serving yogurt cups and drinks, and we’re so ready for it. Vanilla chai drinkable yogurt, here we come!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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3. Impossible Burger 2.0
The meatiest vegan burger on the market just got meatier (if that was even possible). The revolutionary patty went gluten-free and bulked up its beefy taste and texture to a level that could fool any meat eater, any day, any time. VegNews editors were at the scene to try the upgraded patty at vegan burger joint Monty’s Good Burger in Los Angeles and it did not disappoint.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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4. Donut Friend’s Second Location
This mega-popular vegan doughnut shop has amassed such a following that it’s common for lines to wind out the door. So it comes as no surprise when they announced their expansion. On January 22, its second location will open in downtown Los Angeles. You can bet we’ll be the first in line!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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5. Taco Bell Announces a New Veg Menu
Already known for its veg-friendliness, this popular-with-millennials fast-food chain is doubling down on that reputation with the announcement of its first dedicated vegetarian menu launch in 2019. The chain has promised there will also be new vegan options!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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6. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Sunflower Cups
Trader Joe’s never fails to keep us supplied with new plant-based products. At this point, new dips, milks, and vegan meats debut practically every month, but the grocery chain hit us in the sweet spot with these sunflower seed butter cups. Oh yeah, and they’re only 99 cents each.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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7. The Slutty Vegan Food Truck
The Atlanta food scene was changed forever when The Slutty Vegan Food Truck popped up, but after being inundated with hungry customers (think five-hour wait times with 500 customers in line!), it opened a permanent location in mid-January to feed its thousands of visitors.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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8. McDonald’s Vegan Happy Meal
McDonald’s and veganism equals two words we never thought would go together, but on January 3, all UK locations of the biggest fast-food chain debuted a plant-based happy meal. The meatless chicken wrap will now be an accessible vegan option for kiddos all over the UK. We’re McLovin’ this news!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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9. Kite Hill Vegan Tortellini
This dairy-free vegan cheese company has already impressed us with its vegan cream cheeses (jalapeño!) and gooey, stuffed raviolis, but in 2019, it changed the game with dairy-free, almond milk ricotta-stuffed tortellinis. We can’t wait to get our hands on these!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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10. Hinterhof Vegan German Beer Garden
Wienerschnitzel, currywurst, bratlinge, and käsespätzle … these are just a few of the authentic German offerings on newly opened Hinterhof’s menu. An all-vegan German beer garden was already making us kinda faint, but once we tasted its food, we were done for.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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11. Gordon Ramsey’s Vegan Menu
Once one of veganism’s biggest critics, this chef has changed his tune and recognized the undeniable demand for plant-based options, announcing a new vegan menu at one of his restaurants on January 3. Thanks, Chef!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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12. Whole Foods Re-launches the TTLA
Tabitha Brown had us all shook when she posted a spirited review of the sandwich over a year ago that sent thousands running to the deli counter at Whole Foods. And now, the popular grocer has re-launched the perfectly smoky sandwich at all of its locations in honor of Veganuary.

Sarah McLaughlin is an assistant editor at VegNews that truly believes 2019 will be a groundbreaking year for veganism.

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