It seems that every week in the world of vegan news is more exciting than the last, and this week is no exception. Dairy alternatives are getting in the thick of it with the launch of Icelandic Provision’s first plant-based skyr yogurt and Emlhurst’s new sour cream. 

The best pizza topping is getting a plant-based spin with new pepperoni offerings from both Tofurky and Trader Joe’s.

Plus, a vegan ribeye steak with all the fixings just hit the menu at a steakhouse in NYC. Read on for more. 

Vegan food news

Vegan yogurt is a staple for breakfast and now, a creamy Icelandic skyr variety is hitting retailers, thanks to Icelandic Provisions. New at Whole Foods Market is the company’s first entry into plant-based yogurt: Icelandic Provisions Oatmilk Skyr.

Made with oats and vegan-friendly Icelandic cultures, it contains 12 grams of protein and is flavored with real fruits and minimal ingredients. 

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“After hearing from consumers that the current plant-based yogurts on the market don’t live up to their nutrition, texture, or taste expectations, we spent years at Icelandic Provisions crafting and perfecting an oat-based formula that has achieved the trifecta,” John Heath, Icelandic Provisions Chief Innovation Officer, said in a statement. 

The new Icelandic Provisions Oatmilk Skyr is available in a range of flavors, including Vanilla Bean, Strawberry, Blueberry, Peach, Mango & Passion Fruit, Plain, and Vanilla Bean varieties.

Elmhurst 1925 is also getting into the creamier side of dairy-free with the launch of its plant-based sour cream in a convenient squeezable pouch. 

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The new vegan sour cream, made with oat milk and hemp protein, aims to replicate the taste and texture of traditional dairy-based sour cream, offering a one-to-one replacement for dairy sour cream in various dishes. It is made with minimal ingredients, ensuring a clean-label product without sacrificing flavor or texture.

This addition to its product lineup reflects its shift from a dairy-free beverage brand to a comprehensive plant-based food company. 

“Stepping into the dairy-free food category feels like a logical move for Elmhurst, after we perfected delicious and nutritious plant milks and creamers made with only the simplest ingredients,” Heba Mahmoud, Senior Director of Brand Marketing at Elmhurst 1925, said in a statement.  

“It’s the first plant-based sour cream in a pouch, the cleanest recipe available in market, exceptionally creamy and tangy, and performs beautifully in any dish or recipe without melting or falling apart,” Mahmoud said. 

If you’re like us, winter means plenty of hearty stews on the stove and new bouillon seasoning in Vegan Chicken and Vegan Beef from Watson’s Seasoning Blends are perfect for elevating the flavors of your winter soups.

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This organic bouillon seasoning—which comes in granules—stands out for being free from the preservatives and fillers, perfect for adding a depth of flavor to soups, stews, pastas, and casseroles.

And we’ve got good news for pizza lovers. Both Trader Joe’s and Tofurky are getting into the wonderful world of plant-based pepperoni. Tofurky unveiled its plant-based pepperoni in an adorably dramatic post on social media this week. Its new Pepp’roni is coming to Tops Markets in the Northeast and Hyvee in the Midwest this month. 

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Spotted by Instagrammer Big Box Vegan, Trader Joe’s plant-based pepperoni slices are likely headed to stores next week. It’s probably a good time to stock up on pizza dough. 

Vegan business news

Entrepreneur Heather Mills brings good news from across the pond this week as she successfully rescued VBites from administration by purchasing the company’s assets for £1 million ($1.3 million). 

In December 2023, the company was headed into administration due to challenges she attributed to corporate greed, Brexit, and misinformation from the meat and dairy industries. However, Mills stepped in to secure its future.

As a majority shareholder since 2009, Mills’ personal investment in the 30-year-old plant-based food company saved it from financial turmoil. “VBites is turning over a new leaf,” Mills posted on LinkedIn. 

“We have already developed a version 2.0 of plant-based food, soon to launch, that we believe will be a market mover and will help all of those people attempting to make a flexitarian or plant-based/vegan transition achieve their goals more easily, both with variety and deliciousness,” she said. “Watch this space.”

Over in Japan, the country’s biggest ham producer is also turning a new leaf. Nippon Ham is venturing into a whole new territory by introducing plant-based tuna sashimi to its lineup. The key component of this plant-based tuna is konnyaku, a firm starch gelatin derived from yam. 

Initially, Nippon Ham will offer its plant-based sashimi to restaurants, aiming to win over individual diners and expand from there.

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And Chile’s The Not Company is in the midst of expanding its distribution to make sure its AI-developed vegan milk is available to more consumers. This month, NotMilk Unsweetened Vanilla will be accessible nationwide at Whole Foods Market locations.

Both NotMilk Unsweetened Vanilla and NotMilk Barista are now available in more than 1,700 natural and conventional grocery stores throughout the United States. With the new expansion, NotMilk—first introduced to US markets in 2020—will be available at 16,000 stores nationwide. 

“Our remarkable growth of our NotMilk line reflects a strong demand from both retailers and consumers for sustainable, plant-based milk alternatives that rival the taste and function of traditional cow’s milk,” Matias Muchnick, CEO and founder of NotCo, said in a statement. 

“We’re thrilled to continue the expansion of our NotMilk innovation to drive adoption of plant-based and overall accelerate our mission to create a more sustainable world,” Muchnick said. 

Vegan restaurant news

There’s also a sweet collaboration going on in the Pacific Northwest between Becky McGrath (executive chef of fast-casual chain Burgerville) and Stephanie Thornton (executive pastry chef at Blue Star Donuts). 

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The duo came together to craft a vegan lemon poppy seed doughnut popper that just joined the permanent menu at Burgerville. The new vegan doughnuts will be rolled in different sugars throughout the seasons.

“We want people of all preferences to be able to enjoy Burgerville,” McGrath tells VegNews. 

“Having a plant-based sweet treat allows for more guests to try and come back for more,” McGrath says. “Not to mention, we think the donut poppers taste great dipped in our plant-based Bliss shakes.” 

In more vegan doughnut news, NYC’s Cloudy Donut Co. is getting a second location. To kick off Black History month this week, the shop is opening its doors in Manhattan as the first Black-owned food business in the Nolita neighborhood. 

Expect the same delicious offerings as its Brooklyn Heights location with 40 flavors such as Cookie Butter, Red Velvet, and Grapefruit Mimosa (which comes with a personal pipette of champagne). 

For something a little more savory, head over to Bareburger for a newly added vegan cheese option from Armored Fresh. These new oat milk cheese slices are available as an add-on to any item on Bareburger’s menu.

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“Armored Fresh truly changed my mind about plant-based cheese,” Bareburger Head Chef Misha Levin said in a statement. “The first time I tried it, I really couldn’t tell the difference between dairy-made cheese and Armored Fresh cheese.” 

Bareburger has also introduced two new menu creations crafted with this vegan cheese. The first is the Armored Fresh Melt, featuring Impossible Beef, melty Armored Fresh oat milk cheddar, herb mayo, caramelized onions, and roasted garlic sourdough. The second creation is the “Impossible Standard,” which includes Impossible Beef, Armored Fresh oat milk cheddar, caramelized onion, dill pickle, garlic aioli, and organic ketchup.

“I loved experimenting with recipes to find the perfect way to showcase this incredible cheese on our menu,” Levin said. “It’s a delicious cheese that I’m confident everyone will enjoy, dairy-free or not.”

And Vinyl Steakhouse has just solidified our plans to take a quick trip to NYC with the addition of a plant-based steak by Mooji Meats. The new vegan ribeye is slathered in plant-based garlic butter and served with a miso carrot ginger puree. 

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“One of our core beliefs at Vinyl Steakhouse is that you should ‘come as you are,’” Kevin Flannery, owner of Vinyl Steakhouse, said in a statement. “Whether you’re vegan, or just trying to reduce your red meat intake, all are welcome at our table.”

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