Is there anything like the thrill and exhilaration of finding new-to-you vegan products at your local grocer? Across the country, innovative plant-based products have found their way into a number of retailers including Whole Foods Market, Walmart, Kroger, Target, and more—and, most importantly, consumers are embracing these vegan alternatives. 

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According to Good Food Institute, in 2022, global retail sales of plant-based meat products reached $6.1 billion—an eight percent increase in dollar sales when compared to the previous year. Beyond meat alternatives, the projections for the global vegan food market are exponential, with finance giant Credit Suisse estimating market sales could reach $1.4 trillion by 2050. Credit Suisse points toward vegan milk and meat as drivers of the sector, with the former expected to hold 50 percent of the milk market share by 2050. Vegan meat, too, is projected to hold an impressive 25 percent of the meat market share within the same time frame. 

These numbers are indicative of veganism’s promising future within the retail sector. And while 2050 is still some time away, we don’t have to wait until then for the latest and greatest vegan products. For a taste of what’s to come in the very near future, VegNews editors headed to Anaheim, CA for Natural Products Expo West, where we got a sneak peek (and taste) of thousands of vegan products slated to roll out this year in search of the very best.

Best new products of 2024

Held annually since 1981, Natural Products Expo West connects retailers and the makers of consumer packaged goods to propel the natural products industry forward. VegNews has attended every show since 2000, and has witnessed innovation only grow stronger and stronger. 

“It’s been extraordinary to watch the level of innovation year after year,” says VegNews publisher and co-founder Colleen Holland. “Our team tries thousands of new vegan products at the show so that we can share the absolute best with our readers.”

This year, Expo West took place from March 12 to 16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, with a whopping 3,000 exhibitors and more than 65,000 attendees.

VegNews editors scoured the show floor in search of the best vegan products—and here, we present our delicious, out-of-this-world findings, from artisanal vegan cheese wheels in never-before-seen flavors to bacon made from seaweed.


1 Harken Sweets candy bars

Peanut butter cups have been having a serious moment. From vegan debuts from Reese’s to awards racked up by Justin’s, this salty-sweet combo has been dominating the vegan candy aisle for years. But now, Harken Sweets is coming to shake the table, and it just may be ready to give plant-based sweet tooths all the variety they’ve been craving. 

On offer are three not-too-sweet bars featuring indulgent ingredients like salted date caramel, light-as-air nougat, crunchy peanuts, and crispy pretzel bits, all coated in oat milk chocolate (think vegan reimagining of Snickers, Milky Way, Take 5). And no sugar added (all the sweetness comes from those delicious dates), up to 75 percent fewer calories, and loads of prebiotic fiber (each bar has more than five cups of kale) means we’re indulging and feeling great about it.


2 Umaro Foods plant-based breakfast sandwiches

Plant-based breakfasts have been perfected, it’s true. And while we’ve had stellar sandwich options stacked with juicy sausage and crispy chicken for years, Umaro’s entry into the category with a bacon-egg-and-cheese is transporting us straight to the bodegas of New York. This handheld features a Just Egg patty, melted cheddar cheese, and Umaro’s patented seaweed-based bacon on an English muffin. 

And not only is Umaro’s new bacon crispy and fatty like its pork counterpart, but it’s miles more sustainable—the red seaweed it’s made from grows fast, is a great source of protein, requires no fertilizer or fresh water, and is a major absorber of greenhouse gasses. Vegan breakfast sandwiches with the power to save the world, who knew?


3House Party cheesy dips

Dairy devotees would be shocked to know that one of the dreamiest, smoothest cheese sauces on the market now contains no cheese. And vegans would be just as shocked to learn it isn’t made with nuts, either. That’s because the recipe for House Party’s Cheesy Dips consists primarily of carrots, potatoes, tomato paste, jalapeños, and nutritional yeast—meaning our fully loaded nacho boats, DIY crunchwraps, and extra-cheesy enchiladas basically count as a serving of vegetables, right?


4 Califia Farms cookies and crème creamer

It’s time for coffee creamers to break free from the ordinary cup of joe, and Califia Farms is leading the revolution with the (cookies and) creamer of our dreams. The veteran alt-milk brand is continuing to innovate with this limited-edition almond creamer infused with big chocolate sandwich cookie flavor.

And yes, the idea of a cookies and cream cold brew sounds heavenly, but why stop there? Blend it up and top with whipped cream for an at-home frappé. Mix with milk and a few more crushed cookies and pop in your ice cream maker for extra-luscious scoops. Or try your hand at a cookies and cream hot cocoa.


5 Sobo Foods dumplings

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the middle of a vegan Asian renaissance. Between all things chili crisp, ever-versatile tofu sheets, a bevy of boba fun to be had, and kimbap that can’t stop flying off of shelves, veganism is circling back to its ancient Asian roots with a decidedly modern, delicious twist. Enter Sobo Foods—an “unapologetically Asian American frozen food brand … inspired by nostalgia, but crafted for the future.” 

Both parts of this inspiration can be felt in this San Francisco Bay Area company’s debut line of dumplings. The nostalgia kicks in from flavors like Chinese-inspired pork and chive, Japanese-inspired potato curry, and Korean-inspired kimchi and mushroom; while the forward momentum comes from the fact that the entire line is intentionally plant-based in order to create a healthy, climate-positive option that doesn’t skimp on those bold comforting flavors. Now just one question remains: steamed or pan-fried?


6 MyForest Foods mycelium bacon

Another major trend alert for 2024: mycelium. This protein-rich network of mushroom cells is used as a sustainable alternative to meat, and it can already be found in grocery stores in the form of whole-cut steaks and chicken breasts and delicate, charcuterie-ready deli slices. But in 2024, it’s poised for more exposure, this time as chewy, crispy, smoky, meaty bacon, thanks to MyForest Foods. The upstate New York company keeps the ingredient list minimal (just organic mushroom mycelium, coconut oil, sugar, natural flavor, and salt), but dials up the flavor and possibilities to the max—we’re piling them into BLTs, wrapping them around hot dogs, and candying strips for brunch-time Bloody Marys.


7 Elmhurst ready-to-drink lattes

Once regarded as New York City’s last dairy, Elmhurst officially closed its doors on dairy production in 2016—after 91 years of operation—only to reopen the following year as a fully plant-based milk company. And clearly, this change in direction has more than paid off. 

Beyond its seemingly infinite nut and plant milk offerings, Elmhurst has become a go-to brand for dairy-free creamers in artisanal flavors (Vanilla Lavender, anyone?). But for days when you’re rushing out the door and don’t have time to make a quick cup, let alone stop at your local coffee shop, Elmhurst’s new line of lattes offers a much-needed caffeine kick in standout flavors. With four different milk bases—oat, cashew, pistachio, and walnut—there’s a latte for everyone. Take your pick between Brown Sugar Oat, Caramel Cashew, Pistachio Crème (a staff favorite!), and Maple Walnut. Serve iced or froth it up for a steamy latte. 
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8 OmniFoods lion’s mane mushroom steak

After cementing its rank as Asia’s top vegan pork brand, Omni Foods’ 2021 US debut was monumental. Restaurants embraced the new porky alternatives—dubbed “vegan Spam” by foodies nationwide—and a subsequent retail debut officially unleashed plant-based pork to the masses. Three years later, OmniFoods continues rolling out frozen goods that span from savory bao buns to crispy spring rolls and chewy potstickers. 

And now, the brand has reached new heights while banking on the ever-present trend of whole-cut meat slices with the new Lion’s Mane Mushroom Steak. This whole-food alternative to processed vegan meat products doesn’t fall short of its food tech counterparts—it’s juicy, meaty, crisps up just like beef, and boasts all the nutritional benefits of mushrooms. So, it’s no wonder this innovative product has earned OmniFoods its second Best of Show award. 


9 Konscious Foods kimbap

Konscious Foods may have just launched in 2023, but already, it’s clear this sustainable seafood company is one to watch. Founded by Yves Potvin, the mastermind behind Gardein and Yves Veggie Protein, this plant-based seafood line earned top billing last year after debuting first-of-its-kind frozen sushi, onigiri, and poke bowls—rightfully earning the new vegan company a Best of Show award. 

And this year, Konscious Foods wowed yet again with its Kimbap Korean Veggie Rice Roll—a toothsome roll packed with seasoned rice, mushroom protein, pickled cucumber, marinated carrots, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, and don’t forget the spicy sriracha mayo. The brand’s new smoked salmon shouldn’t be overlooked either. It’s clear this innovative, category-disrupting brand is just getting started. 


10 Blue Zones Kitchen frozen meals

What if we said you could have nutritious, vegan meals within minutes? And what if they could help you live to 100? Thanks to Blue Zones Kitchen, this isn’t another hunger-fueled daydream. 

The health-forward brand has created a line of vegan, ready-to-heat meals designed to make eating for longevity a breeze. Inspired by the groundbreaking research of Dan Buettner—the bestselling author and National Geographic fellow best known for identifying lifestyle habits shared by the world’s five oldest and healthiest populations—the chefs at Blue Zones Kitchen have formulated internationally inspired bowls using ingredients, recipes, and flavors routinely enjoyed in the Blue Zones. 

Whether you opt for a Mushroom Birria Bowl, the flavors of Korean Bibimbap, or a Sesame Ginger Bowl, you can be certain that your choice is chock-full of healthy, whole-food ingredients and essential nutrients. Humdrum microwaveable meals lacking in flavor and nutrition, your days are numbered. 


11 Holi Scoops cookie dough-wrapped ice cream bonbons

At ice cream company Holi Scoops, “better for you” doesn’t equate to lackluster pints that you’ll eventually relegate to the back of the freezer—in fact, the reality is far from that. 

Formulated with adaptogens that fight the harmful effects of stress (think chaga, lion’s mane, and maca) this woman-owned brand churns out velvety ice cream sweetened with ingredients such as dates and vanilla bean instead of added sugar. Double Chocolate Chipper and Conscious Coffee are just two of the indulgent pints you’ll find; and while we can’t get enough of this truly delicious ice cream, it’s the brand’s latest innovation that’s causing a stir. 

Reminiscent of mochi ice cream, Holi Scoops’ Discos feature scoops of the brand’s luscious ice cream wrapped in supple cookie dough for a frozen dessert that rivals your trusty go-to. And with flavors like Vanilla Snickerdoodle Cookie, Peanut Butter Cup, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, you can’t go wrong. 


12 UMYUM artisanal cheeses

It bears repeating: vegan cheese has come a long way. From cheddar slices to mozzarella shreds that actually melt to artisanal dairy-free cheese wheels, the dark ages of plant-based cheese are far behind us. And with so many tasty options to choose from, the bar has never been higher … until now. 

Canada-based UMYUM is changing everything we know about vegan cheese. Among its lineup, you’ll find animal-free reimaginings of classics such as sheep’s milk Roquefort blue cheese and bloomy Camembert. But don’t turn away from the innovative coffee ground-encrusted cheese wheels. Tangy, creamy, nutty, and crunchy—it’s everything we’ve ever wanted in vegan cheese and so much more.

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Here at VegNews, we live and breathe the vegan lifestyle, and only recommend products we feel make our lives amazing. Occasionally, articles may include shopping links where we might earn a small commission. In no way does this effect the editorial integrity of VegNews.

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