Which Is The Best Vegan Supermarket?
Is it one of the big supermarket chains?
We take a deep dive into who we think is the best supermarket for vegans – and why.
With over 620,000 people trying Veganuary in 2022, the explosive rise of veganism in the UK is clearly a trend that’s set to continue.
In the past, being a vegetarian or vegan made shopping and eating out really difficult, with limited ranges and most suitable specialist foods being bland or very expensive, or both!
Today, we vegans are spoilt for choice, with supermarkets and restaurants from independent to mainstream doing all they can to cater for plant based diets, from dedicated own-brand vegan ranges and plant based menus to stocking foods from leading vegan producers.
Despite this amazing progress, those that want to follow a plant based diet may still face challenges when shopping such as high prices, limited stock, and extra time spent scrutinising ingredient labels.
To help ensure your next vegan shopping experience is as stress-free as possible, our latest blog post takes a look at the best vegan supermarkets in the UK.
Where do Vegans Shop UK?
Previously limited to health shops and other specialist retailers, shopping as a vegan in the past was expensive and offered a limited choice.
Now, vegans can walk into almost any supermarket or food outlet in the UK and should find at least a small range of items that are suitable for them.
With mainstream supermarkets now offering dedicated ranges, vegans are able to get most of their shopping at high-street supermarkets.
Another popular option is ordering online, either from a traditional supermarket or a dedicated vegan supermarket.
Which UK Supermarket is Best for Vegans?
If you decide to do your shopping in supermarkets, you will find a varied amount of vegan products available at the 5 biggest stores in the UK (Tesco, Aldi, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons).
To give you an idea of the number of products that are vegan, we have reviewed the supermarket’s ranges as well as the number of results returned for the search term ‘vegan’ on the supermarket’s online ordering facilities.
As the largest supermarket in the UK, it’s perhaps no surprise that Tesco was one of the early adopters of plant-based foods, being the first to launch a fully plant based range in partnership with Wicked Kitchen in 2018.
As well as their Wicked Kitchen range which was brought to the supermarket by Derek Sarno, the supermarket’s own Director of Plant Based Innovation, Tesco also has their own ‘Plant Chef’ range which offers lower priced plant based meals.
In terms of their online presence, a search for ‘vegan’ on Tesco’s online shop currently returns 389 results ranging from groceries and ready meals to hygiene and cleaning products.
Throughout Veganuary 2022, Tesco launched its largest ever vegan meal deal, allowing shoppers to pick up a main for two, a side and a dessert for just £8. This contributed to sales of their plant based range more than doubling during the month.
Furthermore, in 2021, it was announced that Tesco would be closing the meat, fish and deli counters at 317 stores due to low demand for the products.
Given this trend and the commercial value to the business, it is hard to envision a future where Tesco does not continue to increase the number of plant-based foods that are available in its stores.
Does Tesco Have a Vegan Section?
Yes, most Tesco stores (depending on the size) have a dedicated vegan and vegetarian section which includes products from a range of well know suppliers such as Quorn and Linda McCartney as well as their own Wicked and Plant Chef ranges.
Budget retailer Aldi has become one of the UK’s most popular supermarkets thanks to its commitment to low prices on a huge range of products.
Aldi offers a wide selection of vegan friendly products including groceries, ready meals, frozen foods, food to go and much more.
Because the majority of the vegan food available at Aldi is own brand (including their dedicated ‘Plant Menu’ range), Aldi arguably offers the best value on vegan food out of the major supermarkets.
On their online shop, Aldi has 95 products that are listed as vegan, as well as having a dedicated category for their vegan range and a selection of vegan friendly recipes.
Is Aldi vegan Friendly?
Yes, Aldi is a vegan friendly supermarket with several products that are suitable for those following a plant based diet. Shoppers can expect to find a wide range of products in their stores at a lower cost than other leading supermarkets.
Sainsburys is the second largest supermarket in the UK by market share, with over 1,400 stores across the country.
The supermarket made a notable shift to eating better in 2021 by changing their motto from “Live Well for Less” to “Helping Everyone Eat Better” which comes after it was revealed that only 25% of people in the UK eat five pieces of fruit and veg per day!
As well as well known brands such as Linda McCartney, Birds Eye, and Taste & Glory, the supermarket has their own range of vegan foods known as ‘Plant Pioneers’. Throughout Veganuary 2022, the supermarket added 20 new vegan products to its Plant Pioneers range.
On their online shop, Sainsbury’s has 859 products that are listed as vegan, note that this includes ‘accidentally vegan’ products as well as those that are specifically catering to a plant based diet.
Asda has over 600 locations in the UK and is the third biggest supermarket in the country by market share percentage.
In 2021, Asda was named Vegan Retailer of the Year in the 2021 Quality Food Awards for their own brand products and the launch of the ‘vegan ambient aisles’.
For Veganuary 2022, the supermarket unveiled a range of brand new vegan products including steaks, sausages and burgers. Additionally, the supermarket offered rollback offers on many popular vegan products.
On Asda’s online shop, you will find 1941 products for the search term ‘vegan’. Note that similar to Sainsburys, this also includes accidently vegan products.
With over 500 stores, Morrisons is the fourth biggest supermarket in the UK by market share and is also one of the oldest supermarkets in the country, first opening in 1899.
Compared with the other popular supermarkets, Morrisons has been slower to offer more options for vegans, with a historically smaller range of products available.
However, for Veganuary 2022, Morrisons launched their own vegan range called ‘Plant Revolution’ which was developed by the supermarket’s chefs following customer feedback.
There are currently 856 products listed as vegan on their online shop, 48 of these are part of the own brand Plant Revolution range.
Best Vegan Supermarket Near Me
Shoppers should be aware that the products listed on a supermarket website is often the most complete range and stores will almost always have a small selection of the products listed online.
Generally, you can expect to find larger vegan ranges at the bigger stores such as Tesco Extra. On the other hand, ranges available at convenience locations such as Tesco Express are limited to essential groceries such as milk, spreads and food on the go.
All major supermarkets have a ‘store locator’ feature available online which provides the location of nearby stores based on your location.
Beyond supermarkets, greengrocers and health food shops are great places to pick up vegan food and you’ll also find plenty of great produce from independent vendors at markets.
Best Online Vegan Supermarket UK
Of course, for those following a completely based diet, much of the stock found in supermarkets is not suitable for them which can contribute to a stressful shopping experience.
Fortunately, specialist online vegan supermarkets stock 100% vegan foods from leading manufacturers, all delivered direct to your door!
Here at Vegan Supermarket UK we’re on a mission to provide the best vegan shopping experience for everyone. Here are some of the top reasons to shop at Vegan Supermarket UK instead of a traditional supermarket:
- No need to spend time checking labels for ingredients that are not vegan, a common ingredient that often causes frustration is milk powder which is used in hundreds of foods and usually only spotted by examining the ingredients list closely.
- Because less stock is ordered, it can be more expensive to shop at traditional supermarkets for vegan food rather than specialist online stores.
- Similarly, the lower levels of stock might mean that you can’t always get the foods you want when shopping at a regular supermarket.
- If you use click and collect or delivery services, it is often the case that if your vegan product is not available, it will be subbed with a ‘similar product’, which in some cases will not be vegan.
- Specialist online vegan stores have access to thousands of vegan products, many of which are from smaller producers which you cannot find in mainstream supermarkets.
Best Vegan Products UK 2021
2021 was a great year for vegan food with a number of new products being launched throughout Veganuary and the rest of the year. Just a few of the highlights from supermarkets across the UK included:
- Aldi’s expansion of the Plant Menu range
- Co-op doubling the amount of products in their Gro range
- M&S expansion of the Plant Kitchen range
- Lidl launch new vegan range starting from 99p
- Asda add several new products to their plant based range
- Tesco launch their first plant-based bakery lines
There were also hugely successful launches by high street chains such as Dominos, Greggs, Costa, Frankie & Benny’s, Las Iguanas, and more!
Shop Our Huge Range Today
As you can see, the major supermarkets are expanding their vegan ranges at a rapid rate to keep up with the demand that they are seeing.
We are delighted to see the growing range of vegan products that are now available in supermarkets across the UK and hope this trend continues.
If you are struggling to get hold of vegan products at your local supermarket, ordering them from a dedicated vegan supermarket gives you access to thousands of products at your fingertips.
At Vegan Supermarket UK, we offer a huge range of products including food and drink, household items, beauty products, clothing and so much more.
The key thing to remember about us, is we only sell vegan AND cruelty free products.
For instance, we won’t sell vegan perfume that has been tested on animals.