If you’re selling food online, one of the biggest markets to avoid overlooking is that of vegans, along with vegetarians and selectarians. Many diet-conscious shoppers out there are always looking for the best alternatives to meat-based protein sources.

The vegan market alone is growing exponentially, with the market projected to expand to $61.35 billion in 2028 from $26.16 billion in 2021. That doesn’t even account for vegetarians, selectarians or pescatarians. You’ll be able to dramatically increase your sales if you can target these consumers with compelling food options.

The following are some popular options to consider, giving you some ideas for alternative proteins incorporate into your product offerings!

1. Tofu

Tofu is a popular replacement for meat in many recipes, and it’s also commonly used in desserts. It’s made from soybeans like edamame and tempeh, which are also common meat alternatives.

Specifically, you can make tofu using compressed bean curds. It’s relatively tasteless when isolated, but it complements many other flavors.

As mentioned, you can also try other soybean-based alternatives such as tempeh and edamame. Edamame consists of soybeans that haven’t fully grown, and they feature a slightly grassy and sweet taste. They’re best prepared either boiled or steamed.

2. Lentils

Lentils are also often used in place of meat. Cooked lentils provide around 18 grams of protein per cup along with half of the recommended daily amount of fiber.

Like tofu, lentils are highly versatile and work with many types of foods, especially salads, curries, and soups.

3. Seitan

Another popular alternative is seitan, which consists of gluten—which is why it’s only ideal for those without celiac disease or other related disorders. In addition to protein, this food also provides iron, phosphorus, calcium, and a high amount of selenium.

What sets seitan apart from other types of alternative proteins is its appearance and mouthfeel. When cooked, it often looks like and has the same texture as meat.

4. Grains

Perhaps surprising to some, many grains offer great protein sources in addition to carbohydrates. There are many types of grains that offer ample protein, including oats, quinoa, barley, millet, teff, and amaranth. Many of these add as many as five grams of protein to a meal.

 

5. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds come from the cannabis plant, specifically Cannabis sativa. Unlike the plant itself, however, hemp seeds lack the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for cannabis’s mind-altering effects.

In addition to protein, hemp seeds are a good source of selenium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and iron. You can also get a decent amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

6. Chia Seeds

Another type of seed you can use is the chia seed. These seeds contain around six grams of protein per 1.25 ounces, though they are more commonly known as a source of fiber. Other nutrients found in chia seeds include calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids, similar to hemp seeds and others.

7. Nutritional Yeast

Derived from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strain, nutritional yeast lends a cheesy taste to many dishes. It typically comes in flakes or powder and complements foods like tofu, pasta, and potatoes.

Apart from protein, nutritional yeast offers plenty of copper, magnesium, zinc, vitamins B and B12, and manganese.

8. Certain Vegetables

Vegetables don’t typically provide huge amounts of protein, but a diet rich in them will provide sufficient protein. Sweet yellow corn, brussels sprouts, bok choy, watercress, and spinach all provide up to five grams to a meal.

9. Nuts

You can also find protein in different types of nuts and legumes. Per quarter cup, you can get as much as six to seven grams of protein with pistachios and almonds, among other nuts. Peanuts offer the highest amount of protein of any nut, although they’re technically a legume. With peanuts, you can get about nine grams of protein per quarter cup.

10. Plant-based Liquids

If you want to sell some beverages that cater to vegan or vegetarian diets, there are a few different options available. Some of these options include pea and soy milk, which offer similar amounts of protein to dairy milk. They’re also available with varying levels of sweetness.

Choose the Right Options for Your Audience

You can connect with vegans, vegetarians, and selectarians with some of these and other plant-based options. Take some time to research your market and audience to find out which alternative proteins are best to integrate into your offerings.

If you would like some assistance with growing your business and appealing to your audience with winning strategies, connect with Gray Growth Logistics. Reach out to us and find out what we can do for your business today.