We know that finding vegan food conveniently can be a challenge, so to celebrate Veganuary we’ve pulled together some pointers on the options you can find in your local Co-op. It’s not just hummous and carrot sticks – you can also find vegan wines, new ready meals, doughnuts and dairy-free milk.

On Co-op own brand products, look out for the “V” symbol which simply indicates vegan and vegetarian products.

If you’re on the go at lunch time why not try our falafel salad or wrap? Or how about our new raw rainbow salad which contains cauliflower cous cous with butternut squash, courgette, kale and radicchio, chopped dates and pomegranate with a beetroot dressing.

To satisfy a sweet tooth with a treat, our jam doughnuts are delicious and vegan. Perfect with a cuppa.

We’ve also expanded our ready meal options to include convenient vegan options too.

There’s a new balanced mushroom risotto, mixed mushrooms with risotto rice, quinoa and brown rice served with butternut squash, spinach and pumpkin seeds. Or why not try our balanced sweet potato falafel (Sweet potato falafel with cooked mixed rice, kale, chickpeas and tomato and chilli dressing). As well as being vegan, these balanced ready meals will also contribute to your 5 a day and provide great sources of fibre and protein.

food-rawsalad

We also stock a number of branded products which carry the Vegan Society logo – including some tempting little chocolate pots.  And of course we have all your cupboard staples, from kidney beans to tinned tomatoes, spices and fresh veg to rustle up some hearty stews.

food-sweet-potato

A vegan tipple

Did you know that we clearly label whether our wines are vegan? You can find out more on our website. Visit drinkaware.co.uk for the facts about alcohol.

Staying healthy

If you are following a vegan diet, make sure you are keeping a balanced intake of all your key food groups– the Government’s Eat Well guide shows you what your breakdown should be and encourages us to eat more beans and pulses – there are some great ways to get protein through beans, pulses and nuts.

Inspiration

Looking for some tasty vegan meal ideas? You can find a whole host at coop.co.uk/recipes or check out our Co-op Food magazine which always features meat free recipes.

Why try Vegan?

Moving towards a more plant based diet can have benefits for your personal health and the health of the planet. The lower the meat, fish and dairy content, the lower the environmental impact – and the more important it is that reduced meat intakes are replaced with increases in the quantity and diversity of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and pulses.

If you want to find out more about some of the environmental and health benefits of reducing meat intake check out the Eating Better Coalition website.

You can also calculate your carbon footprint and see how you match up against the UK average.

Sarah Wakefield
Food Sustainability Manger

Join the conversation! 29 Comments

  1. This is all good news.
    34 years ago, when I first became a veggie, the CoOp was the ONLY supermarket that I could easily find things to eat within (oh, the joy of finding soya milk… even though it was £1.49 a carton. Now, three decades later it’s still £1.49 a carton). You kinda fell by the wayside over time, such that the only thing I would be there for was the own-lable wine, which was clearly marked. Finding a decent range of veggie and vegan chilled and pre-prepared food became nigh impossible. It would be brilliant if you are ‘stepping up to the plate’ once more.
    The other major retailers now carry vegan wines (though only Sainsburys consistently label the shelves clearly for wines not on their own labels) and have even begun to stock vegan cheese. How are you folks coming along with those kinds of things?

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  2. I do a lot more of my shopping at the Co op since going vegan, I like that so many of their household products like laundry and cleaning products are clearly labelled as free from animal ingredients and suitable for vegans whilst being very good value (no more expensive than non-vegan products). Foodwise I would really appreciate if the Co op could expand the frozen selection to include vegan quorn, and some kind of vegan mince as that is such a staple ingredient for so many dishes. In the chilled section some less well known vegan cheeses would be really nice 🙂

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  3. I run a Vegan Supermarket ‘finds’ group on Facebook – we have nearly 30,000 members now – we were adding approx 300 a day over December into the New Year and are at around a 100 per day – look us up – lots of people sharing their finds from their daily shops . . . Vegan Supermarket Finds UK.

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  4. >tempting little chocolate pots
    These sound interesting, what brand are they?

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  5. Good news but it would be great if you could stock the best vegan cheese ever…Violife ..esp the cream cheese. The other two big leading supermarkets are stocking it and recording good sales.
    There is also a range of mince and other bits by a company called V Bites. They are wonderful.
    Oh and the range from Amy’s …
    Please co.op keep up but thanks for the few bits you do already stock for vegans

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  6. When you say the jam donuts are vegan do you mean the ones that come in the brown paper bags with 4-5 donuts in? Or that there are some different ones that are specifically vegan? It’s great that you are sticking more vegan lines – on your own stuff (such as the donuts if the ones in the brown paper bags are vegan) would it be possible for you to start putting they are vegan on the packaging rather than just vegetarian? It can sometimes be confusing if it says vegetarian but the ingredients look vegan – I tend to err on the side of caution and not buy because doesn’t specify vegan. Thanks, Julie 🙂

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    • Hi Julie, you’re right. These are the ones in the brown bag. We’ll take your feedback on bard around the labelling of the product. Thanks ^SB

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  7. Can you tell us why you discontinued the custard donuts, which were delicious and vegan?

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  8. The stepney green Co Op vegan and vegetarian options are beyond pathetic….Nothing is ever in stock and your choice is one type of falafel and tofu! And these items are in stock once a week if your lucky. The mile end co op is even worse and often has nothing at all.

    I honestly cant wait for the Sainsburys on Globe road to open so that I have more choice. They seem to have upped their game so much more and provide a lot more options.

    seriously disappointing …Don’t know where all of these options that you talk about are because i’m yet to see any changes or improvements.

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    • Hi Samantha, I’m sorry to read this, which products would you like to see stocked in your local? ^SB

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      • I think there is so many empty spaces on the shelves for a lot more items to be stocked….On any given day an entire double fridge is always empty beneath the one tiny vegan food fridge shelf and the dairy fridges are always half empty…to start more international foods would be amazing…falafel /soy based products etc and international sauces and cooking ingrediants. And grains! you cant even buy quinoa …it really does need a huge product overhaul

        Also the vege section needs a huge upgrade!

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  9. Thanks for this article. I went vegan for January this year and having found the main challenge of my Veganuary experience to be supermarket labelling (or lack of), I decided to do a little research. Following a little frustration that various supermarket chains seemed to lack readily available dietary information about their in-store bakery produce, I focused on this.

    I set about emailing each of the leading supermarket chains and asked each of them if they could provide a list of their bakery items that are suitable for vegans, so that I knew what I could buy. Responses are in….and I’m pleased to say I gave the Coop the number 1 place!

    My reason for this is the Coop was the only supermarket to answer my question exactly, providing a document listing all of the Coops in store bakery products, both breads and cakes, with columns showing the ingredients, allergen info, and if suitable for vegans or vegetarians.

    Unfortunately the local Coop stores to me are all small ones, so they don’t actually stock many vegan products (can I suggest tofu becomes a staple in all size stores?) and it’s a real shame the Coop don’t offer online shopping. However, you answered my question in a clear way which I appreciated, and I’ve noticed your suitable for vegans labelling, all of which is a long way from some of your competitors at the bottom of my list. Of course this is just based on my individual experience, but I am someone who has shopped many times for food at all the chains I contacted as I like to mix things up, plus I am an example of many people trying their best to eat vegan. My hope of this research was to just add to the collective efforts around the country to improve food labelling. Perhaps as the Coop has this info, it could simple be shown on the fresh bakery produce shelf labels in the future…?

    Anyway, anyone can read the full blog post on my website Smile Being You which is all about helping others enhance their wellbeing and happiness:
    http://www.smilebeingyou.com/a-veganuary-january-supermarket-bakery-produce/

    Happy shopping all 🙂

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  10. My local Co Op is useless for vegan stuff , soya milk & houmous is as far as it gets !

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    • My local store is small but it is stocking the new ready meals, the vegan wrap, and there’s some Cauldron tofu and falafels. The spring rolls and Indian snack selection usually end up in the basket too. The “curated” selection means I’m usually forced into buying fruit and veg rather than rely on processed food, so they are probably doing me a favour. Cheaper soya milk would be good though.

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    • I’m sorry to hear that, Angela. Have you spoken to your local Store Manager about potentially ordering Vegan products in? ^Jordan

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  11. Bring back the vegan ice buns and the little ice buns with the jam in the middle! They were vegan heaven! I mainly shop for vegan friendly household cleaners from the co op aswell as the doughnuts obviously but the actual vegan food range is really poor 🙁

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  12. Are coop free from chocolate buttons nut free, i know they are dairy free so suitable for vegans, my little son and i have alot of allergies so can be realy rather difficult when shopping.

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  13. It would be lovely to have an up to date list of your vegan products as I think this is a little out of date now https://www.co-operativefood.co.uk/globalassets/contact-us/updated-vegan-list–10-03-14.pdf

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  14. Hello,

    I really like your hummus and falafel wrap but it seems to be the only item that is not included in the meal deal? Is there any reason why this is not included?

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    • Same here. I really enjoyed the wrap but as you say it is not included in the Meal Deal items and it should be, to ensure fairness all round.

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  15. Great to hear about the vegan products on your shelves. It would be great if you could make more of your own-brand products vegan, such as salt & vinegar crisps, margarine & crumpets. And how about a vegan pizza option…? 🙂

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Food, Food Policy