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I’m a vegan who spent a week cooking with fake meat and fish. Here’s what I made with 7 plant-based alternatives and how I rated them.

September 10, 2021

Sometimes when I bite into a juicy burger, it tastes so much like the real thing that I get paranoid and ask myself: “Is this actually meat?”

Plant-based alternatives have come a long way since I went vegan two-and-a-half years ago. For decades, vegans were confined to rummaging specialist isles in grocery stores to find animal-free foods. Now, these products increasingly sit alongside staple foods in stores.

Burger patties are the most mature fake meat product to date, but I’m generally impressed with the range of alternative foods now on the market. I can bag plant-based pepperoni, shrimp, cheese, and even squirty cream.

Plant-based foods are tipped to steal up to 7.7% share of the global protein market by 2030, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. This would value the sector at $162 billion, up from its 2020 worth of around $29.4 billion.

Established players like the Nasdaq-listed Beyond Meat, California-based Impossible Foods, and alternative milk giant Oatly have captured consumer attention. But there’s a huge amount of choice out there in 2021.

I spent a week eating seven vegan alternatives to see what’s on the market, what’s good, and what’s not. I sourced all of my vegan alternatives from the online UK grocery store The Vegankind Supermarket.

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