2022 Planted Expo: 8 Canadian vegan products you have to try

2022 Planted Expo: 8 Canadian vegan products you have to try

Planted Facebook

This year’s Planted Expo in Vancouver had rows upon rows of Canadian companies presenting plant-based products at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. The vendors focused on handmade and homemade products, sustainability, and plant-based locally grown ingredients. From eggs and soy-free tofu made from beans, dips made from chickpea water, to fish made from carrots, these were some of the most interesting samples we got to taste.

Cooking vegan meat

The environmental and health components of each brand were emphasized selling points of each product. First off, cooking vegan means no animal products, reducing gas emissions, deforestation, air and water pollution, animal cruelty, and farmers in harmful and dangerous working environments. Many products were promoting their fair trade certification, non GMO products, environmental donations, upcycling, less processing, while others promoted their ingredients as most important, such as the first few ingredients being beans or produce, products being allergen-friendly, organic, or gluten-free, and made with local products with high nutritional value. 

Tasting Victoria had the opportunity of visiting this year’s Planted Expo. We were in a room with over 200 vegan companies, some startups, while others have been established and selling for years online or in local grocery stores. 

The crowds who were either bustling up and down the lanes, lining up to sample, and seated listening to guest speakers opened my eyes to the growing commitment by people doing their best to lead long, healthy lives. As people are caring more about the environment, the ingredients in their food, and their health it’s evident how important these events are for the community. It’s obvious that people will always be shifting into new lifestyles like vegetarian, vegan, keto and many more, and events like these keep these lifestyles exciting, sustainable, and inventive. Here’s a list of local and Canadian owned companies who presented at the Planted Expo Vancouver 2022 and some fun facts about their products you may have seen at your local grocery stores before.

1. Yoggu

From Vancouver, BC
They make: Coconut yogurt

Yoggu makes alternative yogurt from coconuts, fermentation, and microbes. They focus on simple, organic, good for the gut ingredients while practicing sustainability in the creation of their coconut yogurt. 

  • Female owned
  • Inspired by yogurt in France 
  • Craft-fermentation is the magic behind the thick, creamy, and super probiotic alternative yogurt
  • Vancouver-based company producing in Coquitlam, BC 
  • Works with Fair Trade Certified coconut partner for responsibly sourced ingredients
  • Less water involved in growing coconuts than feeding cows
  • Sweetened by natural sweeteners which have undergone minimal processing
  • Their original yogurt has only 3 ingredients: organic coconut cream, Agar, Non-Dairy Probiotic Cultures

yoggu.ca
@yoggu.foods

2. GoGo Quinoa 

From Quebec
They make: Quinoa snacks and pasta

GoGo Quinoa tests and sells products that serve quinoa to its best potential. Selling quinoa products for almost every aisle, their quinoa creations range from cereal and pancake mix to cookies, chips, and pasta. Explore this superfood from their quinoa inventions that bring the taste as high as the nutritional value. 

  • Fully tested and certified NON GMO, gluten free, PAREVE, organic, and free from the main 12 Canadian allergens 
  • Created, developed, and launched more than 60 products made from organic quinoa grains
  • In 2004, GoGo Quinoa was the first company to import organic quinoa into Canada
  • Aside from pure quinoa they sell puffed chips (resembling cheeto puffs), cookies, mac and cheese, and cereal products
  • Their quinoa grains are sourced directly from the Andes in South America

gogoquinoa.com
@gogoquinoa 

3. Justo’s 

From Victoria, BC
They make: Plant-based dips

Justo’s makes craft dips from a variety of hummus to tzatziki, ranch, salsa, and queso without artificial preservatives and additives. This vegan company creates dips with priority on leaving a positive impact on people and the planet by sourcing ingredients in Canada while working with local farmers.

  • Their “Hummus Helps” program ensures that for every jar sold, someone is fed 1 serving at a community shelter, and for every empty jar returned, the donation is doubled. 
  • All produce is made from Canadian sources, in cooperation with local farmers to make use of excess crops
  • Justo’s team consists of 60% women
  • Packaging in glass jars instead of single-use plastic
  • Founded by a group of 22-year-olds

justos.ca
@justos.ca

4. Level Ground

From Victoria, BC
They make: Coffee, tea, and dried fruit.

Level Ground sells coffee blends inspired by international beans, producing unique roasts for anyone’s coffee preferences. Partnering with co-ops, their focus on sustainable sourcing is cared for in creating their organic, smooth, consistent coffees. 

  • They have been roasting Coffee on Vancouver Island since 1997
  • You can take a “coffee quiz” that recommends a coffee based on your preferences
  • All products are vegan, vegetarian, kosher certified, certified organic
  • They are allergy and food intolerance friendly since their products don’t contain eggs, seafood, dairy, peanuts, wheat and many more.
  • They have a subscription system where you can save up to 15% off
  • They have a tasting room in Victoria where you can taste any of their coffees while enjoying Victoria’s views of mountains, oceans, and countryside

levelground.com
@Levelgroundtrading

5. Big Mountain Food Company

From: Vancouver, BC
They make: Plant-based meat and substitutes

Big Mountain Food Company creates products with simple ingredients for plant-based meal creations. They sell vegan sausage links, veggie crumbles, soy-free tofu breakfast bites, and burger substitutes to add flavour and nutrients to any dish. 

  • Family and women-owned since 1987
  • Made with 100% vegetables, making the products a good source of fiber
  • Soy-free, cruelty-free, halal-certified, dairy-free, and gluten-free
  • Their soy-free tofu is made from fava beans having 95% more protein than soy-tofu brands
  • They have recipes available for each of their products on their website

bigmountainfoods.com
@bigmountainfoods

6. Save Da Sea 

From: Victoria, BC
They make: Plant-based seafood 

Save Da Sea creates plant-based seafood products including smoked salmon, smoked salmon with dill capers, and tuna. Using wholesome ingredients that imitate the texture and taste of fish, their fish substitutes focus on being better for people and the planet to reduce environmental impact. 

  • Reducing environmental impact by not killing fish as “scientists predict our oceans will collapse by the year 2048 as said on their website
  • Made from 9 ingredients with the first ingredient being carrots that mimic the texture of salmon
  • Soy-free and gluten-free
  • Can buy online on the Very Good Butchers website
  • Uses locally sourced bull kelp 

savedasea.com
@savedasea

Picture from: Planted Facebook

7. Fresh Prep 

From: Vancouver, BC
They make: locally sourced food subscription

Fresh Prep is a food delivery service dropping off fresh ingredients and recipes to your doorstep. Save waste, money, and time, with this service offering 10 new recipes a week and as low as $10.50 a serving. 

  • 50% of dishes to choose from are vegetarian or vegan
  • They use seasonal ingredients 
  • Sent in reusable, insulated, and sanitized freezer bags reducing waste (not cardboard)
  • Carbon neutral deliveries
  • In meat product meals, poultry is antibiotic-free and seafood is OceanWise Recommended and MSC Certified
  • The culinary team curates a new menu weekly and sources from local suppliers
  • Includes a Zero Waste Kit option that cut out plastics

freshprep.ca
@freshprep.ca

8. Very Good Food Company

From Victoria, BC 
They make: Plant-based meat and cheese

The Very Good Butchers was created by founders and chefs who were fed up by overly processed meat alternatives. They’re on a mission to show that making good choices doesn’t mean sacrificing flavour. From burgers and hot dogs to charcuterie boards and meatballs, The Very Good Food Company makes veganism exciting and inclusive.

  • They appeared and got a deal with two dragons for 750k for 10% of their business on Dragon’s Den
  • Their website offers recipes on their products
  • They have a YouTube channel that have short, funny, easy to follow, and inventive how-to cook tutorials 
  • Many of their products are gluten-free and soy-free

verygoodbutchers.com
@theverygoodbutchers

Planted Expo

plantedlife.com
@plantedexpo

Written by

Annika Olson

Intern at Tasting Victoria