More vegan products go mainstream

PD_ChocolateObsessionLast week a newly renovated Dominick’s grocery store opened on the Northside of Chicago. Normally I shop at Whole Foods, but the lure of a $10 off coupon on a purchase of $50 pushed me to check out the new store. (This was not part of the Whole Foods boycott. Frankly, I just wanted to save some dough.) It’s not that I have anything against Dominick’s, or the local Jewel for that matter, it’s just that Whole Foods is one-stop shopping for me and convenience is the name of my game.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this new Dominick’s to be very vegan-friendly. It carried more organic fruits and vegetables including a large selection of perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes for 3.99/lb (with my Fresh Card). These types of tomatoes can run 5.99/lb. at Whole Foods. Vegetarian/vegan faux meats and tofu products were prominently displayed at the end of one isle in a refrigerated case dedicated to veg products. It also carried more vegan brands of cosmetics and household cleaners then I have seen before at other Dominick’s. This is all very exciting.

The store is much closer to home then Whole Foods and perhaps I will save some money on my weekly shopping. But the most exciting and unexpected find was soy ice cream. Not just Tofutti bars but Soy Delicious brand ice cream. I’m talking the kind that can compete with Ben & Jerry’s. Ice cream has always been my downfall and finding my favorite flavor, Purely Decadent Chocolate Obsession, gave me goose bumps (or was that just because I was standing in front of an open freezer?). Even more exciting then finding the ice cream is knowing that more vegan products will find their way into more omnivore homes just by being sold at Dominick’s. Very exciting indeed.

If you cannot find the veg products you want in your local supermarket, I suggest asking for them at the customer service counter. It is clear that more and more vegan companies are ready, willing, and able to sell their products in the mainstream markets. In the past, many of these companies were too small to accommodate this need but not today. Never underestimate the power of your voice and your dollars.