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olive vegan supermarket awards 2022

Published: December 23, 2021 at 12:40 pm
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The must-buy winners of our first vegan supermarket awards, including dairy- and meat-alternatives and sweet treats

Welcome to olive’s vegan supermarket awards 2022. Our team of experts blind-tested plant-based supermarket foods across 20 popular categories to bring you our favourites vegan staples. Make your life easier when shopping vegan by looking out for the winners and runners-up in our awards, from milk alternatives to sweet treats.

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For more in-depth taste tests check out olive's guide to the best oat milk, the best almond milk, the best vegan mayonnaise and the best supermarket vegan wine. If you're looking for your favourite foods made vegan, browse our guide to the best vegan chocolate, vegan comfort food recipes and the best vegan pizza.

Wanting some guidance on Veganuary? Look at our list of easy vegan meal ideas for a gentle introduction or, alternatively, treat yourself to a great variety of vegan snacks from our pick of the best vegan hampers. To find out more about meat alternatives, listen to our olive podcast on the 10 things you need to know about meat alternatives. For more supermarket awards, check out the olive summer supermarket awards 2022.


Dairy alternatives

Best oat milk

WINNER

Aldi oat drink, 1L, 79p

This had the deepest oat flavour on test and is creamy without artificial sweetness. Tastes great on its own but would also work well in tea.

Buy now

RUNNER-UP

Tesco Oat Drink, 1L, £1

This is mildly oaty and not sweet. It stands out for its creamy mouthfeel – one of the thicker oat milks.

Buy now


Best soy milk

WINNER

Asda Unsweetened Soya Drink, 1L, 62p

This has a mild soy flavour and is light, fresh and creamy. It was less sweet than others, and it would work well in smoothies or cereal.

Buy now


Best almond milk

WINNER

Asda Free From Long Life Unsweetened Almond Milk, 1L, 85p

This has a balanced level of natural sweetness from the nuts themselves, good toasted almond flavour and was the creamiest in the test.

Buy now

RUNNER-UP

Essential Waitrose Almond Drink, 1L, £1.10

This is quite a thin milk but is creamy with a good roasted almond flavour and pleasant nutty aroma.

Buy now


Best vegan flavoured yogurt

WINNER

M&S Plant Kitchen Vanilla & Coconut Pot, 350g, £2.75

Judges loved this rich, creamy yogurt with its very thick, smooth texture. The coconut flavour is deep and even with the added vanilla – this would work well in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Buy in-store


Best vegan soft cheese

WINNERS

Waitrose Vegan Original Soft Spreadable, 170g, £2.25

For a classic soft cheese, this was very soft with good creaminess and nice sourness.

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Asda Free From Garlic and Herb Soft Cheese Alternative, 170g, £1.50

For a flavoured soft cheese, this has good sourness and herby flavour coming through without being overpowering. The texture was great and could pass for dairy.

Buy now


Meat and fish alternatives

Best vegan sausage roll

WINNER

Aldi, 4 No Sausage Rolls, 400g, £1.19

The golden pastry is crisp and really flaky. The filling could pass for sausage: it's well seasoned, highly peppery and has an appealing ‘meaty’ texture. These are frozen, so keep a box in the freezer ready to cook for easy weekend lunches.

Buy now

RUNNER-UP

Morrisons Vegan Sausage Roll, 120g, £2

These vegan sausage rolls have a nicely seasoned filling and, when cold, it is hard to tell they are vegan.

Buy in-store


Best vegan nuggets or goujons

WINNER

Aldi Indian-Inspired No Chicken Strips, 280g, £1.99

If you like a kick of spice, you’ll like these strips. They're fiery from chillies and you can see whole spices in the coating, which is a nice touch. The coating was crunchy, while the goujons have a meaty texture that feels very close to chicken.

Buy in-store

RUNNER-UP

M&S Plant Kitchen 10 Crispy BBQ Wings, 270g, £3.50

Judges liked the inclusion of the BBQ sauce with these ‘wings’. The coating was crisp and spicy with a chewy, meaty middle

Buy in-store


Best vegan ready meal

WINNER

Waitrose Plantlife: Tikka Masala with Vegetables & Cashews, 380g, £3.50

This is filled with onions and whole veg, with good use of whole spices and well-cooked cauliflower. Tastes almost homemade.

Buy now


Best vegan meatballs

WINNER

Tesco Wicked Kitchen Wicked 12 Spiced Amazeballs, 336g, £2.85

These Italian-inspired meatballs have a distinct tomato flavour, so are not the most versatile but would be perfect in spaghetti and meatballs. Judges liked the firm texture, juiciness and attractive colour once cooked.

Buy now

RUNNER UP

Aldi Plant Menu Meat-Free Meatballs, 228g, 99p

A versatile meatball that could be used in lots of different dishes, these are well seasoned and firm on the outside but soft in the middle.

Buy in-store


Best vegan mince

WINNER

Aldi Meat-Free Mince, 400g, £1.19

This would absorb flavour well if simmered and has a nice bounce to it that is reminiscent of meat with a savoury, umami flavour.

Buy in-store


Best vegan sausages

WINNERS

M&S Plant Kitchen 4 Posh Dogs, 320g, £3.50

Although pretty soft textured, this tasted like a classic supermarket sausage, with an authentic ‘meaty’ flavour. They would be great for breakfast in a vegan fry up, or in sausages and mash.

Buy in-store

Tesco Plant Chef, 6 Cumberland Style Sausages, 350g, £1.45

These have an authentic banger look with good colouring and clear herbs. It has traditional sage and onion flavouring and judges thought the texture would stand up well in a sausage sandwich or casserole.

Buy now


Best vegan fish alternative

WINNER

Sainsbury’s, Plant Pioneers No Salmon Fillet, 240g, £4

This vegan version of salmon is rich and dense on its own, but would be great in fishcakes or flaked in a burrito. It flakes well and judges liked the extra touch of the seaweed salmon ‘skin’.

Buy now


Sweet treats and bakes

Best vegan chocolate ice cream

WINNER

Aldi Chocolate Brownie Vegan Ice Cream, 500ml, £1.99

Thick and creamy, with rich cocoa flavour - it could pass for dairy ice cream. The chewy brownie pieces are an enjoyable extra addition.

Buy now


Best vegan bake

WINNER

Tesco Wicked Kitchen Belgian chocolate and raspberry cake, £8

This indulgent cake had the best deep chocolate flavour that we tried, plus a fudgy texture. Judges liked the simple raspberry decoration, too.

Buy now


Best vegan dessert

WINNER

Waitrose & Partners Plantlife chocolate and caramel pots, 2 x 100g, £2

These have a lovely light mousse, with chocolate flakes adding extra texture, these are rich butterscotch notes from the caramel balanced by the dark chocolate mousse for a decadent dessert that's not too sweet.

Buy now


Best vegan chocolate

WINNERS

Aldi vegan chocolate bunnies, 120g, £2.99

Both the dark and milk bunnies melt in the mouth but judges preferred the latter. The salted caramel filling inside is dark and well salted.

Buy in-store

Asda Extra Special dark chocolate mint indulgence bar, 100g, £1.40

This thin bar has a good snap and is very smooth and creamy, with a silky mouthfeel - judges commented that they wouldn't know it was free-from. The mint flavour is clear, reminding judges of After Eights.

Buy now


Best vegan biscuits

WINNERS

Tesco Wicked Kitchen Double Trouble chocolate cookies, 180g, £1.50

Good crunch, strong chocolate flavour and creamy chocolate chips.

Buy now

M&S Plant Kitchen chewy cherry bakewell cookie, 200g, £1.50

This has a strong almond extract flavour but bakewell fans will enjoy it. Inspired by an oatmeal raisin cookie, with a good chew from the oats and chunks of cherry.

Buy in-store


Wine

Best vegan white wine

WINNER

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Coteaux du Giennois, £11

This is light on the palate with hints of oak and a good balance between sweet and sharp. An easy to sip glass.

Buy now


Best vegan red wine

WINNER

Waitrose & Partners Terre di Falano Primitivo Organic, £9.99

This oaky bottle stood out for being well balanced, with sweet and tart notes. It's also smooth to drink.

Buy now


How we chose our winners

The olive team chose 20 categories across dairy alternatives, meat alternatives and sweet treats and bakes, to have you covered with the best vegan products for all occasions. The supermarkets then selected the products they wanted to nominate (only one product was allowed per category). Every product was prepared according to pack instructions and our expert panel of judges blind-tasted them, rating them on taste, texture and appearance. They then chose our winning products (pictured) in each category, with joint winners when deserved.


Check out the results of our 2021 Summer vegan awards below:

Vegan supermarket awards

Best oat drink

WINNER

M&S Plant Kitchen Oat Drink, 1l, £1.75

Described by our judges as having a nice creamy texture, well-balanced sweetness and subtle, not overwhelmingly oaty flavour.

Buy now

M&S vegan oat milk

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Co-op GRO The Oaty One, 1l, £1.45

A very close contender for the top spot, this is the most natural-tasting of those tried, with a complex flavour and nice, thick texture. We think this would be the best oat drink for porridge or bircher muesli.

Buy in-store


Best ready-made vegan pizza

WINNER

Tesco Wicked Kitchen spicy mushroom & vegetable pizza, 282g, £3

This was highly praised for its sourdough base, which is well seasoned, light and airy, with a nice chew on the crust. The tomato sauce is fresh and natural tasting, while the vegetables have a warm, peppery flavour.

Buy now

Tesco vegan pizza

Best vegan cheddar alternative

ASDA Free From mature cheddar alternative, 200g, £1.40

A resounding winner, this was the most cheddar-like of all those tested. It has a crumbly texture, good level of salt and a cheddar-like tang, plus it melts well, too.

Buy now

ASDA vegan cheddar cheese

Best vegan burgers

WINNER

Aldi meat-free burgers, pack of 2, 227g, £1.29

These firm burgers achieve good caramelisation and browning on the outside when cooked. They have a meaty texture and balanced, salty flavour.

Buy in-store

ASDA vegan burgers

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Co-op GRO Incredible burger, 2 x 210g, £2

If you’re after a vegan burger that mimics meat, these tasted the most beef-like of all those we tried. It has a super-savoury, slightly smoky flavour, almost reminiscent of pastrami, with a touch of caramelised sweetness on the edges and a chewy, meaty texture.

Buy in-store

M&S Plant Kitchen no beef burger, 320g, £3.50

This thick, juicy patty has a coarse, meaty texture and a pleasing firmness. The flavour is pleasantly savoury, with a good level of seasoning, but we felt it didn’t have quite as much depth as some of the others.

Buy now


Best vegan sausages

WINNER

Morrisons V Taste ‘little smokies’ vegan sausages, 290g, £2.50

These little, chorizo-style sausages made with mushrooms, pinto beans and chipotle seasoning were a big hit – they’re savoury, smoky and spicy, with a firm, meaty texture.

Buy in-store

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Tesco Wicked Kitchen chorizo style bangers, 350g, £2.50

Another chorizo-style sausage, these brown really well when cooked, have great bite and pleasing paprika flavour, but our judges found them a touch too salty compared to our winner.

Buy now


Best vegan mince alternative

WINNERS

Sainsbury’s Plant Pioneers vegan no beef mince, 220g, £2.25

This has good bite and a realistic beef-mince-like appearance when cooked. Made with a mix of diced mushrooms and wheat gluten, it’s a great choice for mushroom fans.

Buy now

Vegan mince plant pioneers

Aldi Plant Menu vegan mince, 260g, £1.39

For those who aren’t keen on mushrooms, this mince alternative is made from soy protein and has an impressive meaty texture and lovely depth of flavour.

Buy in-store

ALDI vegan mince

Best ready-made vegan dessert

WINNER

Tesco Wicked Kitchen berry white sticks, 3 x 100ml, £2.50

These vegan ice cream sticks have a thick, white chocolate casing with a mousse-like vegan vanilla ice cream and sweet raspberry ripple sauce inside. Although very sweet and slightly artificial tasting, they were a hit – we think kids would love them too.

Buy now

Wicked Kitchen Berry White Sticks

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Waitrose Scrumptious Summer layered summer pudding, 405g, £4

For something a little more grown-up, we love this vibrant, fresh-tasting summer pudding, packed full of berries, with a lovely balance between sharp and sweet.

Buy in-store


Best vegan vanilla ice cream

WINNER

Aldi vegan vanilla ice cream, 1l, £1.49

This was praised by our judges for its natural colour, specks of real vanilla and rich, creamy texture.

Buy now

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ALDI vegan vanilla ice cream

How we chose the winners

The olive team chose 10 categories having researched which products you, our readers, would be most likely to seek out and buy. The supermarkets then selected the products they wanted to nominate (we only allowed one entry per category, so they had to choose carefully). Every product was prepared by independent home economists according to the pack instructions, and our expert panel of judges blind-tested them, rating each on taste and texture (first and foremost), as well as appearance. We then chose our winning products in each category, as well as up to two highly commended products for those that we felt also deserved a mention. Two of the categories were eliminated completely as we felt that none of the products submitted were good enough to award a winning status.

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