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Shopping guide: How to recognize vegan products

Thanks to labels such as the V-label or special markings in the supermarket, it is now quite easy to find vegan food. However, it can sometimes be a challenge. For example, supposedly vegan foods can contain animal additives such as milk powder or gelatine (you can read more about hidden animal ingredients in this blog post). If you're just starting out on your dietary change, you should therefore put some planning into your shopping. This will save you time and stress at the supermarket. In our shopping guide we give you a few tips to make your vegan start easier.

Table of contents:

  1. Focus on foods that are vegan per se
  2. Check labels
  3. Use apps
  4. Shopping online
  5. Check with the manufacturer

Buy foods that are vegan per se

Many foods are vegan by nature. You should give preference to these when shopping, as they are usually also the healthiest. These mainly include unprocessed or minimally processed products such as fruit and vegetables, pulses, potatoes, cereals and grain products (e.g. oatmeal, rice, flour). You should be careful with pasta. While dried pasta based on durum wheat semolina (e.g. spaghetti, penne, fusilli) is usually vegan, other types of pasta (e.g. spaetzle, ravioli) often contain egg. The same applies to bread and rolls. Animal ingredients such as milk or egg may be hidden here. To be on the safe side, you can check the list of ingredients or - if there isn't one - simply ask.

Check labels

Processed foods are often identified by labels. The V-Label is used most frequently. Note: The label is available in two versions and identifies both vegan and vegetarian products. If the vegan V-label or another indication (e.g. "vegan" or "purely plant-based") is noted on the product, you can buy it without hesitation. If there is no such label, you should check the list of ingredients for animal ingredients.

Using apps

There are numerous apps to help you shop and choose vegan products. If you don't have time to check the list of ingredients or aren't sure whether individual ingredients are of animal origin, it's worth taking a look at your smartphone. Probably the best-known app is the CodeCheck app. Here you can simply scan the barcode of the product or enter the product name and find out immediately whether the product is vegan. With the PETA ZWEI-Einkaufsguide, you can also search specifically for vegan products and view the vegan range of certain supermarket chains or fast food restaurants, for example. There are also helpful apps for finding vegan restaurants on the go (e.g. the HappyCow app).

Of course, you can buy vegan products not only in the supermarket, but also online. In addition to small suppliers with their own store, there are also larger platforms that specialize in a purely vegan range. The advantage of online shopping is that vegan products are usually labeled or can be filtered accordingly. This means you can see at a glance what is suitable and don't have to trawl through lists of ingredients first.

Check with the manufacturer

Not sure if your favorite product is vegan? Then ask the manufacturer directly. This will give you certainty and may also encourage food producers to rethink their approach.