Many of our everyday staples happen to be vegan already! This makes shopping as a vegan much simpler.
Things like pasta, rice, flour, grains, tomato paste, coconut milk, many breads, crackers, biscuits, crisps, breakfast cereal, ketchup, herbs, spices and so much more including fruits and vegetables are all vegan.
Another benefit is that there are now plant-based versions of non-vegan foods. Instead of buying dairy milk, look for plant milk such as soy, rice, almond, oat, coconut, hemp, and more. Instead of buying regular sausages and burger patties, you can swap those for plant-based versions.
What's more, there are so many vegan stores and vegan substitutes that are locally made and owned which means you don't have to spend ridiculous amounts of money in order to have swaps or substitutes. Being vegan on a budget is definitely possible and 100% achievable.
Here are our favorite locally produced vegan items as well as some local vegan and vegan-friendly shops.
1. Breakfast Foods & Breakfast Cereal
Whatever your preferences are, finding locally made items for breakfast is super simple! Our favorite is Just Granola Treats which is a vegan-owned local brand that specializes in granola and brownies and the best part is a percentage of the sales go towards helping individuals who need menstrual products but cannot afford or access them. Festive Bread is vegan (so are most of the other brands, but Festive has this written on their packaging). Weetabix and a lot of other breakfast cereal also happen to be vegan. Oats and porridge (Uji) are also very nutritious vegan breakfast foods. You could also get tofu from the supermarket, especially Chandarana Food plus & Zucchini or you can order from Hey Vegan or Mtofu for your tofu scrambles. You could also check out Health Kajuju for granola, muesli, clusters and bars that are plant-based.
2. Dairy Substitutes
One of the newest kids on the block is Nuziwa, this is a Kenyan-made soy milk brand with a variety of flavors from unsweetened to caramel and more. Bio Foods also recently launched a range of coconut-milk based yogurts. These two are easily found in any well-stocked supermarket. You can also find plant milk from Pod Mylk and Healthy Kajuju. If you love cheese, you can also simply swap for a plant-based version from Hey Vegan.
All nut butters and most jams happen to be vegan. Some locally made favorites at Linda's Nut Butters & Jars of Goodness. Bidco's Goldband Margarine happens to be accidentally vegan. Vegan mayo is also widely available in stores. You can choose between MaCuisine, Zesta and Bio Foods (just be sure to check if its the vegan option).
4. Meat-free Substitutes
It's quite simple to ditch meat with these locally-made vegan meat subs. Most vegans prefer using tofu for their 'meaty' recipes which you can get from Hey Vegan and Mtofu. However, if tofu is not your jam, you can simply swap meat for tempeh which you can get from Tempeh Nairobi as well as Soy meat which you can find in all local well-stocked supermarkets and even your nearest Kiosk. The two local available brands are Sossi & Proya
Snacking as a vegan is super important! It's super easy to get vegan snacks in supermarkets but there are also some amazing local vegan snack brands such as Furahi Bites for sweet vegan treats, Healthy Kajuju for some sweet and savory snacks, Just Granola Treats for granola and granola bars, Pieces and Slices for yummy cakes, cookies, and pastries.
6. Where to Shop
Whether you're looking for local brands or international brands of vegan items, you can easily find them locally. One of our favorite all-vegan online shops with all kinds of vegan substitutes and a number of international brands is Vegan Kenya Shop. The next vegan's best friend is markets and grocery stores. Another shop we absolutely love is Healthy Kajuju for vegan snacks, milk, gluten-free flour, and burger patties. Also, shop at well-stocked supermarkets as well as health-conscious stores such as Healthy U, you'll be surprised at the gold mine waiting for you.