Monday

Pick 'n Pay's Vegan Products


Pick 'n Pay is a great store to shop at if you're Vegan! It has all sorts of wonderful products aside from some good produce. They've suddenly started to stock a whole new range of oriental vegetables. Time to learn how to make Lady Fingers! The following are some of the lovely things I've found at Pick 'n Pay since I've been Vegan, in no particular order of importance. I will also keep adding more photos and products to this list so keep checking in if you're curious.

LIFE PRODUCTS




Life products are imported from the United Kingdom which means it's not a particularly environmentally friendly choice but for every now and then it's great! I also like to support the efforts of retailers for stocking products that are Vegan friendly, as the less we buy, the less they stock! Some of those that I've tried and seen are the Life Worcester Sauce which is fish extract free, Life Ketchup, Life Parmazano (which I found with other grated parmesans in the cheese section - I always look in the cheese section in case I find vegan goodies!) and Cooking Sauces.

SOYA MILK AND DESSERTS

Pick 'n Pay doesn't stock any liquid Rice Milks yet but you can find them at Woolies.





Alpro stocks the following products at all of the Pick 'n Pay stores I have been to:

Alpro Soya Milks (All sorts of wonderful flavours)
Alpro Soya Desserts
Alpro Soya Custard




There are also a few local brands of Soya milk stocked, such as Good Hope Soya Milk which are much more affordable than Alpro, which is for special occasions in our house. Like dunking Vegan Oreos I found in Hong Kong. I am quite serious when I say that I check all the labels of my non-vegan favourites often, just in case!


It's very likely that you will find Vegan Chocolate Chips somewhere by the baking goods. I often find those.

The Killarney Pick 'n Pay recently had Barney (The Purple Dinosaur) Vegetarian Jelly in the Kosher section and they use natural colourants and flavourants which is pretty awesome!

NO NAME BRAND

Pick 'n Pay has labels on its No Name Brand foods that say whether something is Vegan or not. They don't always get it spot on so always check the ingredients, but it's great that they're trying! There are some surprises too, things you may not expect to be vegan!




VEGAN COOKIES

They have some Vegan cookies, which is very exciting! Their No Name Brand Lemon Creams as well as their No Name Brand Ginger Biscuits are labelled as Vegan with corresponding ingredients. There are also cookies called Merba Apple Pie Cookies. We go through a lot of those with our tea in the mornings. The Baker's Plain Digestives are also Vegan! They're great for cookie bases in desserts, a sweet and salty biscuit. There are plenty of others that I see every now and then, such as the Weigh Less variety and some varied others come across no more than once. The Weigh Less cookies are okay,  they taste a bit like cardboard, but kudos to cutting down on sugar in cookies.






VEGAN CEREAL

Many cereals are Vegan including lots of Kellogg's Cereals among others; Coco Pops and Strawberry Pops! I think that's one of the things that made becoming Vegan a lot easier for me was that I could still feast on Chocolate cereal without feeling too guilty.










Loads of Muesli is also Vegan and healthy so keep a look out for them and beware of honey if you're so inclined. Manufacturers love to put honey in cereals and especially muesli. The Vital Muesli range is wonderful and some of them are also wheat free.

NATURE'S CHOICE

Nature's Choice has an entire section dedicated to it in Pick 'n Pay now, so you can pick up your rice milk powder and chickpea flour as easily as cucumbers and tomatoes!

VEGAN PASTA

This may not apply to everyone, but I have somewhat of a wheat intolerance. My brother says that I'm making it up but I swear my body just hates me every time I let wheat or yeast anywhere near it! Pick 'n Pay stocks a whole lot of different wheat free pastas which makes me super happy! They have reasonably affordable Puccini Maize Pasta too, at under ten Rand a packet the last time I bought some. Those aren't gluten free though. There are also the more expensive and gluten free choices of Orgran and Sam Mills Pasta D'Oro maize pasta among others, but they have plenty of interesting egg free, Vegan pasta available.








VEGAN MAYONNAISE

Pick 'n Pay have several varieties of Vegan Mayonnaise available. The one we buy most frequently is All Joy. Always check the labels, but the one we buy has a bright, darker blue label and it clearly states that the mayo is egg free on the label. There is also Trim Mayonnaise which is egg free. I also came across a brand that is new to me called Tiger Tiger which had three varieties of flavoured mayonnaise. The last one that I know of is the Life Mayonnaise, but I haven't actually seen it in stock yet. Judging by the fact that Pick 'n Pay seem to have all the other Life products, I would like to assume that I will find the mayo at some point.










VEGAN CHEESE

I've mentioned in a previous post that there is sometimes Cheezly available at select Pick 'n Pay shops. Make sure it's well before it's sell by date, as I've bought it expired several times from Pick 'n Pay as well as Shoprite Checkers. They're very good at refunding you for foods that are no longer edible, but what a mission! Of course there are also the fake Parmigiano: Nature's Choice Mock Parmesan as well as the previously mentioned Life Parmazano which are both great.


VEGAN SANDWICH SPREADS

The Pick 'n Pay house brand Peanut Butters are all vegan to my knowledge. We always get the super large jar of the No Name Brand Crunchy Peanut Butter.


I mentioned it briefly earlier but Pick 'n Pay stocks some nut butters as well that you may want to try. They're rather expensive, as nuts are so ridiculously expensive, so use conservatively. It's an easy thing to make yourself with nuts and an oil of choice.

There is also Vegan Chocolate spread called Pralinutta on the shelves so keep your eyes open for it. I would skip the Pralinutta though if you can get your hands on a jar of Honest Raw Dark Chocolate Spread. It's the best I've ever tasted, and a million times better than Nutella. Who thought that it was possible?! The Honest people have a stand at the Neighbourgoods Market in Juta Street, Braamfontein every Saturday between 9 and 4. I would also advise that you try to make your own Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, for a while Pick 'n Pay had an Organic No Name Brand Dark Chocolate Spread that was both Vegan and delicious, but it disappeared after a very short while. There is also a Vegan Kosher Chocolate Spread on the shelf with all the other Kosher products which is pretty good, but it's cheaper to make your own.

INA PAARMAN PRODUCTS

Ina Paarman Chicken Flavour Stock is Vegan, so are most of her other powdered stocks. The liquid stocks are not vegan, but invest in a little pot of Chicken or Beef Flavour Stock Powder as they really add some wonderful veggie flavours to your food. There are also several Ina Paarman Sauces and Dressings that are Vegan if you want a quick pasta sauce to keep in your cupboard. Many of their pre-packed baking kits are also vegan, so you can just add your own wet ingredients to make biscotti or cake. As usual, check all the ingredients as companies can change them without warning!

NB: THE WHITE SAUCE POWDER IS NOT VEGAN - THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF PRODUCTS AVAILABLE
SEASONING



There's also this thing called JD's Bacon Salt - I bought it for a friend as a joke, the Peppery one is Vegan, but it's full of all sorts of chemicals and the 'Natural' one has whey powder in it so it isn't Vegan. It's a bit of a toss up, but smokey flavoured salt is something that's worth getting if you really loved smoked foods. It's a fun find, seeing as I'm yet to find the Liquid Smoke that is in so many of the US recipes that I read in Vegan cookbooks. The JD's website is a bit gross with their catch phrase 'Everything should taste like bacon', making my stomach churn as I was never that into bacon or smokey stuff, so you may also find it a little revolting. Even if you love the taste and smell of bacon the lip balm is a bit much.




TEXTURED VEGETABLE PROTEINS



Fry's, of course, is also fully stocked in almost every single Pick 'n Pay countrywide. There may be one or two variations that aren't in the shop but most of them will be there. Nature's Choice will definitely have soya chunks and soya mince, of which both are great. I bought some of Pick 'n Pay Soya Mince but haven't used it yet. Read the ingredients because these aren't all Vegan. The two I have posted photos of are suitable for Vegans. I stay clear of it, but Pick 'n Pay has Knorrox Soya Mince as well. It's too powdery for my liking, and it has all sorts of chemicals in it.


ICE CREAM

Some Pick 'n Pay stores stock Vegan ice creams from Bassets. The Victory Park Pick 'n Pay is a good bet for that, as I don't recall seeing it at many of the others. VeganSA writes: "Tofu Treats from Basset's Ice Cream Company is a non-dairy, low fat, soya based ice cream-style dessert, sweetened with sucrose, free of preservatives, additives, animal products, eggs, alcohol and gluten. It is smooth, 
rich tasting, and is Kosher and Halaal approved." The Craighall Spar also stocks Bassets.


TOFU

Tofu is also something you should be able to find in the section with Asian foods and spices, Moringa is the brand, should it be available but it's ridiculously expensive. Best to buy tofu from Cyrildene or Fresh Earth.

NON DAIRY CREAMER

Alpro has a soya cream that is stocked by Pick 'n Pay. It's sometimes on the shelf with the custard, sometimes with the baking stuff, sometimes with the soya milk - scratch around or ask the manager for it. Obviously it's rather pricey. (I'm saving this for my Woolworths article, but as a deviation, there is an Organic Soya Cream at Woolies that's similar to the Alpro.)

Nature's Choice has a powder Non-Dairy Cream but it's sickly sweet and it gets way too thick and slimey when cooked. I assume that it's for use with desserts and sweet dishes only. This won't work in a Chicken a la King (we tried) or a curry.

Coconut Cream or Coconut Milk are my favourite creams to use - you can use them to make almost anything you would have used normal cream for. My brother makes the most amazing vegan milk tart using coconut cream, coconut milk, corn starch and vanilla. It's just as good as the real thing, if not better because it has a mild hint of coconut in it. I use coconut cream for creamy pastas, for curries and for desserts. Savory and sweet, it always works. I've even used it in Lasagne instead of B├ęchamel.

Orley Whip is a non-dairy cream that is also available at most Pick 'n Pay stores. It comes in a little blue box in variations of Dessert, Unsweetened Cooking Creme and Lite Creme, as memory serves. The creamer is fantastic and you can whip the dessert version. The Orley whip expires quickly, and often long before the use by date, so buy it when you need it as it doesn't keep well. You'll find the Orley Whip in one of the fridges, probably with the Hummus.


VEGAN MARGARINE

Wooden Spoon is NOT Vegan anymore. That needs to be said first, because I know several vegans who religiously used white wooden spoon margarine for baking before they changed the ingredients. There is only one baking margarine that in any way resembles something Vegan, and that is the normal Blossom Baking Margarine. I am not sure though if it is truly Vegan or not. The only other margarine that are supposedly vegan are not for baking but they are Cardin and Ole. The others have vitamin D3 in them, an ingredient which has contested origins, so I just stay away from it.



VEGAN SOFT DRINKS
Frankie's Sodas needed a mention here. Ryan turned me onto Frankie's almost three years ago with their clear Original Creme Soda and their Fiery Ginger Beer and I've never since picked another soft drink brand over Frankie's when I could find it. Although I don't really like to drink sugary sodas for obvious reasons, I can't help buy a bottle or two of Frankie's for the fridge whenever I see them. They make the most wonderfully and sinfully addictive sugary soft drinks. A manufacturer based in the midlands, it may be a local company worth supporting, especially considering Woolworths who have all but copied the Frankie's range in every way except for the pinup girl on the label. (Refer to this IOL article for some information. I always have a soft spot for the underdog. Storify also has a breakdown of what is going on.)

[UPDATE ON FRANKIE'S vs WOOLWORTHS saga: ASA ruled that Woolworths must remove their products from the shelf by April 2012 as they cannot prove that it was a coincidence that their packaging was basically identical to Frankie's.]

BEAUTY AND HYGIENE PRODUCTS


FURTHER PRODUCTS











PESTOS


JAM AND MARMALADE



CHOCOLATE AND SWEETS



There are many other products available at Pick 'n Pay that you may find exciting, and I may have left them out. Always read the labels on things if they catch your eye. Most of the time they probably won't be vegan but I've found lots of surprises and awesome things to eat by picking up something unlikely off the shelf. As a disclaimer, I am not endorsed or sponsored by Pick 'n Pay or in any way related to employees of the company. I do not benefit financially from this post in any way. Ingredients in products and product availability can change at any time and I will not be held liable for any such changes.

22 comments:

  1. Anonymous11.1.12

    Mmmmmmm... Can't wait to go to Pick-n-Pay again. Thanks!!

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  2. It's my pleasure! I love sharing my discoveries with others!

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  3. Anonymous12.1.12

    They do not import the vegan bacon salt anymore.

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    1. I've been finding the Bacon Salt products in all the Pick 'n Pay branches I have been to recently, so as it appears, they do seem to be importing it. If you are looking for it, I could recommend a branch you'll definitely find it at in JHB? But it only seems to be the Bacon Salt (in most flavours) and the Baconnaise, which isn't vegan (not to mention sounds awful!). Best of luck!

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    2. Anonymous19.2.12

      I checked with PnP and the distributor. They are only getting rid of stock at this point and will not be getting in new stock of this product.

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    3. Oh well, really no major loss to anyone, I don't think :) thanks for checking!

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  4. Dexter Smit Rademan18.1.12

    Just wanna thank you from the bottomless pits of our hearts for sharing all the wonderful Vegan products you've found on your shopping journey. You rock!!!

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    1. It's such a pleasure! I'm so glad that you've enjoyed the post, and hope that it has been helpful! I'll write about some of the other chain stores soon!

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  5. Hi Guys, I am having a "milk probelm". All the Soya Milk curdels in coffee and tea and my husband just wont drink it when it does that. Some ppl say warm it a little before mixing it into coffee or tea. I can go Milk free but not hubby. Also, apparently Enrista coffee is also 100% Vegan, can anyone confirm this? Thanks.

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    1. Hello Katinka, there are plenty of other milk alternatives he can try. I'm not a fan of Soya milk in general and I always found dairy milk to be awful, so I'm very fussy. My number one favourite milk alternative is the Organic Rice Milk from Woolies. It's wonderful with everything. Woolworths also have Oat Milk Drink, which is quite sweet, but not too bad. There are also powdered form milks from Nature's Choice and other brands stocked by health shops that you could try. We use those at home and we've been making Lattes with Espresso lately and the milk never curdles. Hot, cold, powdered, ready mixed, it always works for us. If your husband is still finding these milks don't suit his palette, try to make nut milk for him. You should find several online recipes for Almond milk or other nut milks which are quick and easy to make, they're delicious and they're really good for you. The best hot chocolate I've ever had was made with French chocolate and Almond milk. Best of luck! Let us know how it goes! If your husband struggles with the milk alternatives, buy some tea that one drinks without milk, and see if he likes those teas. My partner and I drink lots of fruit teas and Chinese green and Jasmine teas which are best without milk. Perhaps your husband will find his Caffeine fix in green tea!

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  6. Hi katinka, i don't drink coffee but my hubby loves the stuff and he says that the alpro chocolate and
    Vanilla soy milk is divine in coffee. He is also quite a fussy coffee drinker, only filter, and he's never etioned anything about it curdelling. Maybe give that one a try if you haven't already.
    Amanda

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    1. Alpro soya milks are wonderful, they've never curdled in anything except vinegar and lemon while I was busy with various experiments! Perhaps, Katinka, your husband could try a different brand of coffee as well. There may be some strange reaction taking place if it's only one coffee brand he sticks to.

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  7. Jacqui Clingman26.1.12

    Hi Katinka, Natures Choice make a really nice powdered coffee creamer called Cafe Calais. Even the non vegan people at my office love it because it is delicious and bears NO resemblance to Cremora. Can be found at Balfour Park Health Shop in Highlands North Johannesburg.
    Jacqui

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    1. Mmm! that sounds amazing! Cremora makes me cringe... sounds lovely, I love a creamy coffee! Will definitely be trying that!

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  8. You are such an inspiration for creating this blog. Well done and thank you! Next stop, Pick and Pay!

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    1. *blush* It makes me very happy thinking I can make it a little easier or more fun for others to be vegan! :D

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  9. Hi there great list!! I know that Cardin and Ole have been verified as being vegan as they have changed their Vit D origin and confirmed this - I bake with Cardin all the time and it's perfect. Heat soy milk before adding to coffee to prevent curdling (usually only curdles with 'real' coffee as opposed to instant) - i will recheck the mayos as the lite often has less oil but still contain egg; The Trim varieties are def vegan. :)

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    1. Hello Toni,

      Thanks for the comments! Cardin and Ole both state that they aren't suitable for baking or heating on their packaging, so I'm wary to use them for those functions but thank you for letting us know that they work well! I find that margerine can also be substituted with oil a lot of the time.

      The mayo varieties that I listed all state that they don't contain any egg or milk, so they should be vegan. I appreciate your double checking though.

      As you may note, I have added a subtitle to the image with the White Sauce Powder, but I do state clearly that people should check ingredients for themselves before buying products. So many products have 'new' revelations on their ingredients list since the new consumer protection act came into play, or change their ingredients without prior notification, so I can't claim that any of these products are reliably or consistently vegan.

      Best, Nicola

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  10. great job. thanks!

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  11. Anonymous30.7.12

    Come on, loads of these products are packed out with chemicals...same goes for Woolworths products. Anything not marked 'Organic' is gonna have them, vegan or not.. :)

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    1. Most processed foods are packed out with chemicals, so it is best to avoid eating lots of these, or any of them, if you are that disciplined! Kudos to those who can say no to CocoPops and Oreos! Unfortunately, even some of the things marked 'Organic' are untrustworthy unless they're imported, as there is no board of standardisation in South Africa checking that all Organic claims are legitimate. Without regulation, and pre-Consumer Protection Act labelling laws that have just come into place, we had no idea what was in our food, which is why there was such an outcry at the sudden emergence of Casein as the emulsifier in powdered Nature's Choice milks. The good guys seem to be just as bad as the obviously unhealthy or dubious choices. This blog, as I have previously stated in reply to comments, is for the new Vegan, bored Vegan, or Vegan curious to give new ideas of naughty treats and food items that aren't necessarily a compromise on ethics, even if they are a compromise on health. It is a blog dedicated to how easy it is to be Vegan, and that the non-violent lifestyle choice is one without compromise on yumminess or availability of ready-made products. I am not here to prosyletize any particular viewpoint, I am just here to facilitate. I post about healthy food as well as the sweet treats, and you are most welcome to make any suggestions of products you would like to see featured on the blog, or any suggestions of restaurants you have been to or delis that sell healthy and delicious products. Thanks for your comment!

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  12. I have just discovered your blog and mate, this is exactly what I have been looking for. Thanks-you

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