I want to start this review by saying that I know lots of people don’t like to shop in Tesco, for various reasons. I respect those reasons, but I generally like to support vegan product lines owned or sold by non vegan businesses, as it shows demand. I also think that a huge store like Tesco stocking such a wide range of dairy free products will reach people who would never think of going in health food shops or ordering online.
So with that out of the way, I was delighted when Tesco very kindly agreed to send me some of the range to try. When I said earlier that it’s a wide range, I wasn’t joking – lots of different flavours of yoghurt, crème caramel, vanilla and chocolate puddings, jellies, a whole load of different milks, margarines, hard and soft cheeses and more. They haven’t done this on a small scale; it’s big. Some of the products are clearly made by other companies – the cheese is instantly recognisable as Sheese and some of the milks are made by Alpro.
As you might expect, I liked some products better than others. I’m not going to review every single product – and there some I haven’t tried yet – but I will highlight some of what I liked and what I didn’t.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Sheese; it has a strange chemical taste which I can’t get past, but I know a lot of people who do like it. This new Tesco version melts well. I quite like the white version with very spicy food but as yet am not keen on the orange one. I haven’t tried the soft cheeses yet but I remember liking the chilli Sheese when I tried it at a vegan festival once.
The yoghurts are very nice indeed – my favourite was the cherry which had big chunks in. I would take a trip to Tesco just to buy the natural yoghurt which is much needed since Alpro for some inexplicable reason started to make theirs taste like vanilla pudding. The new Tesco one is great in both sweet and savoury dishes. The crème caramel isn’t anything like a home made one, but compares very well to the dairy equivalent sold in supermarkets.
The soya milk is too beany for me, but the hazelnut and almond versions were a pleasant change on muesli and in hot chocolate. The margarine is fine, very similar to Pure, it could perhaps be made by the same people, I’m not sure. The little long life puddings in chocolate or vanilla are tasty and would be fun for lunch boxes, but need a tactical approach with the straw to get all of it out of the packaging!
Overall, I think this is a great move by Tesco. The range isn’t in all stores but it is in quite a lot and I imagine if it sells well it might move to more. There are plenty of people with allergies or who are vegan curious who might be tempted to try dairy free versions if they are available where they do their normal shopping. Well done Tesco!