Guide to Dairy Alternatives

These dairy alternative brands will help you ditch dairy for good

If you’re daunted by the prospect of going dairy-free, don’t be! Replacing your favorite everyday products can seem like an impossible challenge but trust us when we say there’s a delicious substitute for pretty much everything nowadays.

You may think you can’t live without your go-to cheese, ice cream, or chocolate brands, but we’ll help you find a swap that’s just as tasty (if not more so). We’ve put together the ultimate guide to dairy alternatives in the US and answered some common questions about plant-based substitutes below.

** These products are from non-vegan brands that offer vegan ranges, so be sure to check that the item is labeled vegan before you buy it!

Milk Alternatives

Thanks to the range of plant-based milks on the market, finding a cow’s milk alternative is a breeze. The most common varieties are soy, oat, almond, coconut, flax, rice, cashew, hazelnut, pea, and hemp. Each has its own unique benefits and taste, so you may have to experiment until you find the perfect vegan milk for your cup of coffee or bowl of cereal!

Milk alternative brands:

  • Almond Breeze
  • Califia Farms
  • Elmhurst 1925
  • Good Karma
  • Milkadamia
  • NotCo
  • Oatly
  • Oatsome
  • Pacific Foods**
  • Rice Dream
  • Ripple
  • Silk
  • So Delicious
  • Westsoy
  • Supermarket own brand

Margarine and Butter Alternatives

Perfect for baking or spreading on toast, margarine and butter are staples many of us can’t imagine life without. There are several vegan spreads on the market which boast the same taste and texture as their dairy counterparts, making them some of the best dairy alternatives you can always rely on.

Margarine alternative brands:

  • Earth Balance
  • Miyoko’s Creamery
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter It’s Vegan**
  • Milkadamia
  • Country Crock Plant Butter**
  • Wayfare
  • Forager Project
  • Supermarket own brand

Yogurts

Yogurts make great grab-and-go breakfasts or quick snacks, and fortunately, you don’t have to go without them when you ditch dairy. Made from a range of different plant-based sources like soy, oat, or coconut, dairy-free yogurts come in all sorts of flavors, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the variety. You should find everything from classic flavored yogurts (perfect for kids’ lunchboxes) to thick, Greek-style yogurts.

Dairy-free yogurt brands:

  • Chobani Non-Dairy**
  • Daiya
  • Forager Project
  • Go-Gurt Dairy-Free by Yoplait**
  • Kite Hill
  • Oatly Oatgurt
  • Oui Dairy-Free by Yoplait**
  • Siggi’s**
  • Silk
  • So Delicious
  • Supermarket own brand

Cheese

For some people, this is where things get challenging! We get it. However, finding vegan cheese alternatives is easier than ever and new products are launched all the time in the US. From plant-based Parmesan to classic Mozzarella, there’s a dairy-free cheese out there for you – we know it!

Dairy-free cheese brands:

  • Daiya
  • Field Roast Chao
  • Follow Your Heart
  • Forager Project
  • Go Veggie**
  • Good Planet Foods
  • Kite Hill
  • Miyoko’s
  • Parmela Creamery
  • Siete Foods**
  • So Delicious
  • Tofutti**
  • Treeline
  • Violife
  • Wayfare
  • Supermarket own brand

Ice Cream & Desserts

Moving on from dairy doesn’t mean leaving decadent desserts behind. Far from it! There are countless vegan dessert options in US grocery stores and independent health stores. You’ll find indulgent chocolate mousse, mouth-watering cookies, and every flavor of ice cream you can think of.

Vegan ice cream and dessert brands:

  • Arctic Zero
  • Ben & Jerry’s**
  • Breyer’s Non-Dairy**
  • Cado
  • Coconut Bliss
  • Daiya
  • Häagen-Dazs Non-Dairy**
  • Halo Top**
  • Jeni’s**
  • Magnum Non-Dairy**
  • Nada Moo!
  • Oatly
  • Ripple
  • Sambazon Fruit Bar
  • So Delicious
  • Talenti Dairy-Free Sorbetto**
  • Tofutti**
  • Wildgood
  • Supermarket own brand

Chocolate

If you think cow’s milk is an essential ingredient for tasty chocolate, you couldn’t be more wrong. Vegan chocolate is easy to come by, and it’s not all dark chocolate either. Made with dairy alternatives like rice milk, plant-based chocolate has a lot to offer. So, make sure you give it a chance!

Dairy-free chocolate brands:

  • Alter Eco**
  • Beyond Good**
  • Chocolove**
  • Endangered Species**
  • Endorfin Foods
  • Enjoy Life**
  • Evolved Chocolate**
  • Go Max Go Foods
  • Goodsam Foods
  • Hu
  • Lily’s**
  • No Whey Foods
  • Raaka**
  • Taza Chocolate**
  • Theo**
  • Unreal**

Dairy Alternatives: Your Questions Answered

What are dairy alternatives made from?

When moving on from dairy, many people are concerned about the ingredients and whether the replacements are any healthier than cow’s milk. The most common dairy replacements include soy, rice, nuts, oats, and coconut. Innovations are constantly being made in this area, which gives consumers lots of variety when shopping for dairy alternatives.

Are dairy alternatives healthier?

Cow’s milk is often believed to be a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12, but it’s not the only source. We can obtain essential nutrients from alternative sources, such as plant milks fortified with calcium and B12. The nutritional profile of each dairy alternative product varies, so make sure you check product labels and take care to ensure you get adequate nutrition in your diet.

Is ditching dairy better for the environment?

Because of the size of the animals and all the processes involved, dairy farming has a tremendous environmental impact. From methane emissions to deforestation and ocean dead zones, farming cows for their milk wreaks havoc on our planet. A report found that the 13 largest dairy firms on the planet have the same combined greenhouse gas emissions as the whole of the UK. While some plant milks are more sustainable than others, they all use less land and water and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than cow’s milk. By making some simple swaps to your everyday life, you’ll help the planet and spare the suffering involved in dairy farming.

PAGE UPDATED AUGUST 2021

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