Delicious, On-the-Go Vegan Snacks from CVS
When looking for healthy, vegan-friendly snack options you might enlist the likes of your local Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or neighborhood health store. But there is an unusual suspect lurking in the veg-friendly snacking shadows: CVS. This drugstore chain may seem like the least likely place to find healthy snack options, but over the last several years CVS has made a concerted effort to bring healthy, vegan-friendly options to their aisle. CVS has been on a health tear since becoming the first national pharmacy chain to end the sale of cigarettes. Since, CVS has been progressively been phasing in more healthy options.
“We heard loud and clear from our customers after the tobacco decision that they held us to a higher standard,” Adam Maruskin, Director, Merchandising Snacks, Grocery and Healthy Foods at CVS Health told The Beet in an interview. “We spent a lot of time talking to our customers and our field teams and the number one thing we heard was that customers want access to healthier food options in our stores. Considering this, we realized we have a huge opportunity to be a partner for customers looking for healthier options who need and want convenience.”
From niche brands to mainstream players, CVS is packing some serious vegan-snacking heat. The company also says it’s added options that cater to different dietary preferences like vegan, gluten-free, keto and more. They’ve also made a play to create trend-centric and dietary-focused displays in select stores to showcase vegan, paleo, raw and other niche food options to make it easy for customers to find the items that fit their lifestyle more easily.
We’ve tracked down some of our favorite vegan-friendly brands and items you can find on the shelf at CVS:
1. Chocolate Banana Granola Bar, MadeGood
One full serving of veggies in a delicious, chocolatey granola bar? Yes, it’s true with MadeGood. This all-vegan brand makes gluten-free, allergy-free, organic snacks that are pack with hidden veggies. They are committed to making snacks with a lower carbon footprint, supporting organic farmers...and of course, making delicious and clean snacks that kids and adults alike love. Their Chocolate Banana Granola Bar is all the goodness—no garbage or guilt—packed into a bar.
2. Organic Chickpea Puffs, White Cheddar Flavor, Hippeas
With the name “white cheddar” in the title, you might be thrown to learn these perfectly “cheesy” puffs are in fact vegan. With only 140 mg of sodium and 130 calories, plus a little fiber and protein, these are your perfect on-the-go snacks. Hippeas is also doing good in the world with its environmentally friendly crop, chickpeas, and also supporting Feeding America and other charities around the US.
Gold Emblem is CVS’ own better-for-you product line that includes a wide array of items from snacks to beverages that are free from artificial flavors and preservatives. Not all Gold Emblem snacks are vegan, but many are like their Kettle Corn Chia Flax Quinoa Chips. These puppies are light, crispy with that perfect mix of salty and sweet, plus they contain a minimal ingredient list.
4. The Complete Cookie, Peanut Butter, Lenny & Larry’s
By now you’ve heard of Lenny & Larry’s cookies, beloved by the masses—from athletes to kids, there is no one that would turn down a plant-based protein-packed cookie from Lenny & Larry’s. You’ll find a variety of Lenny & Larry’s offerings at CVS including their signature The Complete Cookie—the peanut butter flavor is delectable. When co-founders Benny and Barry—two self-proclaimed gym rats—started making these better-tasting protein-bar alternatives in 1993, who would have known they’d go mainstream and help make plant-based protein the new cool? Thanks Benny and Barry...for making Lenny & Larry’s!
There are more vegan-friendly snacks to find at CVS like Nora Seaweed Snacks, Enjoy Life vegan cookies and snacks, Larabar, and Vive Organics wellness shots to name a few. Plus, the CVS cold section carries Silk plant-based milks and GT’s Living Foods Kombucha drinks. So what’s next for CVS’ evolution in carrying more healthful, plant-based options?
“CVS is always looking for ways to evolve and expand our current offerings to provide customers with new healthier choices,” says Maruskin. “We’re continuously staying ahead of trends, keeping tabs on emerging categories, listening to customer feedback, and conducting research to understand where we can expand and further cater to customer preferences.”
We can’t be sure, but hopefully, this means even more vegan-first eco-conscious brands as well as more plant-based refrigerated items in CVS’ future.