Being plant-based does not have to mean missing out on classic comfort foods, and Follow Your Heart is here to prove that. What once was a vegan fad has turned into a movement, appealing to meat-eaters and herbivores alike. This month, plant-based pioneer Follow Your Heart talks to Parvati Magazine about the benefits—personal and planetary—of choosing their products. Bringing an innovative selection of delicious dairy-free alternatives to the market, Follow Your Heart fosters enthusiasm for a more plant-based future.
Parvati Magazine: Follow Your Heart provides vegan substitutes for popular dairy foods, from eggless mayonnaise to vegan ranch dressing. What inspired this idea?
Follow Your Heart: Our founders Bob Goldberg and Paul Lewin were inspired by the need to fill the void of high quality and delicious products and ingredients for consumers looking for healthier options. They, along with two other friends, came together to create Follow Your Heart back in the 1970s.
PMAG: Do you feel that creating vegan options changed the way we perceive classic foods like burgers, lasagna or nachos?
FYH: While vegan food products are becoming more and more popular (ie: Impossible Burger, Beyond Burger), Follow Your Heart was a pioneer of plant-based alternatives that let everyone take part in eating the classic foods we love.
PMAG: Since you use different ingredients to emulate the taste and texture of dairy, are there nutritional differences between Follow Your Heart products and the dairy items they replace?
FYH: There are. When looking at plant-based alternatives, one of the biggest differences is the absence of cholesterol.
PMAG: How has creating vegan alternatives drawn more positive exposure for a plant-based diet?
FYH: Follow Your Heart doesn’t believe that a plant-based diet is just a trend, but that as consumers are realizing its positive benefits, the category will continue to grow and become more mainstream. Consumers are excited by the variety and availability of plant-based alternatives, and that excitement will continue to drive innovation.
PMAG: What makes Follow Your Heart stand out from other vegan substitute brands?
FYH: Follow Your Heart was founded in 1970 by a group of four friends in Canoga Park, California, who opened a restaurant to serve vegetarian soups, sandwiches and salads to a growing health conscious community. The restaurant’s need for a good tasting, egg-free mayonnaise alternative led to the creation of Vegenaise®. After more than forty years, Follow Your Heart has expanded its product line to include salad dressings, sauces and dairy alternatives. All Follow Your Heart products are made using only the finest ingredients and are produced in a solar-powered manufacturing facility called Earth Island®.
PMAG: What is the biggest challenge in appealing to both non-vegan and vegan consumers?
FYH: The biggest challenge is creating alternatives that rival the taste and texture of their dairy counterparts. Follow Your Heart products are inspired by everyday basics and look to continue wow-ing consumers with more plant-based options that appeal to everyone.
EG: Base your dishes around in-season fruits and vegetables, Mother Nature is the best at creating beautiful colourful foods which taste as good as they look.
Follow Your Heart, known as Earth Island in Canada, creates delicious plant-based products replicating many traditional dairy products. The founders Bob Goldberg and Paul Lewin had a desire to make a vegan mayo for their vegetarian restaurant, which gave rise to Veganaise. Today, their product line has grown to include many dairy-free delights.