I love buying and trying new-to-me vegan foods! Whether I'm shopping for the fun stuff (snacks) or just stocking my pantry, I'll always love shopping for food more than shopping for clothes. I'd rather read a thousand ingredient lists than try on a single pair of jeans.
Here in Canada, vegan food shopping doesn't seem nearly as exciting as it is in the US. It seems like there's always new vegan snacks coming to the US market! It's easy to get jealous when every vegan on social media starts raving about some awesome new thing, and us Canadian vegans have to wait 1 or 2 YEARS (if not longer!!) for it to show up on our shelves (if at all.) Thankfully we live in a time where many nifty vegan snacks and ingredients can be ordered and delivered right to your door. There's a couple of key ingredients that I buy solely online: nutritional yeast and Kala Namak (aka black salt, it adds a sulfurous flavour to vegan egg dishes like quiche and tofu scramble.)
iHerb happens to be one of the companies making cool vegan ingredients and specialty products available to tons of countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe! When they connected with us to do a shopping review, we jumped at the chance. We'd previously ordered with them and had been happy with our purchases. Read on for our full review, some of our favourite products, and a $5 off coupon code you can use on your first iHerb order.
Full disclosure: All of the products here were free courtesy of iHerb. All links in this post are affiliate links. This is not our first shopping experience with iHerb. Use the referral code ZJP598 to save $5 off of your first order with iHerb.
What We Ordered
We stuck to pantry items for this order. No fun snacks this time! We picked up staples like quinoa, cashews, vegetable broth, shelf stable soy milk, and nutritional yeast.
- The Tea Room, Chocolate Fusion, Dark Chocolate (Midnight Mocha, Raspberry Rooibos, and Lapsang Souchong) 1.8 oz (51 g) - $2.74 (CA$3.70) each
- Nutiva, Organic Coconut Sugar, 1 lb (454 g) - $5.65 (CA$7.64)
- Navitas Naturals, Organic, Golden Berries, 8 oz (227 g) - $11.89 (CA$16.07)
- Gustus Vitae, Condiments, Gourmet Salt, Dijon Mustard Sea Salt, 3.1 oz (87 g) - $7.49 (CA$10.13)
- Alter Eco, Organic Royal, Pearl Quinoa, 16 oz (454 g) (Discontinued Item) - $8.08 (CA$10.92)
- Twinings, Lady Grey Loose Tea, 3.53 oz (100 g) - $5.74 (CA$7.76)
- Eden Foods, Organic EdenSoy, Unsweetened Soymilk, 32 fl oz (946 ml) (Discontinued Item) - $3.32 (CA$4.49)
- Rapunzel, Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt, 8 Cubes, 2.97 oz (84 g) - $2.63 (CA$3.56)
- Koyo Natural Foods, Tofu Miso Ramen, 2 oz (57 g) - $2.09 (CA$2.83)
- Eden Foods, Certified Organic Shiro Miso, 12.1 oz (345 g) - $12.10 (CA$16.36)
- Now Foods, Real Food Organic, Whole, Raw Cashews, Unsalted, 10 oz (284 g) - $7.35 (CA$9.94)
- Frontier Natural Products, Nutritional Yeast, Mini Flakes, 16 oz (453 g) -$13.30 (CA$17.98)
- Frontier Natural Products, Kala Namak Salt, Fine Grind, 16 oz (453 g) (Discontinued Item) - $9.66 (CA$13.06)
Our Favourite Products
Now Foods -Whole, Raw Cashews, Unsalted: These cashews are always super fresh and delicious!
Frontier Nutritional Yeast - Mini Flakes and Frontier Kala Namak Salt (Discontinued Item): The primary reason we shop online is to stock up on nutritional yeast and Kala Namak salt, because both of these items are difficult to find in our neck of the woods. It's a real shame that iHerb has since discontinued the Kala Namak. As far as I could see, they don't have any black salt on their website at all now. 😥
Eden Foods - Certified Organic Shiro Miso: I love this miso! It's great for adding umami to all sorts of vegan dishes, like our Leek & Potato Soup! This is my favourite brand of miso that I've tried so far (full disclosure: I haven't tried many!)
Our iHerb Shopping Experience
The "vegan filter" in the grocery section is full of food that's actually vegan! (Scroll down the left side, and check "Vegan" under the "Specialty" tab.)
iHerb has a huge selection of vegan foods: ingredients, superfoods, junk food, pantry meals, you name it, they've got you covered! As of November 3rd 2016, there are 663 vegan items in their grocery section.
There are plenty of non-grocery items (all of which can be filtered to show only vegan items.) They've got a pet section, bath and beauty sections, home section, and supplements. For every single one of those sections, you can separate the vegan items (or cruelty-free, or gluten-free, or peanut-free, etc. items) Just scroll down the left side, and check "Vegan" (or whatever you're looking for) under the "Specialty" tab.
Extremely thorough product descriptions including expiration dates, reviews (and many of the items have tons of reviews to help you make smart purchases), suggested uses, ingredients (great for double and triple checking to make sure something is vegan), nutritional info, and shipping weight. The shipping weight is hugely helpful for getting the most bang for your buck when using international shipping options.
Affordable international shipping options - this order was CA$10.82 to ship up to 150lbs (with duties and taxes prepaid - no surprises when your order is delivered!)
Most brands of nutritional yeast are ever so slightly cheaper at iHerb. We love KAL - Nutritional Yeast Flakes 22 oz (624 g) $19.29 (CA$26.08) and Frontier - Nutritional Yeast Mini Flakes 16 oz (453 g) $13.30 (CA$17.98)
Prices seem to be slightly higher than their competitor. The same cart (CA$103 subtotal at iHerb) cost $11 less when I shopped their competitor's website (once shipping and taxes were calculated for both orders.)
(Now fixed) At the time of my order, there was no option to view more than 24 items per page. With 663 items just in the vegan grocery section, it was extremely annoying to go through 27+ pages. This has since been changed, you can now view up to 192 items per page. Yay!
One of my favourite items, Frontier Kala Namak Salt, has sadly been discontinued. One of the main reasons I decide to make an online grocery order is to pick up Kala Namak and nutritional yeast. After that I tend to fill up my cart with a few different items that catch my eye (fun vegan snacks we can't get in Canada, that kind of thing) until I've maxed out the shipping weight. Without my core items available it's a little harder to justify making an order and paying for shipping. This is a personal gripe and their competitor doesn't stock black salt either.
Would We Order From iHerb Again?
Yes! iHerb has a great selection of products and an awesome filtering system for vegans (or anyone with specialty needs.) We'll be stocking up on our staples (tons and tons of nutritional yeast) but we won't be ordering often. The current US/Canada exchange rate makes it very expensive to order from anywhere in the US. As of today, items are about 34% more expensive for Canadian buyers. Ouch.
This post contains affiliate links. All products shown in this review were provided free of charge, courtesy of iHerb. All products were chosen by me. With the exception of free product, we were not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own! Use the referral code ZJP598 to save $5 off of your first order with iHerb.