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There is something so satisfying about ripping off a piece of salty, chewy, and satiating jerky with your teeth. It’s relatively healthy, high in protein, low in carbs, and highly satisfying to eat. It’s also a convenient vegan snack to bring on road trips or hikes.

Lucky for us Canadians, vegan jerky is becoming more and more accessible in across the country. You can readily find it at Winners, Walmart, on Amazon, and even at certain convenience stores. Keep reading to learn more about vegan jerky. We’ll also highlight some of the best vegan jerky brands you can now find in Canada.

What is Vegan Jerky Made Of?

Vegan jerky can be made from any type of dehydrated plant-based protein, such as soy curls, textured vegetable protein (TVP), seitan, or even mushrooms. However, it’s most commonly made from non-GMO soy curls or TVP which are relatively inexpensive to produce.

Soy curls and TVP are both made from soy, but the process of making them is different. Soy curls are made from dehydrated whole soybeans, whereas TVP is made from defatted soybean flour. Soy curls are less processed than TVP since they are made from the whole soybean. When TVP or soy curls are rehydrated or, better yet, marinated, they obtain a chewy texture that resembles meat.

The Best Vegan Jerky Brands in Canada in 2024

While Noble Jerky is undoubtedly the OG of vegan jerky in Canada, there are more and more vegan jerky brands popping up around the country. Here is a list of some of the best meatless jerky you can find this year.

Beyond Meat Plant-Based Jerky

Not surprisingly, Beyond Meat has created a vegan jerky that is realistic enough to fool any meat eater. Not only does it taste delicious, but its chewy meat-like texture is spot on. Made from a mix of pea and mung bean protein, each serving provides you with 10 grams of plant-based protein. It’s also low in fat (2 grams) and sugar (5 grams) compared to other vegan jerky products on the market. Making it even more accessible, the jerky is GMO-free, soy-free, and gluten-free.

See it on Amazon

Noble Jerky Vegan Jerky

Noble Jerky is the most accessible vegan jerky you can buy in Canada. It tastes, looks, feels, and smells very similar to meat-based jerky, but is better for everyone involved. Each 35g serving contains 7 grams of verified non-GMO soy protein. Noble Jerky’s products generally contain between 5 and 7 simple and recognizable ingredients. Their products do not contain gluten, but they are packed in a facility that processes wheat.

A potential downside for certain people is that Noble Jerky’s products tend to be high in sugar. However, the brand has listened to its customers and created a sugar-free version of their beloved jerky products. They’ve succeeded in doing so, as the sugar is hardly missed in their new line of Sugar-Free Vegan Jerky. Compared to 10 to 12 grams of sugar, their sugar-free jerky contains just 1 gram of naturally occurring sugars.

See it on Amazon

Louisville Vegan Jerky

Louisville Vegan Jerky has been making vegan jerky since 2012. Their jerky products are gluten-free, non-GMO certified and made in the USA. They have a variety of five fun flavours to choose from, including Maple Bacon, Smoked Black Pepper, and Smoky Carolina BBQ. They also come out with new limited edition flavours in small batches regularly. The jerky contains 7 grams of protein per 28-gram serving. Most of their products contain around 10 recognizable ingredients, with very limited added sugar.

See it on Amazon

Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky

Primal Spirit is another tasty vegan jerky on the market worth trying. Their products have been around since 2001 and the perfection of their jerky reflects that. Made from seitan or non-GMO soy protein, Primal Spirit’s jerky offers a perfectly chewy texture. It’s not too soft and not too firm either. It’s also not as salty as other vegan jerky products out there.

In terms of protein, the jerky contains a whopping 11 grams of protein per 28-gram serving. Their jerky is available in six different flavours, including Hickory Smoked, Thai Peanut, Texas BBQ, Hot & Spicy, and more.

See it on Amazon

Electric Jerky Plant-Based Jerky

Electric Jerky is another GMO-free vegan jerky that’s readily available in Canada. The Canadian company underwent several months of beta testing and research in order to mimic the physiological and mental response to eating animal-based jerky. Electric Jerky’s products are made from non-GMO soy protein and have 9 grams of protein per serving.

Comparable to Noble Jerky, their jerky contains less than 10 ingredients that are all recognizable to the untrained eye. Their jerky is available in a few flavours, including Original, Sesame Teriyaki, Texas BBQ, and Sriracha.

Electric Jerky’s products are also significantly lower in sodium per serving compared to other vegan jerky products on the market. Their Original flavour contains 280 mg of sodium per 35g serving, whereas Beyond Meat and Noble Jerky products contain around 500 mg for a similar serving size.

See it on Amazon

How is Vegan Jerky Made?

Vegan jerky is generally made by marinating a dehydrated form of plant-based protein, such as soy curls, textured vegetable protein (TVP), seitan, or mushrooms. After the dehydrated vegan protein has marinated sufficiently, the end result is dehydrated or slow-cooked a second time, but not completely. The cooking process ends when the jerky obtains a chewy texture as opposed to crispy.

Is Vegan Jerky Healthy?

While vegan jerky is not a health food due to its high sodium levels, it’s an excellent plant-based protein source and contains very few carbs. Its concentrated nature makes it a healthy snack to bring on a hike where you’ll be sweating. It’s important to replenish sodium that is lost during a sweaty workout. Vegan jerky is a convenient option as it’s lightweight, high in protein, high in sodium, and easy to eat while on the go.

Vegan jerky is also much healthier than fish or meat-based jerky. For one, vegan jerky is made from plant-based protein, which is healthier than processed beef or fish. Processed meat is known to cause cancer [1], while fish is highly contaminated with toxic chemicals and mercury [2].

That said, if you’re looking for a healthier vegan jerky, opt for a jerky that is lower in sodium and with the shortest and simplest ingredients list possible. For example, Noble Jerky’s Teriyaki Jerky contains just 5 simple and recognizable ingredients.

Bottom line, vegan jerky can be a healthy snack if a moderate amount is consumed occasionally. When combined with a sweaty workout, vegan jerky is a great choice for a high-protein snack that will help replenish lost sodium.

Is beef jerky healthy?

While beef jerky is not aimed at being health food, many people consume it regularly due to its convenience and borderline addictive characteristics. Beef jerky is generally made by marinating a lean cut of beef in a variety of sauces and spices. A multitude of additives are then added to preserve the meat. Extremely high amounts of salt are used in the process of making beef jerky. Here are some reasons why beef jerky is not a healthy snack:

It's high in sodium

That said, beef jerky is high in protein and generally contains very little carbohydrates and fat, however, it tends to be quite high in sodium. For example, Jack Link’s Hickory Smoked Beef Jerky contains 350 mg of sodium per two pieces of jerky. Realistically, most people will not eat just two pieces of jerky in a sitting. To give you an idea, Health Canada recommends that we should consume 1500 mg of sodium per day and not exceed 2300 mg [3]. Digging into a bag of beef jerky can quickly bring you up to 1000 mg of sodium in just one snack.

A high-sodium diet can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke [4]. High sodium intake also depletes your calcium levels [4] as your body excretes the sodium through urine and calcium naturally comes along for the ride.

It's known to cause cancer

Asides from containing high amounts of sodium, beef jerky is not healthy due to the fact that its main ingredient is beef. Not only that, beef jerky is processed red meat. Red meats and especially processed meats are known carcinogens. In fact, the IARC classifies processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen [1], which puts it in the same category as cigarettes and alcohol. This classification means that there is enough evidence to say that processed meat causes cancer. Red meat, on the other hand, is classified by the IARC as a Group 2A carcinogen [1]. This means that red meat likely causes cancer.


  1. IARC Monographs evaluate consumption of red meat and processed meat. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Accessed August 23, 2022.
  2. Common questions about contaminants in seafood. Environmental Defense Fund. Accessed August 23, 2022.
  3. Sodium Intake of Canadians in 2017. Health Canada. Accessed August 23, 2022.
  4. Salt and Sodium. Harvard – The Nutrition Source. Accessed August 23, 2022.

Whether it's vegan cooking or nutrition, I'm passionate about veganism and the wealth of benefits that come with the lifestyle. Since going vegan in 2017, I made it my life's mission to educate people about veganism and reshape the common perception that vegan food is boring.