An Epic Showdown: Vega One vs Garden of Life

(Last Updated On: September 6, 2018)

We all live in a fast pace world today. Long gone are the days we sit down as a family and enjoy an evening meal or even make our own lunches. Lunch today is often processed food from the vending machine at work or from the dollar menu at a fast-food drive-through. We’re all looking for that quick and easy meal to eat between meetings.

But, quick and easy meals don’t have to be unhealthy. In fact, they can be super healthy. Meal replacement supplements are a great way to consume large amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals without tons of calories. People looking to lose weight often consume meal replacement shakes, but anyone can consume these shakes for the health benefits.

While you should still consume real food for most of your meals, meal replacement shakes are great for a quick, portable snack or right after a tough workout. There are many options on the health food store shelves today, but Vega One and Garden of Life continue to top the lists for best plant-based meal replacement shakes.

Both Vega One and Garden of Life have a strong reputation in the health supplement industry.

Garden of Life and Vega One manufacture plant-based, non-GMO and mainly organic products. Their products are often very similar in nature leading many consumers to question which product to purchase. We have decided to review and compare two of their most popular products, Vega One Nutritional Shake and Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal.

Bottom Line Up Front: If you are in a rush, here’s my quick take…

About Vega One Nutritional Shake

Vega One Nutritional Shake is a plant-based all-in-one nutritional shake that provides you with 20 grams of protein, 6 servings of greens, and 50% of your daily value of vitamins and minerals. Vegan certified and Non-GMO Project certified, Vega One is gluten, dairy, and soy free and offers so many variants for pre-workout and post workout.

More than 75% of Vega One’s ingredients are sourced from North America. Although the product is not certified organic, a majority of the ingredients are certified or grown organically. Vega One Nutritional Shake comes in seven flavors: chocolate, berry, natural, vanilla chia, french vanilla, coconut almond, and mocha. A 30.4-ounce container retails for about $55.00.

About Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal

Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal is a powder supplement formulated to be a snack or meal replacement that is naturally filling and provides vitamins, minerals, and protein. Raw Meal is a convenient meal-on-the-go product that provides a well-balanced, healthy meal loaded with 45 superfoods and 40 grams of plant-based protein (or 20 grams per single serving).

In addition to an incredible amount of protein, Raw Meal contains 21 vitamins and minerals, fiber, and probiotics. Raw Meal is USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified. It is made of all raw and vegan products.

Raw Meal is gluten, dairy, lactose, and soy free. Raw Meal is available in four flavors: Real Raw Vanilla, Real Raw Chocolate Cacao, Original, and Real Raw Vanilla Spiced Chai. A 32-ounce container retails for about $45.00.

The Showdown: Garden of Life vs Vega

Vega One Nutritional Shake and Garden of Life Raw Meal are very similar products. Both are plant-based, certified vegan products. They will not contain any dairy, gluten, or soy ingredients. Additionally, both products are Non-GMO Project verified too. However, only Raw Meal is certified USDA Organic. Vega One does use mostly organic sources from primarily North America, but not all of its ingredients are certified organic.

From a high level, both meal replacements have similar ingredients. Both contain a mix of pea protein, fruits and vegetables, and probiotics. Vega One uses a protein blend of pea, hemp, and sacha inchi protein while Raw Meal uses brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, chia and several others. However, both products contain 20 grams of protein per single serving.

Vega One and Raw Meal are essentially equal when it comes to the majority of our essential vitamins and minerals. For example, Vega One contains more Vitamin A and C than Raw Meal, but Raw Meal contains more Zinc and Manganese than Vega One.

While there are some minor differences in vitamin and mineral content, we think they are similar enough that it shouldn’t matter too much as long as you eat a wide variety of healthy fruits and vegetables each day.

The big difference between the products is the available probiotics and enzymes. Raw Meal wins in this category. It has two types, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus blugaricus at 1.5 billion and 3 billion CFU respectively, and an enzyme blend. Whereas, Vega One contains only Bacillus coagulans at 1 billion CFU.

Both products are quite similar in micronutrients, but a bit different when it comes to the macronutrients. Vega One and Raw Meal each contain 20 grams of protein per single serving. Raw Meal recommends that for a meal replacement you should use two scoops so that would translate to 40 grams of protein.

A single serving of Raw Meal is 120 calories whereas a single serving of Vega One is 170 calories. For those who are using either product for weight loss, Raw Meal is probably the better option. Raw Meal contains only 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of sugar.

Vega One on the other hand, contains 6 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of fiber, and less than 1 gram of sugar. Both products use stevia to sweeten the flavors.

Vega One Nutritional Shake and Garden of Life Raw Meal are similar in texture. Both mix well in water, juice, or shakes. We recommend trying either product in a shake for a more well-rounded meal. Vega One offers seven flavors while Raw Meal offers four flavors.

A 32-ounce container of Raw Meal can be purchased online for roughly $42.00 or about $1.50 per single serving (or $3.00 if you use two scoops). Check out the latest prices. Vega One is slightly more expensive at about $55.00 for a 30.4-ounce container. However, prices vary depending on flavor. A single serving of Vega One is approximately $2.50. Check out the latest discounts and prices.

We thought that the various flavors tasted very similar to each other, but most of our reviewers preferred the taste of Raw Meal over Vega One. One feature we love about Vega One is the option to purchase single serving packages to taste test each flavor before investing in a larger container.

The Quick Facts

 Vega One Nutritional ShakeGarden of Life Raw Meal
Ingredients:Verified vegan, Non-GMO Project verifiedVerified vegan, Non-GMO Project verified, USDA Organic certified
Does Not Contain:Gluten, dairy, or soyGluten, dairy, lactose, or soy
Protein Per Serving:20g20g
Carbohydrates Per Serving:13g7g
Fat Per Serving:6g1g
Probiotics:Bacillus coagulans (1 billion CFU)Lactobacillus plantarum (1.5 billion CFU); Lactobacillus blugaricus (3 billion CFU)
Flavors:Seven optionsFour options
Retail Price:Check this listing for the latest priceCheck this listing for the latest price

The Final Scoop

Overall, I think both products are very similar in taste, texture, and nutritional content.If we were forced to pick one, we would lean more towards Raw Meal, as it tasted slightly better, contained more probiotics, and fewer calories at a more budget-friendly price.

Special Note: However, Vega One is currently on sale here for 20% off using code “SUMMER20” which somewhat equalizes matters.

However, we recommend trying each product to determine which flavor you prefer and go with that. At the end of the day, you just want something that tastes good.

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4 thoughts on “An Epic Showdown: Vega One vs Garden of Life”

  1. I am glad you are discussing protein shakes again. I have been looking for an alternative to Isagenix and I tried Vega One chocolate. I bought the sample packet (which I wish all protein shake companies sold) which comes with chocolate, vanilla, mixed berry, and a protein chocolate peanut butter bar. I mixed up the shake like I would the Isagenix shake ( 1 cup water, 1 cup ice, 2 T PB2) and blended in my Magic Bullet. It did not mix up well at all. I bought the Natures Bounty and did the same concoction and again, it did not mix up well (clumpy,gritty, and gross tasting!). What am I doing wrong? I do not want to keep buying Isagenix products but they are the only ones that blend up and become frosty-like thickness in a blender without chunks and grit? Are these non-Isagenix protein powders supposed to be shaken and not mixed up in a blender? Or am I supposed to use them with other ingredients? Please help as I really need to find alternatives soon. Thanks.

    • Hi Paula,

      Thanks for your question. The Isagenix shakes have Whey protein and other milk proteins that might explain that creaminess you enjoy, and why you can mix it with water. Unfortunately, they also contain many things you don’t want in a protein shake as well. I recommend you try adding some almond milk to your Vega One shakes, ice, and maybe even a banana. The calories still don’t add up to the Isagenix shakes, so feel free to experiment with some smoothie recipes on your own too. There are many great smoothie recipes here too. Hope this helps!

    • I always add 4 ice cubes + a handful of spinach + non sweet / plain almond milk + tsp of coconut oil/ avocado oil or hemp oil and have always had very smooth, well blended shakes ~
      I hope this helps 🙂

  2. I completely agree with this comparison and used Raw Meal every day for 5 years.
    Unfortunately Garden Of Life has sold to NESTLE. Of all companies! I can’t in good conscience give money to Nestle – they are absolutely reprehensible. SO I recently switched to Vega One organic (after a long search) and I love it!!

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