General Mills wins award for their vegan soup line

Their Progresso vegan soups currently come in three different flavors.

The animal lovers at PETA are fans of General Mills.

That's because the Minnesota-based food company recently introduced a variety of vegan soups.

The "Good Natured Soups" from Progresso (which is owned by General Mills) contain three-fourths of a cup of vegetables per serving and don't have any animal products, preservatives, or colors from artificial sources, General Mills' website says.

Right now there's three vegan soup flavors available: Hearty Tomato with Spinach and Roasted Garlic, Hearty Corn and Chipotle Chowder, and Hearty Lentil with Garden Vegetables.

PETA likes the soup so much they gave General Mills a Great Taste Award for "offering a variety of delicious, cruelty-free Good Natured soups under its Progresso brand."

"It's a sign of our vegan-friendly times that a household name like Progresso is offering a line of vegan soups, making it easier than ever to find a delicious and easy plant-based meal at the local supermarket," PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a news release.

Newkirk also said PETA hopes that other businesses will follow in GeneralMills' footsteps.

Vegan food is not just for vegans

Plant-based products appeal to many people due to ethical, environmental, religious and health concerns.

Although only an estimated 7 percent of the population is vegan, research suggests that 36 percent of consumers in the U.S. prefer milk alternatives and buy meat alternative products, Food Navigator says.

And vegan entrees made the top 10 for the "main dishes" category in the National Restaurant Association's What's Hot 2016 Culinary Forecast.

There's a ton of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Minneapolis, which is rated No. 7 on the list of Top Vegetarian Cities in the U.S. – and the Twin Cities Veg Fest 2016 is coming up at the end of October.

PETA says people who go vegan have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and strokes – and the diet helps reduce a person's carbon footprint.

The Mayo Clinic says that a well-planned vegan diet can be beneficial, but requires some education to achieve proper nutrition.

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