Plant-based: it’s not just for the meat section anymore.
In recent years, other areas of the grocery fresh perimeter have become increasingly hospitable to plant-based versions of category favorites.
Cheese is no exception. A host of new plant-based products has brought new life to the category and provided a differentiation opportunity for retailers who want to make their specialty cheese cases stand out.
One of those new products is a plant-based cream cheese flavor from Vancouver, B.C.-based Daiya.
Or make that “cheeze,” the word Daiya uses to make it clear that it’s product is something different from traditional cheese.
The new flavor, DaiyaRoasted Garlic & Herbs, is made with real pieces of roasted garlic, herbs and coconut cream and retails for a suggested $5.49
“It’s the perfect complement to both warm and cold dishes that will satisfy all those savory cravings,” according to Daiya.
The new variety comes in a recyclable 8 oz. tub and is free of not only dairy but also gluten, soy, peanuts and many other common allergens, making it a safe – and delicious – choice for work or school lunches, according to Daiya.
Other flavors in cream cheeze line include Chive and Onion, Plain and Strawberry.
In addition to its new cream cheeze product, Daiya also recently launched a Classic Mozza Style Block to its existing lineup of plant-based blocks, which the company now makes with oats and chickpeas.
Switching to oats and chickpeas provides a creamier texture and a more balanced taste profile, including a semi-firm bite and a smooth finish.
Retailing for a suggested $5.49, the Classic Mozza Style Block is “a love letter to traditional dairy mozzarella cheese blocks and a soon-to-be fan favorite with its recipe versatility,” according to Daiya.
Like the rest of its blocks and its cream cheezes, the Classic Mozza Style Block is also free from gluten, soy, and peanuts.
Plant-based Babybels now shipping
Chicago-based Bel Brands USA has unveiled a new version of its popular Babybel cheese to the market.
Babybel Plant-Based cheeses hit retail markets in March. Bel Brands is also expanding tis exclusively plant-based brand, Nurishh, and rolling out a plant-based version of another company favorite, Laughing Cow.
Babybel Plant-Based mimics the same great taste fans have come to know and love from Babybel, now in a certified plant-based, non-GMO project verified, and certified vegan snack, according to Bel Brands.
Babybel Plant-Based has a soft, smooth, and creamy texture, developed to taste like Mozzarella. Babybel’s signature red wax coating is changing colors to an iconic green, so it’s easy for families and kids to identify.
The Nurishh line extension features new flavors and formats including:
- Cream Cheese Style product line in Plain and Chive varietiesCubes product line in flavors Cheddar Style and Hot Pepper Style
- Parmesan Style Shreds
- Hot Pepper Style Slices
- Slices variety pack (2 Packs of Cheddar Style Slices and 1 Pack of Mozzarella Style Slices)
Nurishh Shreds & Slices can be found at Stop & Shop and Giant Foods.
Finally, a plant-based, vegan version of Laughing Cow cheese is projected to roll out in 2023. Certified plant-based and vegan, The Laughing Cow Plant-Based will deliver a great taste and the creamy deliciousness consumers know and love.
With more than half of Americans incorporating more plant-based products into their daily lives, the cheese category is facing a huge opportunity when it comes to plant-based offerings, according to Bel Brands.
“We believe we can set the tone for the future of the cheese industry through a consumer- and customer-centric approach to innovation that focuses on products that meet evolving demands, even as those demands continue to shift,” said Shannon Maher, chief marketing officer at Bel Brands USA. “To get plant-based cheese right, you need to know what makes cheese cheese. And that’s exactly what you’ve trusted us to do for over 150 years.”
It’s no secret in the dairy industry that cheese is one of the most technically challenging spaces for dairy alternatives because of its complexity, said Katie Halgerson, Babybel development platform manager.
“The plant-based cheese category has largely struggled to deliver offerings that are delicious, accessible and meet consumers’ expectations of cheese – until now,” she said. “We’re proud to give every cheese lover an opportunity to enjoy the melty texture, creamy goodness and rich mouthfeel of their favorite Bel cheeses, including expanding our line-up of product offerings to Babybel, bringing our delicious flavor and palm-sized playfulness to the plant-based world.”