Supermarket Perimeter - April 2021 - 32

Deli

PL ANT-BASED

cheese
BY EMILY PARK

32 - APRIL 2021

cravings, from charcuterie boards to garnishes, " Robbins added.
A few years ago, plant-based cheese options were limited, and most
consumers who bought them either ate only plant-based diets or were
lactose intolerant. Oftentimes the plant-based cheeses of the past
didn't quite hit the mark to act as a genuine replacement for their dairy
counterparts.
" Plenty of consumers have craved plant-based products but just
couldn't bring themselves to use them-often because of the flavor
or texture. If consumers don't like the way something tastes, they
won't stand by it, " noted Keith Schuman, business unit lead of Fairfield,
N.J.-based Schuman Cheese's Vevan Foods brand. " Now flexitarians,
or those that eat meat but choose to limit consumption, are a big
consumer of plant-based cheese. This is largely due to the quality of
products that they can find on shelves. Plant-based cheeses have never
tasted and functioned more like the real thing than they do now, and
consumers are noticing. "

Unique flavor with functionality of dairy cheese
When it comes to plant-based products, it's important that they taste
good within their own right, noted Justin Lambeth, chief executive
officer of Kingston, N.Y.-based Treeline Cheese.

supermarketperimeter.com

FIELD & ROAST, NUMU

AS MORE OPTIONS BECOME AVAILABLE, plant-based cheeses are
exploding in the dairy and specialty cheese cases. Data released by the
Plant-based Food Association (PBFA) and the Good Food Institution
found that plant-based cheese sales grew by 18% in 2019, largely
outpacing growth in dairy cheese sales, which added 1.4% in 2019.
The sales increase for plant-based cheeses in 2020 (final-year
numbers are expected soon) is expected to be even higher. At the
height of COVID-19 panic-buying, the overall plant-based category
expanded by 95%, leading to many consumers trying plant-based
products like vegan cheese for the first time.
Rising trends are also expanding consumer interest in plant-based
based cheeses.
" Consumers seek out plant-based food options, including cheese, for
various personal reasons, including taste, health benefits, environmental
impact, and animal welfare, " said Michael Robbins, PFBA's spokesperson.
" As the environmental crisis becomes more pressing, awareness around
options that are better for the earth are growing in popularity. "
" Additionally, many dishes that Americans cook and consume
regularly contain cheese. As more Americans switch to plant-based
and flexitarian lifestyles for any of the above reasons, there is no doubt
that they will seek out plant-based options to fulfill their favorite cheese


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Supermarket Perimeter - April 2021

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