Plant-based cheese or vegan cheese is a non-dairy product for consumers who avoid animal-based products. Plant-based cheese is a good source of protein and is cholesterol-free. Plant-based cheese is made from soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk, peanut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, hazelnut milk, vegetables, and others. Plant-based cheese comes in various forms such as shredded, cream cheese, block & sliced, soft cheese, and cheese dips. Consumers are inclining towards plant-based cheese due to lactose intolerance.
Increasing number of vegan consumers and increasing consumer preference towards dairy product alternatives due to lactose intolerance is expected to increase demand for plant-based cheese products over the forecast period. For instance, according to the Vegan Society, the number of vegans in U.K. quadrupled between 2014 and 2018. In 2014, there were 150,000 vegans (0.25% of the population), which increased to 600,000 (1.16% of the population) in 2018.
Dairy-based cheese goes through various stages of processing where proteins physically bond to each other that enables it to offer unique flavors and textures. However plant-based cheese cannot offer same flavors as dairy-based cheese, which comes from coagulation, acidification, pasteurization, and aging of milk, and this factor can hamper the market growth of plant-based cheese.
Among region, North America is expected to witness significant growth in the market over the forecast period, owing to increasing number of people shifting towards plant-based food products, which in turn has led growth of the plant-based food industry. For instance, according to the Plant Based Food Association, in the U.S., plant-based food industry was valued at US$ 4.0 billion in April 2018 and increased by 11% to reach US$ 4.5 billion by April 2019. According to the same source, the U.S. plant-based cheese market was valued at US$ 160 million in April 2019, showing a growth of 19% from the previous year.
Among source, soy milk segment is expected to account for the highest market share over the forecast period. Cheese made from soy milk is available in hard and soft forms and with various flavors cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey jack. Soy cheese is preferred over other sources as it is good source of essential fatty acids. It is also good source of proteins, dietary fiber, iron, potassium, and bio-active components. Consumption of soy proteins can minimize the risk of heart disease. According to the U.S. FDA, consumption of soy protein in daily diet helps to reduce total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Key Market Players
Major players operating in the global plant-based cheese market include Follow Your Heart, Otsuka (Daiya Foods Inc.), Tofutti Brands, Inc., Green Space Brands, Lisanatti Foods, Inc., Treeline Treenut Cheese, Miyoko’s Kitchen, Bute Island Foods Ltd., Violife, Kite Hill, Dr-Cow Tree Nut Cheese, VBites, and Green Vie Foods.
Companies operating in plant-based cheese market are focusing on mergers and acquisitions in order to enhance their market share. For instance, in 2017, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (healthcare company) acquired Daiya Foods Inc., a Canada-based manufacturer of plant-based foods such as cheese and others. The acquisition helped Otsuka to expand its product portfolio by adding a new category of plant-based foods. It also helped Daiya Foods to expand its market presence throughout North America and globally.
Companies operating in plant-based cheese market are focusing on new product launches in order to enhance their market share. For instance, in September 2019, Applewood (a dairy-based cheese manufacturer) launched Applewood Vegan cheese, a new vegan cheese to meet increasing demand for plant-based food products. The product was launched in collaboration with VBites, a plant-based cheese manufacturer.
On the basis of source, the global plant-based cheese market is segmented into:
- Soy Milk
- Almond Milk
- Cashew Milk
- Rice Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Others (Oat Milk, Hazelnut Milk, and Others)
On the basis of product type, the global plant-based cheese market is segmented into:
- Others (Ricotta, Provolone, and Others)
On the basis of form, the global plant-based cheese market is segmented into:
- Others (Dips, Creams, and Others)
On the basis of application, the global plant-based cheese market is segmented into:
On the basis of distribution channel, the global plant-based cheese market is segmented into:
- Hypermarkets & Supermarkets
- Online Channels
- Others (Convenience stores, Departmental stores, and Others )
On the basis of region, the global plant-based cheese market is segmented into:
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- North America
- Rest of the Europe
- South America
- Rest of South America
- Middle East
- Rest of Middle East
- Northern Africa
- Central Africa
- South Africa