The "Global Vegan Cheese Market" is predicted to reach a high CAGR during the forecast period (2022-2029).
Vegan cheese is a category of non-dairy, plant-based cheese product. Vegan cheese ranges from soft fresh cheeses to aged and cultured hard gradable cheeses. Vegan cheese is made with vegetables, rich in proteins, fats and milk (plant milk). It is also made from sesame, sunflower, nuts (cashew, pine nut, peanuts and almond) and soybeans. It also uses other ingredients: coconut oil, nutritional yeast, tapioca, rice, potatoes, and spices. Three key reasons driving the trend towards plant-based cheese alternatives are rising cases of lactose intolerance, ethical concerns about animal welfare, and dairy's environmental footprint. The vegan cheese industry has seen double-digit growth over the past few years. According to statistics, sales of plant-based cheese grew 41% through August 2020, while sales of regular dairy cheese were flat. Taking inspiration from the popularity of plant-based milk, vegan cheese innovators have started developing cashew, almond and oat-based formulations. While many key players are focusing on vegan mozzarella, it is a good foundation for growth because pizza holds a very large share in the food industry. Burger King, one of the largest fast-food chains in the United States, introduced a meatless version of its signature burger. Burger King partnered with Impossible Food, a vegan company, to deliver the new burger.
Source: DataM Intelligence Analysis (2021)
Growing awareness of environmental contamination caused by dairy practices is likely to favor the market growth
The growing awareness of people towards environmental contamination caused by dairy practices is leading to a transition towards dairy alternatives. Dairy farming adversely impacts watercourses due to nitrogen and phosphorus emissions from manure spreading and over-grazed fields. For greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the dairy farm contributes more than 80% of the impact for milk and more than 90% for cheese. Among these emissions, about 50% are due to methane (CH4) emissions from enteric fermentation. Moreover, increasing concerns about health problems from consuming dairy products further influences consumers to shift to vegan products. Recent research has suspected using antibiotics, hormones, and allergens on cattle to increase cattle production, creating a negative outlook of the dairy industry. The emergence of flexitarian consumers, who are reducing meat and dairy consumption by replacing them with plant-based products, is also expected to play a crucial role in driving the market. The increasing popularity of veganism has made food manufacturing units to incorporate dairy-free alternatives while producing different food products. Vegan cheese is prominently used in bakeries and fast foods. In order to capitalize on the growing demand for vegan cheese, major fast-food companies like Domino's and MacDonald's have started serving vegan burgers, pizza and many other vegan fast food products. Many supermarkets and retail stores have started selling different varieties of vegan cheeses.
The low protein content of vegan cheese is likely to hinder the market growth
The lower nutrition profile, inferior taste and texture attributes compared to traditional dairy cheese are the major concerns associated with plant-based cheese. These factors made vegan cheese as an unviable alternative in several applications. The key component that gives dairy cheese the traits people love is the texture and stretchiness due to casein proteins found in cow's milk. Currently, the researchers are experimenting with microbial fermentation, a synthetic technique that enables microflora like bacteria and fungi to express casein proteins. These are then turned into larger structures called casein micelles, one of the key building blocks of cow's milk.
Mozzarella’s popularity fuels global demand for vegan cheese shreds
By product type, the market is segmented into mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, gouda and cream cheese. The demand for Mozzarella is rising as pizza is considered a global appetite. Mozzarella vegan cheese is currently in high demand as it possesses melty and stretchy qualities, which are quite similar to traditional mozzarella. It is mainly used in the preparation of vegan cheese pizza and pasta. Its demand is rising among consumers who love to eat healthily without compromising on taste. Recently Saputo Dairy unveiled a new Vegan Society accredited plant-based mozzarella cheese under its market-leading Vitalite brand, which is now available to foodservice operators and manufacturers in the U.K.
Germany led Europe to the top of the Vegan Cheese market
Europe evolved as the largest market in terms of value share in global vegan cheese sales. The region is estimated to account for XX% of the sales revenue with major consumption in Germany, U.K. and France. The vegan diet is gaining acceptance in European countries, which is anticipated to fuel the growth of non-dairy cheese during the forecast period. Germany accounts for more than 25 percent of the European non-dairy cheese market. The value of plant-based cheese products sold in German supermarkets has grown by 150% over the past two years, from 18 million euros in 2018 to 50 million euros in 2020. Many European market players are investing in R&D to get ahead of the competition. According to the Plant-Based Food Association, the U.S. market for plant-based foods is anticipated to reach USD 4 billion in sales by 2024. The expansion is driven by the increased inclination towards vegetarian sources, rising urban populations, and a greater preference for international foods. Multiple grocery chains in the US have expanded their geographical presence within specialty stores and supermarkets to address the anticipated growth for vegan cheeses, with annual sales growth expected at 8%.
Source: DataM Intelligence Analysis (2021)
A wide range of products made the market competitive
The global vegan cheese market is moderately competitive with the presence of local as well as global companies. Some of the key players contributing to the market's growth include Miyoko’s Creamery, Tofutti, Violife, Daiya, Treeline, Dr. Cow, Sister River Foods, Heidi Ho, Kite Hill and Punk Rawk Labs, among others. The major players are adopting several growth strategies such as product launches, acquisitions, and collaborations, contributing to the growth of the vegan cheese market globally.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been positively influencing the growth of vegan cheese. Consumers increasingly turned to plant-based alternatives for several reasons, including supply shortages among traditional meat and dairy products and health reasons. People are highly conscious of improving their health and immunity power by consuming highly nutritious food through plant-based cheese. Dairy giant Applewood recently announced that nearly 74 percent of people would be 'looking at' buying plant-based alternatives to cheese this Christmas. In the latest alternative dairy report published by Singapore-based vegan review platform Abillionveg, researchers described 2020 as an "explosive" year for plant-based dairy. Currently, plant-based milk and cheese alternatives remain the two most popular alternative products within the segment on their app, making up to 60% of reviews in the category. From December 2019 to November 2020, the entire vegan dairy category on the Abillionveg platform saw a 6-fold surge.
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