With the dairy alternatives market booming, environment and health-conscious consumers seek plant-based cheese, butter, yogurts, and milk. Derived seeds, legumes, cereals, and nuts, plant-based dairy alternatives continue to grow worldwide. According to RationalStat, the global dairy alternatives market is estimated at US$ 22 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow considerably. Whereas, the global vegan cheese market size is foreseen to reach US$ 6 billion by the end of 2028, registering a tremendous CAGR of 13%.
One of the primary raw materials used to produce dairy alternatives for cheese is cashew. Cashews have been used in vegan cheese since 2014 and are chosen for their creaminess and other ingredients that are added to achieve different flavors. It is imperative that regions growing cashews including Africa and India get a competitive advantage in producing vegan cheese. Moreover, almond, soy, and coconut are the preferred dairy alternatives across Europe and the US. Additionally, shredded cheese, cheese slices, specialty cheese, and cheese blocks are the different types of vegan cheese available in the market.
The Shift in Consumer Preference to Augur the Demand for Vegan Cheese
Consumers are increasingly moving to vegan diets, seeking dairy alternatives for cheese, as interest in health, sustainability, and environmental protection continue to swell across the world. The high growth of fast-food consumption is expected to result in increased consumption of vegan cheese in the near future. In addition, the growing acceptance of veganism among consumers worldwide, especially among millennials, has been fuelling the plant-based cheese market.
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Start-ups to Play a Pivotal Role in the Development of Dairy Alternative for Cheese
US-based Miyoko’s Creamery and Upfield (Violife), New Zealand-based New Culture, Sweden-based Stockeld Dreamery, Germany-based Formo, and Australia-based Grounded Foods are the leading and growing companies in the global non-dairy cheese market.
Europe Leads the Global Vegan Cheese Market
Europe dominates the global vegan cheese market share, followed by North America. Europe's market is expected to continue leading the global vegan cheese market. By 2028, RationalStat expects Europe to hold nearly 40% of the overall market. With over 40 brands in the market, Germany is leading the vegan cheese sales in Europe, registering strong sales of US$ 50 million in 2020. Following the vegan cheese market surge, the largest domestic dairy cooperative in Germany – DMK Group moved into the dairy alternatives for the cheese market in 2021.
Furthermore, Asia Pacific (APAC) suffered a significant drop in vegan cheese sales during 2020 and has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels due to the negative performance of milk alternatives in China. In the APAC region, plant-based protein in dairy alternatives is not considered as nutritious as animal protein, therefore hampers the growth of the vegan cheese market.
What is Next in the Global Vegan Cheese Market
In the buoyant dairy alternatives for the cheese market, steps are being taken toward improving nutritional properties to compete with the dairy market. Many companies are striding in the plant-based cheese market by adopting inorganic growth strategies. An increase in per capita spending by consumers to support growth in this market over the coming years. Activities linked with research and development propel the introduction of new products related to vegan cheese.
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