Dairy-free cheese alternative products are getting more attention by the day. As most people, you certainly have heard about Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods burgers and of their numerous wannabe challengers either plant-based or cell-based (even if not on the market for the foreseeable future). Then, what’s next? Dairy is certainly this next hot thing. Milk-like drinks based on almonds, oats or soy have been there for decades and new products are under development on other areas, especially on cheese. 2 examples today:
– Kite Hill, a quite well known US based startup, has just raised $10 million to develop its range of plant-based products (from yogurts to cheese).
– New Culture, a new cell-based cheese startup, announced a $3.5 million deal. While still at doing R&D, it hopes to put on the market products which would taste, feel and nutritionally be just as the “real” ones, but without the animal
Why does it matter?
1 – Both startups have been funded by CPG giants: Kite Hill by General Mills and New Culture by Kraft Heinz: so their is a lot of “exploratory” attention (not enough to acquire or develop their own range of products, but enough to invest a few millions) there from US major corporation.
2 – Dairy cell-based products will be on the market soon as their underlying technology (fermentation to put it simply) has much less regulatory and technological challenges to face than cell-based meat. Then, we will see the first competition between the 4 offers: the “real” product, the cell-based alternative, the trendy startup plant-based alternative and the old, not so equivalent, alternative. I am quite excited to see that coming!