The Unstoppable Appeal of Vegan Cheeses: Five Reasons Behind Global Growth

Created by: Eyal Adut, Chief of Marketing & Business Development

Grand View Research recently forecast that the global vegan cheese market is poised to reach over $7 billion USD by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% from 2022 to 2030.

The industry analyst firm cited several reasons behind this trend, including generational shifts in awareness and attitudes, increasing focus on health and well-being, and data that shows that threats to the environment are very real.

The Vgarden team is passionate about developing the most nutritious, delicious and varied range of plant-based cheeses, and we come to work every day to find new ways to serve our customers, partners and communities.

Having been very successful in our headquarters country of Israel, where our cheeses are available through popular brands like MashuMashu and in restaurant chains including Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Papa Johns, and retailers including Costco and Woolworths, we have been expanding our global distribution in regions including Australia and the Pacific, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia in order to keep up with demand.

Vgarden is very active in the B2B sector, which the same Grand View Research report indicates accounted for half of the $2.3 billion vegan cheese market last year (2021).

Here are five drivers of growth identified by Grand View, and they match our experience in this very exciting and meaningful plant-based cheese market.

Millennial Acceptance of Veganism

More and more consumers are adopting vegetarian and vegan diets in the United States, according to a recent Statista study. While only 2.5 percent of Americans over the age of 50 consider themselves vegetarian, 7.5 percent of Millennials and Gen Z have given up meat. The same goes for veganism, where the younger generations have taken on the diet at nearly double the rate of older Americans.

Awareness Regarding Animal Cruelty

Being vegan beneficial for humans’ health and our planet, but the moral significance is that of animal welfare, says PETA. “There is no nutritional need for humans to eat any animal product; all our dietary needs, even as infants and children, are best supplied by a meatless diet,” this article states. PETA shares that The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of many chronic degenerative diseases and conditions, including heart disease, cancer, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. When consumers can uphold their commitment to animal rights while improving their own health, moving to alternatives like plant-based cheeses is compelling.

Negative Impacts of Traditional Dairy Farming on the Environment

A model published in the journal PLoS Climate found that “phasing out animal agriculture over the next 15 years would have the same effect as a 68 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through the year 2100,” according to a press release from Stanford University. The impact that shift would have is monumental, providing 52 percent of the net emission reductions necessary to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the minimum threshold required to avert “disastrous climate change,” the release goes on to say. Moving away from animal-based cheeses to plant-based cheeses will make an extraordinary contribution to reversing climate change.

Rising Cases of Lactose Intolerance and Other Food-Related Allergies

A Technavio study revealed that the demand for lactose-free food products is driven by the increase in incidences of food allergies and intolerances, noting that lactose intolerance is seen in approximately 90% of adults in East Asia. In the US and Europe, the sales of lactose-free products have doubled due to the increase in self-diagnosed cases of lactose intolerance, and today more and more people are substituting animal-based dairy with plant-based alternatives.

Increasing Adoption of Flexitarian Lifestyles

Plant-based foods are fast-growing in popularity around the world, propelled in part because of the rise of flexitarianism, according to this Euromonitor report. While the number of vegans and vegetarians have increased, they pale in comparison to the large group of flexitarian consumers – people who are actively restricting animal-based products but have not fully eliminated these from their diet – who now make up 42% of the market. By comparison, vegans and vegetarians respectively account for 4% and 6% of consumers globally. 

Plant-Based Cheeses: More Choices Than Ever

Vgarden’s growth has largely come from our leadership in the vegan cheese segment, and today we offer Gouda, Mozzarella, Feta, Cheddar, Parmesan and more, enriched with calcium and nutritious fiber - perfect for cooking and baking but also very tasty cold in sandwiches or in cheese platter.

Our food scientists and innovators work every day to get the right novel ingredients and processing stages, which means many, many hours of reaserch, endless trial and error. But when we set out to create a genuine alternative to traditional dairy products, we knew it would be hard work.

Our dairy alternatives products are vegan and free of dairy components (lactose and casein), cholesterol, soy, trans fat, gluten, and other allergens, and are non-GMO.

We’d love to hear what your vision for plant-based cheese offerings is, and to partner with you on how we can help you serve your market with the right flavors, textures and even local variations that fit into your culture, as we continue to strive to bring the best non-dairy cheese alternatives to communities around the world.