Rumours are rife that Philadelphia cream cheese is researching interest in creating vegan options. The dairy cream cheese giant owned by Kraft Heinz is conducting an online survey asking consumers to feedback as to whether they want options that go beyond the current vegetarian offerings.
Future Market Insights provided an analysis of the global vegan cheese market size, which was valued at US$ 2,148.7 million in 2019. It is projected to rise at a CAGR of 8.6% between 2019 and 2028. Successful vegan cheeses are an instant hit as something craved by plantbased consumers – when Applewood in the UK released its first vegan version last year it sold out within 24 hours. US-based Grounded Foods opened up pre-sales for its first-to-market cauliflower cheeses and sold out within 3 minutes.
The Mondelez portfolio member Kraft Heinz is no stranger to vegan business. The corporation enlisted five vegan start-ups in last year’s Springboard incubator programme. It also owns established brands that are well known to vegan shopping lists; these include baked beans and soups amongst other household staples.
Arguably the world’s most recogniseable cream cheese, Philadelphia can attribute its success to clever marketing. It was first created in 1872 in New York by William Lawrence. Mr Lawrence named his product after Philadelphia because at the time the area was synonymous with quality soft cheeses made from whole milk. The second big marketing success for the brand was later in the 1900s when it began pitching to bakers as an ingredient. It was framed as a fancy ingredient for entertaining.
More and more we are witnessing companies who have made their business through products made through animal exploitation, turning to vegan as consumers strive to make better choices and thereby drive the market. Clearly there are those who view this from either or both sides of the argument spectrum – many vegans prefer not to fund the larger firms but on the other hand we need plantbased products to be available to the masses to create a change.
A vegan cream cheese from Philadelphia might be welcome news to those on a budget, as Kraft Heinz has the infrastructure and capability to mass-produce and distribute with relative ease compared to the smaller companies who are finding their feet in the sector. Currently, there are brands such as the legendary Miyoko’s Creamery in the US who are setting the standard but how would they fare against this supergiant?