Whole Foods US has swapped the Daiya cheese on its plant-based pizzas for NUMU vegan mozzarella. The change has taken place at all locations nationwide.
NUMU was founded by New Yorker Gunars Elmuts, who was disappointed with the lack of vegan cheese at pizzerias when he first began eating a plant-based diet in 2011. At the time, many chefs were unimpressed with the functionality of vegan cheeses and were reluctant to use them.
Elmuts first developed vegan mozzarella so that he could bring it with him to pizzerias. But chefs soon took notice, and Elmuts set up the company so that they could buy the cheese for wholesale use.
NUMU vegan mozzarella is made from a mixture of coconut oil and starch, and is described as being mild without an aftertaste. Following some recent changes to the cheese, including adjustments to the ingredients and changing the format from blocks to shreds, Whole Foods was convinced and decided to adopt it.
In November, NUMU secured Series A funding in a round co-led by Unovis Asset Management and Clear Current Capital. The company said it intended to use the funding for marketing, product development, and increased distribution.
“Our goal is to have a vegan option become the norm for all places that serve pizza,” Elmuts told VegNews. “Much like coffee shops now, we hope having a dairy-free cheese option will be automatic for everyone.”