Products & Launches

Advanced Food Products Creates Premium Vegan Cheese Sauce From Chickpeas

Advanced Food Products LLC (AFP), which specializes in cheese sauces, dips and soups, is now offering Muy Fresco Plant-Based Cheese Sauce for restaurants and foodservice operators.

Designed to pour over nachos, burgers or appetizers, the Muy Fresco cheese is a chickpea-based product that replicates the full flavor, texture and creaminess of dairy-based cheese sauces. The product comes in nacho and cheddar flavors. 

Seeking better cheese sauce

Headquartered in Pennsylvania, AFP is a foodservice distributor serving restaurants and retail. Spurred by the phenomenal growth of the plant-based dairy segment, the company saw a keen opportunity to bring a plant-based version of its signature cheese sauce to market. 

According to Dataessentials, plant-based cheese is one of the quickest-growing trends on burger menus, with the term “vegan cheese” surging by 598% in 2021. On the global level, plant-based cheese is projected to expand at a CAGR of 12.8% through 2028. 

Good Planet Plant-Based Cheese
©Good Planet Foods

AFP researchers spent 18 months assessing consumer and business interest in a novel dairy-free cheese sauce, according to QSR. The feedback the company gathered showed a strong, widespread dissatisfaction with most plant-based cheese sauces on the market. 

“The overwhelming sentiment from both groups was that taste and texture were the top two attributes missing from other competitive plant-based cheese sauces on the market today,” reported AFP’s Innovation Team. “Specifically, we saw in existing products the texture tended to be ‘gelled,’ or lacked a creamy melted cheese texture, while the color often tended to be brownish or artificial orange.” 

Macaroni and Cheese, mac and cheese @ pamela_d_mcadams

Expanding dairy-free dishes

Equipped with this knowledge, AFP says the company set to work to create a versatile, pourable, non-dairy cheese that matched the true flavor profile and performance of traditional cheese sauce.  Muy Fresco cheese is sold in shelf-stable, aseptic packaging and can help foodservice operators greatly expand their dairy-free menu offerings. 

“You can put it on literally anything,” says the AFP Innovation Team. “The great thing about the cheese sauce in general is its versatility across menus. There is no limit to where it can add value and excitement to a menu.”

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