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Cheese heritage re-imagined

Report 044, 2022-11-01

Food, sustainable

Cheese Culture going from imitation to new identity.

There is a new development starting in the vegan food business. The first vegan products were there to replace meat and dairy. The vegan hamburger, the vegan sausage, the vegan milk. Sometimes these products worked, sometimes they were abysmal. After this, a new vegan identity arose. New products with their own image and names. No more imitation. When we think of other cultures this is normal, such as Falafel which arose from a vegan culture.

Vegan /Dairy free is going to gain more territory.

Vegan products are certainly not new but it’s a market that is continuing to grow strongly. We’ve already seen flexitarianism as an alternative to vegetarianism, but we will start to see the same for veganism now. Vegan flex. Less dairy products. This means dairy production will slow down. Oatmilk in coffee is a popular example, but vegan cheese, soy and coconut milk and yoghurt are becoming more and more popular too.

The movie ‘Cow’ (2021 See Trailer below) is one of the triggers, and a sign of the time as well. We realise more and more that animal products come at the cost of animal welfare, even in dairy production which we often saw as animal friendly.

This realisation has of course started long ago with meat, but is now expanding to the dairy industry so milk and cheese. The vegan developments are expanding into regular people’s lives.

Respect for Local Cultures

The food market is growing a large respect of local cultures, triggered by sustainability, lockdowns, logistical issues, and a move to the countryside.

Zooming in on this local culture we see a very rich cheese heritage. This cheese culture has many traditions, a lot of knowledge, refinement, diversity, and production processes with a large palette of cheese as a result. We see a flexibility of ingredients, with goat, sheep, and cow’s milk all making an appearance. The cheese makers look at the specific ingredients and how to best process these into cheese. This is the exact trigger for the next step: Vegan cheeses that do not appear to be like traditional cheese.

This heritage will be tapped into by the next generation of cheese markers. Vegan cheeses that do not appear like traditional cheese. Cheeses with their own identity based on heritage and the vegan ingredients. A new delicacy with its own qualities.

This process runs at the same time of the Tea Sommelier trend. (See Reports The Spirit is no Spirit) We see the same in alcohol as well, where the first products were imitations but now new drinks are coming out with their own identity. This creates new markets, new bars, and new drinking behaviour as well.

We are looking forward to this new culinary experience, a restaurant with vegan ‘cheese’ and a tea sommelier!

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The documentary ‘Cow’ (2021) is truly a sign of the time, but at the same time it’s a trigger to speed up the change in dairy production. This top comment on YouTube says enough about the effect this documentary has on people.

"Watched last night. It gave a good portrayal of 1129's life as a dairy cow. I felt her pain, sadness and confusion. I'll name her "Patience". The ending made me very sad. The farmers were as kind as they could be in this industry. I've seen brutal footage that I will never forget. This documentary was not graphic. I don't consume dairy anymore because of films like this.”

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