- Dairy-free cheese brand Daiya is reformulating many of its products with an oat cream blend.
- The mix will allow Daiya’s products to have a melt and cheesy flavor that animal-based dairy products are known for, an obstacle the company said has been holding the category back.
- The reformulations stem from Daiya’s multimillion-dollar investment in March in fermentation technology. The process allows natural fermentation technology and traditional cheesemaking methods to better mimic the dairy product.
Daiya hopes to address the “inconsistency across the taste and texture,” of dairy-free cheese products. The new oat blend will be featured in shreds, slices, blocks and sticks of Daiya cheese.
“Up until now, we know that the #1 thing holding the category back is that it hasn’t delivered on consumers’ taste expectations,” Melanie Domer, Daiya’s chief commercial officer, said in an emailed statement to Food Dive. “Cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and as a result, there are high expectations.”
Domer said this was a multi-year project for Daiya’s R&D team, which the company’s latest investment helped to move forward. The company is working on a campaign to increase awareness of the newly reformulated products.
The global vegan cheese market size was valued at $2.43 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.6% from 2022 to 2030, according to a report from Grand View Research. But despite the growing popularity, the category has so far struggled to achieve parity with dairy while emulating its characteristics.
Daiya claims its newly formulated products will have the same melt factor as dairy cheese, while also boasting a creamy flavor. In addition, they are non-GMO project verified and feature glyphosate-free and certified gluten-free oats.
Along with an improved taste and texture, the new product launches feature a change in branding by Daiya, including a logo revamp, a new tagline and a packaging overhaul. The rebrand was inspired by a desire to connect with a broader consumer base who may be flexible plant-based eaters, while “still paying homage to the original branding” that attracted Daiya customers in the first place.
The rebrand is titled, “100% Plant-Based. Even if you’re not,” and moves away from the all-or-nothing plant-based approach that many brands have taken.