London vegan cheesemaker operates second largest US grocery chain

A vegan cheese maker in London has struck a deal with a major US grocery chain that markets its cashew-based product in all 50 states.

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A vegan cheese maker in London has struck a deal with a major US grocery chain that markets its cashew-based product in all 50 states.

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Nuts for Cheese has already shipped around one million slices of its cheese this year, a 40% increase in sales from 2021, said chief executive and founder Margaret Coons.

Its deal with Sprouts Farmers Market, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, propelled the small London-based company into the grocery market.

“They are national retailers, it’s a huge opportunity for us. It’s opened up a lot of distribution networks because it’s a highly respected chain,” Coons said.

“This is a high-end, high-quality grocery store that sells alternative and specialty products.

Nuts for Cheese also sells to Whole Foods in the United States

Although he’s been busy in recent months filling Sprouts’ order and pushing it over the one-million-unit mark, he’ll consistently ship around 80,000 wedges of his cheese per month.

“We’ve seen a bit of an uptick in the pandemic as more and more people have been cooking at home and that has continued. We’re still growing,” Coons said.

This growth isn’t just in the vegan community, as plant-based foods are entering the mainstream and Nuts for Cheese is taking advantage, she added.

“We’re for non-dairy eaters and food-conscious people who want high-quality ingredients and foods that make them feel good,” Coons said.

Nuts for Cheese has approximately 30 employees and operates out of a 25,000 square foot (2,250 square meter) factory on Pacific Court.

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Another London vegan cheesemaker, Plantworthy Food, also hit a milestone by selling its powdered cheese sauce to Whole Foods stores in Ontario and British Columbia in June, said Andrew Zuk, who owns and operates the home business with his brother James. .

Plantworthy has gone from selling 10,000 bags of its cheese powder in 2021 to around 30,000 this year. It is sold in approximately 75 stores nationwide.

“It means people support this product. We took customer feedback and made changes based on what we heard,” Zuk said.

Like Nuts for Cheese, Plantworthy also uses cashews as a base for its cheese powder and users can add plant-based milk to make sauce for mac and cheese, nachos and other uses, a he declared.

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“It’s a very versatile product,” Zuk said. “A lot of people are trying to eat more plant-based foods. It’s a market that’s grown tremendously. It’s creamy, delicious, and plant-based, so people are trying it.

He operates out of his home office in London, but has outsourced production to an Ontario food producer. The sauce is available on the Plantworthy website and at Quarter Master Foods in Wortley Village and at Sobeys Extra at Wonderland and Oxford streets.

“People are interested in health and wellness and plant-based options. It’s delicious and healthy,” Zuk said.

Grand View Research, a California-based market research firm, has studied the vegan cheese market and its potential growth, and in a report posted online said the industry is set to grow.

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It was valued at $2.4 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow annually by about 12% from 2022 to 2030, the firm said.

“The growing acceptance of veganism, especially among millennials, has fueled market growth. Growing awareness of animal cruelty and negative environmental impacts caused by the dairy industry has encouraged consumers to opt for plant-based products,” said Grand View Research.

The “cashew segment” held the “dominant position” in the market and is expected to continue to hold it, the company.

“Vegan cashew cheese contains vitamins B2 and B12 and is low in fat. This makes it friendly to health conscious consumers everywhere.

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