Despite initial pushback, the vegan cheese industry has been performing exceedingly well.
For anti-vegans, there are two foods that people most commonly refuse to give up in lieu of healthier, vegan options– bacon and cheese. While bacon requires a separate discussion, vegan cheese has been gaining massive traction in the past few years, despite initial and current pushback.
In fact, Riverdel, a cheese shop in Brooklyn, has managed to exist for four years. The vegan cheese and sandwich shop received quite a bit of negative feedback on Twitter in its early days, with many calling Riverdel the latest sign of impending global doom. One person tweeted, “Weird that with all the awful stuff in the world it was a vegan cheese shop that started the apocalypse, but here we are.”
That was in 2015. Nowadays, Riverdel is home to more than fifty assortments of vegan cheeses, milk, and yogurts, and the owner (Michael Grob) is routinely approached by new cheesemakers hoping to get their cheese on the store’s shelves.
Over the past few years, vegan cheese sales have skyrocketed. According to data curated by Nielsen, vegan cheese sales spiked a massive 41 percent through August of 2018. To support the rapid growth of the vegan cheese industry, vegan cheese companies are quickly expanding.
For example, Miyoko’s Kitchen in Northern California has recently upgraded to a larger facility that can sustain 2,000-pound batches of nut-based cheese. The Vancouver-based company Daiya is moving to a manufacturing facility six times their current facility size, a decision necessary to support their recent jump of sales of $17 million in 2012 to $127 million currently.
Recent progress of the vegan cheese industry shows great promise that in the years to come, vegan foods will be common in households.