Danone-backed Forager Project enters crowded plant-based cheese space with launch of new product line

US – Danone backed US dairy startup Forager Project has launched a new line of organic plant-based cheeses called Cheeseworks which the company says perform like regular cheese when it comes to melting and stretching.

The company said the dairy-free cheeses are made using its probiotic cashew milk yogurt as the base.

They include queso fresco, jack, shredded mozzarella, shredded parmesan, and shredded jack and are made Using Forager Project’s probiotic cashew milk yogurt as the base.

Launched in 2013, Forager Project counts dairy giant Danone as a backer through its investment arm, Danone Manifesto Ventures which bought a minority stake in the company back in 2019.

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A crowded plant-based cheese space

Forager Project is launching its new products into the increasingly crowded plant-based cheese space.

The space includes seasoned food manufacturers like Tofurky, which launched Moocho, a line of dairy-free cheeses, cheesecakes, and vegetable spreads, in February 2020.

Follow Your Heart, which was purchased in February by Danone, also has plant-based cheeses, along with its signature egg-free mayonnaise Vegenaise.

Canada’s Daiya, which started offering dairy-free cheeses 10 years ago, has proven to be a consumer favorite as it adds new products to its portfolio.

And Danone’s plant-based So Delicious Dairy Free brand expanded its offerings in January to include shredded and sliced cheeses.

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With so many brands entering the plant-based dairy space, Forager Project will need to promote its brand and communicate with consumers about why its products are different.

Forager Project already markets itself as a family-owned and operated company while emphasizing its organic certification.

It is expanding into a few segments outside of plant-based dairy including cereals and chips — a move that should help increase its exposure and brand recognition.

Although it is becoming increasing crowded, there seems to be plenty of market share to go around in plant-based cheese.

Grand View Research projects that Sales in the nascent segment which were about US$1 billion in 2019, will nearly triple to US$2.66 billion by 2027.

Even with a promising market opportunity, Forager Project will undoubtedly need to tap Danone’s expertise and guidance to stay competitive.

This includes not only capital but access to Danone’s network and expertise. With major brands like Activia, Silk and Evian in its portfolio, Danone has experience in creating and growing brands across a variety of segments that resonate with consumers.

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