70% of consumers want animal-free cheese alternatives, study finds
A new consumer acceptance study finds that 71% of consumers are willing to try and buy new animal-free cheese products. These more environmentally friendly and humane animal-free cheeses are also fermented, but without the addition of any dairy products to achieve a cheese product that tastes, looks and feels exactly like an animal product.
First Large-Scale Consumer Acceptance Study of Animal-Free Cheese
In this first large-scale consumer acceptance study of animal-free fermented cheeses, researchers found surprising enthusiasm for the category. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, found that 71 percent of respondents would be willing to buy animal-free fermented cheeses, while 79 percent would be willing to taste these products.
Attitudes towards plant-based cheeses by country and age group
Published by Berlin-based food tech company Formo and the University of Bath, the study involved more than 5,000 respondents from the UK, US, Brazil, Germany and India. Researchers asked consumers about their views on medium-fermented milk cheeses, broken down by age group and country, and found that more than 70 percent were willing to try the products.
Researchers, flexitarians seem to show the greatest interest in animal-free cheeses.
This finding is explosive because that’s how we’ve always understood our mission—to initiate change not by sacrificing consumers, but by creating a delicious, satisfying product,” said Formo Principal Investigator Oscar Zorman. Oscar Zollman Thomas shared.
Another study by Euromonitor found that flexitarian consumers have grown in size globally over the past few years, with flexitarians now making up 42% of all consumers globally.
Dr Christopher Bryant from the University of Bath commented:
“Seeing more flexitarians and young people favor animal-free cultured cheeses is an important indicator that the market for cultured dairy products could go well beyond current plant-based cheeses…as we’ve seen in recent years plant-based cheeses Just as milk is taking a growing share of the milk market, we are now seeing that consumers are ready to embrace this new medium cheese product.”
Key Drivers of Ethics and Sustainability
According to research, consumers are drawn to animal-free dairy products not just because they taste, look and feel the same as real dairy products. Respondents in all countries understood that the process of precision fermentation has significant environmental and ethical advantages.
It is estimated that animal-free dairy produces around 85-97% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional dairy, while completely eliminating animal husbandry-related cruelty. This was calculated in an independent third-party lifecycle assessment commissioned by Perfect Day earlier this year.
Commenting on the overall findings of the study, Formo co-founder and CEO Raffael Wohlgensinger said broad consumer enthusiasm for new animal-free dairy products should motivate policymakers to make newer products. , sustainable production of alternatives paving the way to the market.
Regulators in other countries, such as Singapore, are already scrambling to establish the right regulatory framework for novel foods, Wohlgensinger added. The country is famous for becoming the first country in the world to approve the sale of cell-cultured meat last year, and has even since established a research center aimed at accelerating food safety testing and speeding up the regulation of food produced using the new technology.