The French cheese brand Bel Group is launching a vegan version of their famous Babybel cheese. In order to recreate the eating experience of the original, the vegan mini cheese wheels are wrapped in wax, but instead of the classic red color, these new dairy-free cheeses are coated with a removable green wax. The new plant-based Babybel cheeses are certified as vegan by The Vegan Society and are fortified with calcium and B12.
“We have seen overwhelming demand over the years for developing a vegan-friendly baby gel and as the market for herbal products continues to grow significantly, this new launch is exactly the right time to satisfy that consumer appetite,” said Babybel brand manager Ollie Richmond told The grocer.
The new vegan Babybel cheeses (£ 2 per pack of five) will be available in Sainsbury’s stores in the UK on January 1st, in time for the annual Veganuary campaign encouraging people to be vegan in January and beyond. Babybel vegan cheese is sold in recyclable packaging and is expected to be available in additional stores and regions after Sainsbury’s initial launch.
Bel Group gets into vegan cheese
Bel Group is very aware of the demand for vegan alternatives to cheese and the French giant is working to develop plant-based alternatives to its classic cheese products. The launch of vegan Babybel cheese follows the launch of their first vegan cheese product by the Bel Group: Boursin Dairy-Free Cheese Spread Alternative. The vegan Boursin spread was developed in collaboration with the cult vegan brand Follow Your Heart and is made from organic coconut oil and organic expeller-pressed rapeseed oil. The vegan Boursin hit shelves at retailers like Trader Joe’s last year.
“Last year we accelerated the [Bel] Transformation of the group in the conviction that responsible and profitable growth is possible: an enlightened ‘capitalism’ that moves from a logic of balance of power to a logic of sharing values, beyond all important participations, “says Cécile Béliot., Bel Group executive vice president said Food Dive last year. “This guides everyone [Bel] Actions of the group today. “
In addition to developing vegan versions of their iconic cheeses, the Bel Group has launched an entirely new line of vegan cheeses. In April, French company Nurishh launched Fresh on Amazon and select retailers in the US. The new vegan cheese line offers six flavors and two formats: mozzarella, provolone and cheddar slices as well as mozzarella, cheddar and mozzarella / cheddar mixed schnitzel. Outside the US, the Nurishh line also offers a vegan Camembert-style cheese wheel.
In order to further diversify its portfolio of plant-based products, the Bel Group recently acquired the French startup All in Foods, which manufactures plant-based products under the Nature & Moi brand.
How about vegan Laughing Cow Wedges?
The Bel Group also owns the Laughing Cow brand, which is known for its snacks. While the French company doesn’t have to bring out dairy-free Laughing Cow Wedges just yet, the vegan brand GOOD PLANeT Foods has topped it with the launch of its own version.
GOOD PLANeT launched the world’s first vegan cheese wedges – individually wrapped and packed in a round box – at retailers in the USA in August. These vegan cheeses are allergen-friendly and available in the flavors Original, Smoked Gouda and Pepper Jack.
“We aim to do the [plant-based cheese] Segment by making it easy for consumers to make sustainable choices and choose herbal products, ”said Bart Adlam, Co-CEO of GOOD PLANeT, in a statement. “With this innovation, we are delivering an allergen-free, keto-certified, plant-based snack cheese wedge that offers the creaminess, satisfaction and taste of milk cheese.”
Read more about vegan cheese:
Toronto Cheese Master makes realistic vegan brie
General Mills’ first vegan cheese is made from cruelty-free whey
Follow Your Heart launches vegan feta cheese