Its Philadelphia Plant Based will start rolling into stores this month to coincide with Veganuary (rsp: £2.50/150g).
In the works for two years, Mondelez said the NPD boasted a “unique” recipe that combined oats and almonds into a “delicious and creamy spread, as good as the Original”.
The fmcg giant is aiming to reach younger audiences following flexitarian lifestyles with the new product, the development of which has been rumoured for the past two years.
It comes as the Philadelphia brand saw value sales grow by 6.3% to £114.1m last year, according to data for The Grocer’s Top Products report [NielsenIQ 52 w/e 11 September 2021].
The brand continued to bring new shoppers into the category, suggested brand manager Abi Eayrs, who added its move into plant-based would drive further growth.
“Given the increasing relevance for shoppers with huge growth in plant-based lifestyles, we believe our new plant-based recipe is a step forward in the market to drive awareness of cheese alternatives, which excel on taste and quality,” she said.
“After performing exceptionally in testing, we’re confident that the exciting new launch from a much-loved brand will drive wider category growth in the long-term future, bringing success in store.”
With a record 582,000 participants in Veganuary 2021, and the charity looking for further growth in sign-ups in 2022, “the increasing public appetite for plant-based alternatives has never been more apparent”, said Mondelez International’s UK MD Louise Stigant.
“Evolving consumer demands have long informed our ambition to provide a wide range of products that work for everyone and the new Philadelphia Plant Based product is the latest on this journey. We can’t wait to hear what the growing number of vegan and flexitarian shoppers think of this great-tasting new cheese alternative.”
The launch comes as Bel UK unveiled a plant-based Babybel variant this week, which followed the launch of a vegan version of its soft cheese Boursin last October.