Source: Saputo Dairy UK 

The vegan cheese alternative is made from coconut oil and contains added calcium and vitamin B12

Saputo Dairy UK has expanded its plant-based spreads brand Vitalite with a first move into vegan cheese alternatives.

The supplier launched the dairy-free cheese alternative at selected Asda stores nationwide last week in two variants: a 200g block (rsp: £2.30) and a 200g slices SKU (rsp: £2.50).

The range is made from coconut oil, with added calcium and vitamin B12, with the launch coming as sales of dairy-free cheese alternatives in UK supermarkets grew by 25% last year to £20.4m [IRI dairy alternatives, 52 w/e 7 September 2019]. Meanwhile, almost 25% of households said they had bought such a product during the past six months [Mintel free-from report December 2018].

Most of this growth was coming from people who believed free-from options were key to a healthy lifestyle, rather than from people with intolerances or allergies, said the supplier – known as Dairy Crest until it rebranded in July to reflect its new ownership.

“Consumers are increasingly switching to free-from diets and one of the foods they miss most when they go dairy-free is cheese,” said Emilie Grundy, senior brand manager at Saputo Dairy UK.

“Our Vitalite dairy-free cheese alternative range has been specially formulated to ensure that it delivers on taste whilst performing very similarly to traditional cheese when cooked. We are confident our launch will appeal to both current dairy avoiders and those who are exploring the category for the first time.”

Cheese, the new frontier for dairy-free: The Dairymen dairy alternatives report 2019