The future of food is plant-based! Thanks to growing consumer demand for cleaner, environmentally friendly, and animal-free sources of protein, we have seen an increase in the number of plant-based meat substitutes on the market — and apparently, in 2016 there was a 90 percent increase in the amount of Google searches for the word “vegan.” According to some estimates, the plant-based meat market is set to reach $5.2 billion by 2020 and could make up one-third of the market by 2050. And now we have more exciting news to share!

Not to be outdone by animal-free sources of protein, the global non-dairy cheese industry wants in on the fun. The industry is set to be worth $3.5 billion by 2023, according to a new report compiled by Market Research Future (MRF).

Cashew Dill Mozzarella
 
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Soy milk based non-dairy cheese takes the lead with a predicted 54.3 percent of the market share by 2017. MRF also notes that Europe is the leader in the non-dairy cheese sector, with estimates that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.9 percent, led by Germany, which is responsible for 25.78 percent of the market proportion of the industry. Whoa!

The non-dairy cheese market has been increasing due to “globalization and changing consumption patterns, increasing awareness about lactose intolerance, and rising number of vegan consumers,” the report states.

With concerns over allergens as well as antibiotic and hormone use, and animal welfare concerns  – not to mention the rising environmental concerns associated with dairy consumption, it’s no surprise that over one-third of consumers prefer dairy-free milks and U.S. milk consumption has declined. In tandem, a number of new vegan cheese products have recently hit the market, making the decision to choose a better choice for animals, the environment, and your own health very simple.

Looking for some delicious vegan cheese recipes? Look no further! If you’re interested in learning more about trends in the plant-based food space, check out One Green Planet’s Future of Food.

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Lead image source: Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream Cheez

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