Study Finds Animal-Free Cheese Could Capture 33% of Market and Go Mainstream – vegconomist

New research on consumer demand for animal-free cheese in the UK conducted by German precision fermentation company Formo in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan in Canada reveals promising figures for the nascent category and its capacity to disrupt the dairy industry.

The study shows that at price parity, animal-free cheese has the potential to share 33% of the UK cheese market. Moreover, figures suggest that if demand grows and technologies improve, the market share could increase significantly, and the products could become mainstream. The study suggests that 79% of the precision fermentation cheese market will come from traditional cheese consumers.

“The potential loss in market share from animal-free dairy cheese is a significant threat to the UK dairy industry”

But while the industry lowers production costs to reach the same prices as conventional cheese, what is the market’s potential? Study findings show that at a premium price of +25%, animal-free cheese would capture 22% of the cheese market.

Young people sharing food around tableImage courtesy ProVeg International

Why consumers in the UK

The study, co-authored by Peter Slade, professor at the University of Saskatchewan and Formo analyst Oscar Zollman Thomas, was recently published in the International and Agribusiness Management Review Journal.

The study draws data from over 1,200 UK consumers that were asked to choose from various types of cheese, including traditional, plant-based, and animal-free considering their price. According to the authors, the UK is a middle ground between consumer attitudes in the US and the EU, has a growing flexitarian movement, and approvals for novel products are gaining momentum.

Formo has conducted previous studies on consumer attitudes to animal-free cheese. One report found that 71% of consumers would be willing to buy dairy made with precision fermentation. Another report shows that consumers have a positive attitude toward the technology and understand its benefits to…

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