Bel Brands gets into animal-free cheese with Perfect Day partnership

Bel Group may be 150 years old, but the French cheese giant is showing once again that it’s not stuck in the past. Bel is the first cheesemaker to use Perfect Day’s animal-free dairy proteins in a product…

Perfect Day’s protein has hit some limited commercialisation in ice cream and choc bar format, but now comes news that the Bel Group will be launching it in Nurishh Incredible Dairy cream cheese spread on January 1, 2023 in the US. 

Florian Decaux, plant-based acceleration director for Bel Brands USA, said, “We believe that together we can really leverage innovative technology to develop a first-of-its-kind product that can deliver — and even exceed [traditional cheeses] — because it’s what we always do at Bel…,” Decaux said.

Nurishh Incredible Dairy Spread is the first product with dairy under the Nurishh brand, which is devoted to plant-based options. But because the product uses Perfect Day’s whey proteins, which are created through precision fermentation and not by animals. The product is also lactose-free.

Decaux said Bel chose to make a cream cheese with Perfect Day’s proteins because whey performs best in spreadable applications. Nurishh Incredible Dairy has a texture and taste like traditional cream cheese.

Nurishh Incredible Dairy Spread will launch at Kroger stores next year in Original, Strawberry and Chive & Onion.

Laughing Cow goes plant-based

The company also is launching a plant-based version of its iconic The Laughing Cow cheese wedges at Whole Foods stores nationwide, which is the final piece of Bel’s commitment to launch a plant-based version of every one of its well-known cheese brands.

Involving some two years of R&D work, the main ingredient in this product is almond milk. Decaux called the product a testimony to Bel’s long experience in the cheesemaking space, since the company worked hard to replicate the creamy and tangy taste of the brand’s classic wedges.

It will be available in Garlic & Herb and Original varieties.

While Bel operates in many countries and is an especially big player in the European cheese market, it is debuting the plant-based Laughing Cow in the US. Decaux said that a lot of work went into making the cheese meet the taste needs of US consumers.

Bel has yet more innovation coming in the future. In September, Bel Group purchased an equity stake in Standing Ovation, a French company using precision fermentation to make animal-free casein.

Standing Ovation does not have any products that have received regulatory approval yet. The company said some of its 12-million euro ($11.8 million) Series A round, which closed in September, would be used to initiate the regulatory process. 

Bel is also working with protein ingredient company Superbrewed Food to make cheese products with the company’s signature ‘postbiotic’ ingredient….

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