US: Plant-based cheese jumps into the mainstream

Kraft Heinz has announced that one of its most iconic brands, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, is going all-in on the growing trend of plant-based foods.

Philadelphia has now launched its Philadelphia Plant-Based spread in select regions in America, with a national rollout planned for 2023.

Philadelphia won’t be the first brand to offer a plant-based cream cheese spread, but it does represent somewhat of a milestone in the cream cheese industry, as it’s the first mainstream cream cheese brand to offer a plant-based alternative.

Philadelphia boasts a whopping 69% share of the cream cheese market.

The brand cites IRI and Mintel Data showing that fewer than 50% of customers who have tried plant-based spreads are repeat customers, which is why the company spent two years perfecting its recipe for its plant-based cream cheese.

Philadelphia says its plant-based spread mirrors the taste and texture of the original Philadelphia cream cheese. It also says its plant-based offering is made without added flavours or dyes and is free of dairy, lactose, and gluten.


The Philadelphia website lists its ingredients as: Almond and oat preparation (water, almond protein 6%, gluten-free oat bran 3%), coconut oil, salt, stabiliser (locust bean gum), vegan culture.

Announcing the new Philadelphia Plant-Based spread, Kraft Heinz said data shows that 52% of consumers want to add more plant-based foods to their diets.

“The influx of flexitarian consumers has driven growth within the plant-based market, which is now more than 20x the size of the vegan population,” said Robert Scott, the company’s head of R&D.

Philadelphia’s Plant-Based spread is available now in original flavour at select retailers in the Southeast including in the Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, and Miami regions. More flavours will be coming to its plant-based line of cream cheese when it rolls out nationally in 2023.