With summertime here, vegans across the country will be grilling up sizzling Beyond and Impossible burgers . While the burgers themselves may be delicious, there is still a deficit when it comes to non animal-based cheese they want to melt on there.
But the days of lackluster vegan cheese will soon be a thing of the past, as there are a number of startups working on non-dairy cheese — and raising millions to do so. Here’s a list of companies rising up to the cheese challenge:
- Heartbest is a Mexican startup that recently raised $2 million for its plant-based cheese that uses ingredients like amaranth, quinoa and peas.
- GOOD PLANeT Foods makes plant-based cheese from coconut oil, potato starch and natural flavorings and is widely available at retail locations like Walmart, Costco and Whole Foods . The company raised $12 million last month to expand production.
- Grounded Foods uses cauliflower to create cheeses like camembert guyere and roquefort, and is part of the Big Ideas Ventures alternative protein accelerator.
- Noquo Foods has ditched traditional plant-based ingredients for its product and instead relies on a “stable matrix” of legumes to better replicate cheese. The company raised $3.6 million at the beginning of this year.
- Legendairy Foods ferments microbes in a process similar to creating insulin and has already created prototypes for mozzarella and ricotta. The German company raised $4.7 million in funding last year.
- New Culture is also creating mozzarella cheese in the lab, using “recombinant protein technology” that also uses genetically modified microbes to make milk protein. It raised $3.5 million last year.
- Perfect Day uses fermentation of microbes to recreate cream cheese and feta in the lab and has raised $201 million in funding so far.
Though most of these startups won’t save vegan bbqs this summer, saying (non-animal) cheese, please, is something they’ll definitely be able to do in the not too distant future.