Plant-based Babybel lands on Canadian supermarket shelves as Bel Canada bets on ‘sustainable innovation’

By Teodora Lyubomirova

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Bel Group USA
Image: Bel Group USA

Related tags vegan vegan cheese Dairy alternatives plant-based Dairy

The cheesemaker has released the green wax-coated alternative of its iconic snacking cheese in Canada, where a growing number of consumers are turning to dairy alternatives.

Babybel Plant-Based, which was first introduced in the UK and the US earlier this year, has finally landed in Canada this week, Bel Canada Group reported.

The dairy-free mini snacks have a coconut oil and starch base and have been developed to mimic the texture of the original and taste like mozzarella. They are coated in green wax instead of the iconic red used on the dairy product.

This launch expands Bel Canada Group’s dairy-free portfolio in Canada, where the company had also released Nurishh and Boursin dairy-free products.

‘On a mission’

Bel Canada is poised to press on with its plant-based innovations, having acquired the MOM Group, the Toronto-based maker of GoGo squeeZ fruit pouches; as well as French free-from food startup, All In Foods. General manager Cristine Laforest explained the company wants to broaden its portfolio to include 50% dairy products and 50% fruit and plant-based offerings by the turn of the next decade. “The Bel Group's mission is to offer healthy and responsible food for all,​” she said. “Knowing that plant-based products are part of the solution to growing environmental challenges, we must adapt our approach to nutrition. The Bel Group has therefore the mission of offering a more balanced range of products by 2030, with 50% dairy products and 50% fruit and plant-based products.”

The company also revealed that according to research, 52% of Canadians want to or already eat a plant-based diet - and whilst the plant-based cheese alternatives market remains small, there’s scope for manufacturers to innovate and come up with palate-pleasing products today.

Marie–Ève Robert, vice-president of marketing at Bel Canada Group, added: “Well-known brands such as Boursin, Babybel and Nurishh show great potential to drive the spreads and plant-based snacks segment. In fact, this category has grown by 62% since the launch of Boursin Dairy–Free in 2021, and GoGo squeeZ fruit pouches by over 30% in 2022.”

Related topics Manufacturers Cheese Smart Packaging

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