The dairy-free cheese slices come in three flavors – American, cheddar and provolone – and will be initially sold in the Cleveland area from early November.
Kraft NotCheese mimics the CPG's dairy cheese singles - down to their melt properties - but contains coconut oil, modified starch, water and chickpea protein. Speaking of the product during Kraft Heinz quarterly earnings report, CEO Miguel Patricio told analysts that the plant-based alternative tastes, smells and melts just like dairy cheese.
The vegan cheese is the first product launched under the CPG’s joint venture with NotCo, a food tech company that leverages artificial intelligence solution in food and drink manufacturing, including dairy, eggs, and meat. NotCo has launched products including NotMilk, NotBurger, NotMeat, NotIceCream, NotChicken and NotMayo in the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Colombia.
The JV operates under the control of Kraft Heinz, with the multi-national benefitting from the Chilean firm’s R&D strengths. The partnership was dubbed ‘a critical step in the transformation of our product portfolio’ by Patricio, pointing towards Kraft Heinz’ ambition to delve deeper into plant-based foods.
Other notable manufacturers who are exploring the dairy-free cheese market include the Bel Group, who recently launched a plant-based Babybel variety; and Saputo with its Vitalite non-dairy line.