World 17.01.2024

Survey Says: Everyone's Craving a New Kind of Cheese

Source: The DairyNews
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Four out of five diners surveyed said they are open to a new kind of mozzarella that isn't made from animal milk, even though most of them identify as omnivores who regularly eat animal products.
Survey Says: Everyone's Craving a New Kind of Cheese
Source: New Culture
This and other results from custom market research firm AMC Global and animal-free dairy company New Culture indicate that consumers are ready for a breakthrough in animal-free cheese even if they remain unmoved by other alternative foods. New Culture is the first company in the world to make dairy mozzarella without the animal milk that turns many consumers off due to nutrition, dietary, ethical and environmental concerns.

Consumers who eat pizza regularly and are open to New Culture cheese were surveyed across a wide array of behaviors and attitudes.

Significant Consumer Demand: Four out of five consumers expressed intent to purchase animal-free, dairy mozzarella if it was available at their favorite pizzeria. Early adopters showed even greater enthusiasm, with 97% ready to make the switch.

Appealing to Meat Eaters: Surprisingly, 80% of respondents interested in cow-free, dairy mozzarella identified as omnivores, with an additional 15% as flexitarians. Moreover, pepperoni and sausage were among the top six preferred toppings for early adopters, underscoring the mass-market appeal of New Culture cheese.

Willingness to Pay, More: Early adopters are willing to pay up to $4 more per pizza with New Culture cheese, highlighting its quality advantage compared to plant-based cheese options on the market.

Taste is Key: Taste remains paramount, with only 41% of respondents indicating they would consume an alternative food product if it didn't taste as good as the conventional version. As a result, many emphasized the importance of trying New Culture firsthand, underlining that the proof will be on the pizza.

"We're always eager to learn why people love cheese and pizza, and what motivates their purchase decisions," said Matt Gibson, co-founder and CEO of New Culture. "AMC Global's research gives us a chance to better understand these important drivers - especially given such overwhelming interest in our mozzarella - as we prepare for our product launch later this year."

New Culture has been hard at work to create a cheese that not only appeals to those who prefer animal-free options but also to meat eaters and skeptics of vegan cheese. They are pioneering a first-of-its-kind mozzarella that stretches and melts but is made without any animal inputs. The company is able to make its cheese by producing an animal-free equivalent of the essential dairy protein in cheese, casein, using precision fermentation. New Culture's flagship product, mozzarella, will launch with James Beard Award-winning chef Nancy Silverton at her iconic Pizzeria Mozza this year, and will cement the start of a new era of delicious, nutritious, and planet-friendly dairy.

"Our market research suggests New Culture is well-positioned across a number of categories that are important to consumers, like sustainable production and taste," said Shira Horn, Executive Vice President at AMC Global. "It's been so rewarding to gather these deep consumer insights on a first-of-its-kind product like New Culture's animal-free mozzarella."

Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith
Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California
Every five years, the Department of Agriculture takes a census of farms, all two million of them. The most recent census occurred in 2022, and USDA released the data this week.
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
senior director of the agri-food analytics lab and a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University.
‘Lab-grown’ animal-free dairy protein receives approval, paving the way for sustainable alternatives in the dairy industry.
February 2024
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