Green Rebel Foods, the Indonesian startup that pioneered plant-based foods in the country, has just added vegan cheese to its range. The new dairy-free line will unveil 100% plant-based cheddar cheese as its first product, which will come in a block format and is free from soy and gluten.
Green Rebel, Indonesia’s homegrown food tech, has just added vegan cheese to its range. The first product being released is a Cheddar-Style Block, made from plant-based ingredients and free from soy and gluten. It will join Green Rebel’s existing range, which boasts beef alternatives, chicken substitutes and wholefood protein products such as mushroom patties.
Green Rebel vegan cheese
The Jakarta-based startup’s new vegan cheese comes in a block format, which can be sliced and shredded. It is designed to mimic the meltability of real cheddar cheese, suitable on pizzas, pastas and grilled sandwiches, but with a far lower environmental impact with no dairy-based ingredients.
“Dairy cheese is the 3rd largest carbon footprint emitter after beef and lamb when it comes to food production. When trying to provide more sustainable food options, replacing cheese is just as important as replacing beef,” shared Max Mandias, chief innovation officer and co-founder of Green Rebel.
Unlike other plant-based cheeses on the market that use coconut oil for the base, Green Rebel’s soy-free and gluten-free cheddar is made from organic rice, potato, and locally-sourced cashew nuts. It also contains vegetable oil and natural flavourings.
Sharing more about the product, Mandias described its new vegan cheddar as “soft and creamy just like the dairy version” and “most importantly performs like dairy cheese in the kitchen.”
Mandias co-founded Green Rebel with CEO Helga Angelina Tjahjadi, the same duo behind Indonesia’s first and largest vegan restaurant chain Burgreens. The startup’s latest vegan cheese drop will first be available on its direct-to-consumer website and at Burgreens outlets before a nationwide retail rollout in January 2022.
Offering a healthier and sustainable alternative to cheese-lovers
Green Rebel CEO Tjahjadi says that entering the plant-based cheese category was a natural step for the food tech and is part of its overall mission to promote vegan diets in Indonesia and beyond.
“We hope that by providing plant-based cheese, we can cater to existing vegans who long for the taste of cheese in their menu as well as educating new markets on the health and environmental benefits of consuming plant-based cheese in comparison to dairy cheese,” she said on the day of the launch, November 1, which coincides with World Vegan Day.
Tjahjadi added that despite 80% of Asians being lactose-intolerant, cheese was growing in popularity in the restaurant industry, especially for businesses offering Western-style dishes such as burgers and pasta dishes. Offering a vegan alternative would give consumers a healthier and more environmentally-friendly choice.
One restaurant, Max’s Pizza, the first vegan pizza joint in Indonesia, is now already using Green Rebel’s plant-based cheddar. It has reported “rave online reviews” with customers noting that they “couldn’t believe it’s vegan”.
All images courtesy of Green Rebel Foods.