Following its recent launch in U.S., vegan startup Grounded Foods announced today that it is rolling out its vegan-friendly alternative dairy cheeses made from ugly cauliflower and hemp in over 160 retail locations across the country including select Whole Foods Market stores.
Most plant-based cheeses on the market start with a majority nut or coconut oil base. Los Angeles-based Grounded Foods, which was co-founded by a chef, uses ‘imperfect’ leaves, stems and ‘ugly’ cauliflower and hemp that aren’t sold in the mainstream market to make its alternative dairy cheeses using their own proprietary fermentation process.
Founded in 2019, the company claims that it has developed a more sustainable and environmentally resilient option to not only dairy products but nut-based ones as well and has produced a variety of cheese styles, like soft, hard, aged and rind cheeses as well as sauces. Its products are 100% plant-based, allergen-free, keto-friendly and high in calcium, protein, antioxidants, Omega 3 + 6 fats, vitamins and minerals.
This month, retailers will begin stocking the first three products in Grounded’s inaugural range – Cheese Free Cheese American Style priced at US$5.99, Hemp Seed Goat cheese at US$6.99 and Hemp Seed Cream Cheese, Onion & Chive at US$5.99.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, CEO of Grounded Foods, Veronica Fil said: “More and more consumers are incorporating alternative proteins into their diets for health and environmental reasons. Our goal is to introduce better tasting, more sustainable and more nutritious products to the plant based cheese category—and appeal to those consumers who are not necessarily vegan, but are interested in cutting back on dairy.”
Our goal is to introduce better tasting, more sustainable and more nutritious products to the plant based cheese category—and appeal to those consumers who are not necessarily vegan, but are interested in cutting back on dairyVeronica Fil, CEO of Grounded Foods
In a previous interview with Green Queen, Fil said that the company sources its ‘ugly’ cauliflowers from California and is looking for local suppliers and farmers to work with.
In addition, she shared that her ultimate mission is to “change consumer behaviour in a meaningful way by creating products that are so novel and delicious and accessible, that people don’t even think about the fact that they’re not eating dairy. If the product isn’t insanely tasty, everyday people just won’t buy it as an alternative to traditional dairy. That’s one side of the equation. But also, we want to be part of the solution – not contributing to the problem that’s occurring in our existing food system. So we’re hell bent on using environmentally resilient and local ingredients as well, not just importing whatever is cheapest or easiest.”
The products are available to order via Grounded Foods’ website, Pop Up Grocer in Chicago, select Whole Foods Market locations and retailers throughout California, Illinois, New York, Hawaii, Connecticut, Arizona and Oregon.
Back in July of last year, Grounded foods closed a US$1.74 million seed funding round which was led by VC Stray Dog Capital and saw support from consumer packaged goods investor Rocana Ventures, Veg Invest Trust, and members of the GlassWall Syndicate. Using this capital, the company scaled and accelerated its production and distribution of its plant-based cheeses.
With plant-based dairy gaining momentum worldwide, the traditional dairy sector is taking a hit. Last year, two of largest dairy firms in the U.S. had to file for bankruptcy and these kinds of headlines are only going to become more common given that the global plant-based cheese market is predicted to double its present value of US$2.7 billion to more than US$4.5 billion by 2025.
Check out the entire list of Grounded alt cheese stockists here.
Lead image courtesy of Grounded Foods.