As the market and demand for plant-based foods continue to grow, restaurants and food service businesses have fine-tuned their recipes to create delicious menu items for a wider variety of dietary needs.
With non-dairy and plant-based cheese alternatives steadily on the rise, there are many misconceptions about its taste, flavor, and meltability. Here are six myths you may have heard about cheese made from plants and why you shouldn’t believe them.
‘Plant-based cheese doesn’t taste good.’ While taste is subjective, plant-based cheese has come a long way in terms of flavor. Customer testimonials from Oddlygood will tell you that plant-based cheese is as flavorful and delicious as dairy-based cheese. Take this endorsement from pizza shop owner Mario DeMita Jr.
“I've done side-by-side comparisons with my employees using Oddlygood and several other brands. Oddlygood is in a whole other league. Meltability, texture, and taste are all superior,” DeMita said. “We have had nothing but positive feedback from our customers."
From restaurant chefs to lifelong vegans, customers love the way Oddlygood’s plant-based cheese melts and seamlessly integrates into recipes.
‘Plant-based cheese doesn’t melt.’ Although not all plant-based cheeses melt the same way as traditional dairy cheese, many varieties on the market that will replicate the melting process you’re used to — you just have to know how to do it.
Cheese made from plants melts differently depending on its base ingredients, so be sure to use the right kind to get the best results. Oil-based cheeses have an easier time melting, while those made from nuts will maintain structural integrity.
To produce the ideal melt, Oddlygood cheese alternatives use a shea and coconut fat base to produce a creamy and smooth texture that melts just like dairy-based cheese.
‘Plant-based cheese won’t work in our top-selling dishes.’ Switching to plant-based cheese doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for your customers’ favorite menu items — in fact, it’s the contrary. As the plant-based cheese market grows, more foods can be replicated, or even outdone, without the need for typical dairy ingredients.
Those who are lactose intolerant or otherwise in need of plant-based swaps can now enjoy restaurant menu staples like mozzarella sticks, cheeseburgers, pizza, and more. Using ingredients like shredded cheese alternatives, it’s possible to create delicious, plant-based versions of your best-selling cheese-filled menu items.
‘It’s too difficult to try to cook with plant-based cheese.’ Plant-based cheese alternatives are meant to be used and cooked the same way as regular cheese, which means you can create some incredible meals with plant-based ingredients without much of a learning curve.
To create delicious meals, simply replace the dairy-based cheese with plant-based cheese and continue the recipe as normal. Plant-based cheese has a similar texture to dairy cheese, so you can easily sprinkle some on top of your favorite pizza or try it in a new recipe such as cheddar and caramelized shallot scalloped potatoes, which uses shredded cheddar-style cheese, or balsamic roasted vegetable wraps using shredded mozzarella-style cheese.
‘There are limited options for types of plant-based cheese.’ It’s taken some time for the plant-based cheese market to grow, but countless options and flavors are now available worldwide. For example, Oddlygood offers an extensive line of cheese alternatives, including a cheddar-style shredded cheese alternative and a mozzarella-style log.
Plant-based cheese alternatives can be found in other forms as well, such as ricotta, blocks and wedges, American slices, nacho cheese, cream cheese, and parmesan-style. Most types of cheese are now available plant-based, making it easier than ever to make the switch.
‘Plant-based cheese isn’t that in-demand.’ Many restaurants deciding whether or not to incorporate plant-based foods into their menu items may wonder whether it’s worth it to source and purchase additional ingredients, especially at a time when food prices and logistics costs are on the rise.
The recent and predicted growth of the plant-based cheese market shows that there is indeed a high demand for non-dairy alternatives – according to data from Fact.MR, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of this market is predicted to be 15.5% worldwide between now and 2031. Additionally, North America gained more than 30% of the plant-based cheese market in 2020.
While adding new menu ingredients may be an upfront expense, it will very likely pay off when you increase sales from consumers who are seeking plant-based products for health, environmental, and sustainability reasons.
The way we look at plant-based foods is evolving. While misconceptions may have previously caused people to steer clear, that’s rapidly changing as the market expands and improves. And with more and more consumers trying out plant-based swaps, there’s no better time for restaurants and foodservice companies to give dairy alternatives a try. If you’re looking for some cooking inspiration, visit Oddlygood to find delicious recipes using plant-based replacements.