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Cheese Analogue Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Non-dairy Cheese Analogues, Dairy Cheese Analogues, and Partial Dairy Cheese Analogues), Application (Bakery and Confectionery, Breakfast Cereals, Animal Feed, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2020 – 2027

Last Updated: April 08, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103216



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The global cheese analogue market size stood at USD 2,197.58 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 3,618.91 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.7% during the market forecast period (2020-2027).

Cheese analogue, also known as imitation cheese or substitute cheese, has a similar appearance, texture, and composition as milk cheese and its intended utilization. Milk protein and milk fat are partially or wholly replaced by vegetable oils, fats, and proteins such as soybean, palm oil, peanut protein, and others in the market. They have become widely popular among food processors as they often contain less fat, trans-fat, cholesterol, and calories.

Besides, they have numerous type and applications in the food industry as they are incorporated in various food items such as pizza, lasagne, pasta, and others. They are extensively included in ready-to-eat/cook meals and other convenience foods owing to their extended supply, cost-effective nature, and flexibility. Thus, their increasing popularity and wide application in the food industry will further propel the demand during the upcoming years.

Supply Chain Disruptions in Food Industry to Dampen Growth During COVID-19 Pandemic

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the global economy and the food and beverage industry. Various governments have imposed lockdowns and closure of restaurants, hotels, and bars for the implementation of social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Food manufacturers and processors are facing several obstructions in their operations. The supply chain disruptions and transportation delays have further led to a shortage of raw materials. The lack of workforce and the firm closure of manufacturing facilities have also caused production delays.

According to a report named "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020," published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the COVID-19 pandemic has affected global food security. Owing to that, 3 billion people were unable to afford a healthy diet. However, the foodservice sector is slowly regaining its pace as the restaurants, hotels, and manufacturing plants are beginning to resume their operations. This is likely to boost the cheese substitute market growth in the coming years.


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Rising Adoption of Vegan Lifestyle Worldwide is a Crucial Trend

The popularity of veganism has grown worldwide, thereby abstaining from the consumption of animal-derived products. It is further influencing manufacturers to utilize cheese alternatives such as imitation cheese for processed food production. The rising vegan population has also necessitated the utilization of plant-based cheese in food items to suffice the demand. According to a report published by ProVeg International, 2019, the popularity of plant-based cheese has grown by 69% in the last few years. Further, the rising trend of consuming high-value, plant-based food across the globe due to the increasing awareness about sustainability and animal welfare will nudge manufacturers to come up with innovative cheese analogues.


Utilization of Cost-effective Cheese in the Food Sector to Propel Growth

The cost-effectiveness of imitation cheese is a major factor set to boost the cheese analogue market growth. Numerous processed food manufacturers are majorly using the cheese substitute to effectively cut the production cost of food items such as pizza, sandwiches, lasagne, and others. According to a research report published by the International Journal of Chemical Studies, 2019, cheese substitutes prepared from the blends of rennet casein and acid casein were comparatively cheaper than milk cheese. These products exhibit similar organoleptic properties as milk cheese, coupled with a decrease in the overall price of the food products. The intensifying global competition in the processed food market is expected to increase the replacement of natural cheese ingredients with substitutes. It is thereby helping manufacturers to meet the consumers' demand for innovative food with altered dietary properties.

Increasing Prevalence of Celiac Disease and Lactose Intolerance to Spur Demand

The rising global incidence of lactose intolerance and celiac disease are the major reasons for the increasing demand for imitation cheese. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, in the U.S., nearly 95% of Asian Americans, 74% fof Native Americans, and 15% of Caucasians are affected by lactose intolerance. Thus, the dairy-free segment is gaining higher popularity globally. Along with this, the fast food and ready-to-eat meals segment is showcasing a significant rise in demand, making imitation cheese an economical alternative to natural cheese. Thus, these factors would cumulatively aid in boosting this market growth.


Taste and Textural Incompatibility Challenges to Restrain Growth

The taste, flavor, and textural incompatibility challenges of imitation cheese are likely to dampen its market performance. The plant-based cheese usually tastes bland and has a plasticky texture, which often impacts the end-product's overall taste and flavor. According to a report published by ProVeg International, 2019, the shortcomings of substitute cheese were its rubberiness, incompliant taste, meltability, and value for money issues. Another drawback of such cheese substitutes is their lack of nutritional profile, as compared to natural cheese. These factors are expected to restrain global market growth.


By Type Analysis

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Non-dairy Cheese Segment to Account for the Highest Share in Market

The non-dairy cheese substitute segment currently holds the major share in the market owing to the booming plant-based food demand globally. It will open doors to several new opportunities for its utilization in various vegan food products. According to the Good Food Institute report, 2019, the plant-based cheese segment exhibited a 50.8% growth between 2017-2019. Moreover, various non-dairy cheese products are experiencing a significant rise in their demand from multiple end-use industries as they require simple production methods. At the same time, the raw materials needed to manufacture them are easily available and the overall manufacturing process is cost-effective, which, in turn, is expected to boost the growth of this segment.

The dairy cheese segment is likely to exhibit significant growth in the coming years. They have a balanced composition of dairy proteins such as casein, butter oil, enzyme-modified cheese, and others. They exhibit the nutritional value and palatability of cheese and are comparatively inexpensive, making them one of the highly desirable cheese substitutes. Similarly, partial dairy cheese has a balanced composition of plant and milk protein. It is also low in cholesterol and offers better or the same organoleptic properties as cheese.

By Application Analysis

Bakery Products to Emerge as the Main Application Segment

These cheese substitutes are predominantly used in baked products as toppings and fillings to enhance their textural and sensory properties. They are used as spreads in bagels and crackers, for mixing in dips, in sandwiches and burgers, and for making the frosting. Furthermore, the cereal-based foods segment accounts for the second-highest cheese analogue market share owing to the increasing popularity of products such as pasta and noodles. The growing utilization of these analogue cheese as a cost-effective alternative to regular cheese in ready-to-eat cereal-based snacks would also positively impact the growth of this segment.

The incorporation of cheese substitutes for the preparation of sauces and dressings helps in reducing its manufacturing cost. It also has the ability to offer great taste and flavor, similar to milk cheese. It has better stability, meltability, and shelf-stability than milk cheese. In addition to this, it is also used to prepare meat and poultry dishes to enhance their taste and flavor.


Europe Cheese Analogue Market Size, 2016-2027 (USD Million)

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Europe accounts for the major share in the market owing to the surging demand for better-for-you non-dairy cheese alternatives in countries such as the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain. According to ING Bank N.V., 2020, the dairy alternatives segment in the U.K. and EU accounts for 3 billion. European consumers' hectic lifestyles have led them to opt for convenience and ready-to-eat meals that suffice their daily energy and nutritional intake. This has influenced manufacturers to increase their production capabilities and launch innovative products such as ready-to-eat pasta, pizza, and lasagne to fulfil the surging demand for cheese.

Followed by Europe, North America is anticipated to hold the second-largest market share. According to the Good Food Institute report, in 2019, the U.S. plant-based segment grew by 15% in the past year and 51% in the past two years. The major cheese substitutes include mozzarella, cheddar, and pasteurized processed cheddar, widely utilized in salads, sandwiches, spaghetti, cheese sauces, and cheese dips. In Asia Pacific, it has also become very popular among consumers due to its low production cost and increasing urbanization. The surging popularity of plant-based products in South America and the Middle East and Africa would also support the regional market growth.

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Companies to Focus on New Product Launches to Strengthen Their Positions

The market is consolidated with the presence of several prominent players worldwide. Follow Your Heart, a U.S.-based vegan and vegetarian food company, is venturing into introducing vegan cheese in the market. This way, it aims to expand its vegan cheese product portfolio and draw non-vegan consumers' attention. For instance, in July 2020, the company launched its products in the U.K. to expand its geographical presence and broaden its consumer base. Groupe Lactalis, Daiya Foods Inc., Miyoko's Kitchen, Inc., and Lyrical Foods, Inc. are some of the other major key players in the market.


  • Follow Your Heart (California, United States)

  • Groupe Lactalis (Laval, France)

  • Daiya Foods Inc. (Vancouver, Canada)

  • Miyoko's Kitchen, Inc. (California. United States)

  • Lyrical Foods, Inc. (United States)

  • Whitehall Specialties Inc. (Whitehall, United States)

  • Bute Island Foods Inc. (U.K.)

  • Blendhub Corporation Group (Spain)

  • Ingredion Inc. (Illinois, United States)

  • Ornua Ingredients (United States)


  • October 2020: Bel Brands USA, Inc., under its brand name Boursin, launched a plant-based version of garlic & herbs cheese spread flavor in the U.S. in collaboration with Follow Your Heart.

  • October 2020: Willicroft expanded its global presence by launching its plant-based cheese analogue products in the U.K.


An Infographic Representation of Cheese Analogue Market

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The cheese analogue market report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of the market size and growth rate for all possible segments in the market. Various key insights presented in the report are an overview of related markets, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key industry trends.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



 Value (USD Million)

By Type

  • Non-dairy Cheese Analogues

  • Dairy Cheese Analogues

  • Partial Dairy Cheese Analogues

 By Application

  • Bakery Products

  • Cereal-based Foods

  • Sauces & Dressings

  • Processed Meat, Fish & Poultry

  • Dairy Products


  • North America (By Type, Application, and By Country)

    • The U.S. (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)

    • Mexico (By Type)

  • Europe (By Type, Application, and By Country)

    • France (By Type)

    • Germany (By Type)

    • Italy (By Type)

    • U.K. (By Type)

    • Spain (By Type)

    • Switzerland (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Application, and By Country)

    • China (By Type)

    • India (By Type)

    • Japan (By Type)

    • Australia (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • South America (By Type, Application, and By Country)

    • Brazil (By Type)

    • Argentina (By Type)

    • Rest of South America (By Type)

  • The Middle East and Africa (By Type, Application, and By Country)

    • South Africa (By Type)

    • UAE (By Type)

    • Rest of ME&A (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2,197.58 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 3,618.91 million by 2027.

Registering a CAGR of 6.7%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The non-dairy cheese segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period based on the product type.

The rising demand for plant-based dairy alternatives is the key factor driving the market.

Follow Your Heart, Groupe Lactalis, Daiya Foods Inc., Miyoko's Kitchen, Inc., and Lyrical Foods, Inc. are the leading players in the market.

Europe dominated the market in terms of share in 2019.

In terms of application, the bakery segment is set to lead the global market.

New product developments and the expansion of geographical presence by companies are the key market trends.

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