Could we be seeing dairy-free versions of hard cheeses in the future?
London-based dairy-free company Better Dairy is set to disrupt the vegan hard cheese market after securing $22M in its latest Series A funding round.
Investors who contributed include Vorwerk and RedAlpine, who both led the round, as well as Happiness Capital, Acequia Capital, Stray Dog Capital, and Manta Ray.
In 2020, the biotech start-up secured $1.6M in seed funding, which was led by Happiness Capital.
Founded in 2019 by Jevan Nagarajah and Christopher Reynolds, Better Dairy is creating better quality and more sustainable animal-free cheeses using precision fermentation technology.
As the company develops its R&D, the latest funding will be used to target the production of hard and aged cheeses, a relatively untapped area in the dairy-free cheese market so far, due to it being much more difficult to perfect.
Some of the first hard cheese alternatives it aims to make include cheddar, followed by gouda and blue cheese.
The start-up is currently occupied with improving its yeast fermentation process to develop a vegan casein protein that can be combined with deconstructed plant-based milk prototypes to produce dairy-free cheeses which have the same molecular identity as cow-based cheeses.
If the process is successful, Better Dairy will be the first company to launch vegan hard cheese onto the market using precision fermentation.
Cheeses made through precision fermentation are not currently approved in the UK, meaning Better Dairy’s first launch is more likely to be seen in the US and Singapore, where sales of such products are now being approved.
A study released by Reports and Data in 2021 showed the market for dairy alternatives is predicted to reach $50.87B by 2028, due to an increase in demand with approximately 65% of people worldwide not being able to digest lactose properly.