OITNB’s Laura Prepon talks about ditching dairy with Saputo’s first line of vegan cheeses

Actress Laura Prepon is best known for her iconic roles as Alex Vause on the hit series Orange is the new black and like Donna Pinciotti on That 70s show. However, her fans also know that she is a foodie and culinary influencer with multiple projects under her belt. Its latest partnership is with dairy brand Saputo Dairy USA, which is launching its first line of vegan cheeses in stores nationwide this year.

Based in Montreal, Saputo, Inc. is one of the 10 largest dairy companies in the world and its American subsidiary is the origin of brands such as Black Creek, Frigo and Dairystar. The international dairy company decided to venture into the world of vegan cheese after following growing consumer trends towards dairy-free products.

“The whole reason for launching Vitalite is that plant-based cheese often gets a bad rap and we saw a real opportunity in the market to bring something that really hits on three key things that consumers were looking for, namely the taste, texture and functionality,” David Cherrie, Saputo Dairy USA’s vice president of marketing and innovation, told VegNews. “We’ve worked very hard combining this with our cheese-making experience to deliver a range of plant-based cheeses that truly meet these expectations.”

Crafted from Saputo’s nearly 70 years of cheesemaking experience, Vitalite launches with six vegan coconut oil-based cheeses: mozzarella and cheddar (in sliced ​​and shredded formats); Grated parmesan; and cream cheese original flavor. Launching with this wallet offers consumers an exchange of vegan cheese for the most popular flavors and formats of dairy cheese. The Vitalite brand is driven by the goal of making vegan cheese without compromise. “If you’re going to have plant-based cheese, you shouldn’t have to compromise on the things you expect from regular cheese,” Cherrie said.


Laura Prepon launches dairy-free cheese

With a cookbook, the PrePon line of cookware, and more, Prepon has been a mainstay in the culinary world for years and draws inspiration from his mother, who worked as a chef. “Since I was a kid, I was always in the kitchen,” Prepon told VegNews. “That’s where I could spend time with her. I started cooking very young. Prepon started working at 15 and quickly learned to cook to stay fueled, spending time in the kitchen preparing meals in batches to save time. “For me, the kitchen is the heart of the house.”

Saputo’s new Vitalite line has found an early adopter in Prepon, who confirms that vegan cheeses have hit the mark in terms of metallability and taste in some of his favorite recipes. For a dairy-free version of a black bean and quinoa burger stuffed with cheddar cheese that she featured in her 2016 cookbook, Prepon uses Vitalite cheddar in two ways: as a binder mixed with patty ingredients burger and as a stuffing in the middle. . “It gets this nice burn when you cook it in the pan and when you open it you have the cheese inside,” Prepon said. “I love opening something up and then there’s melted cheese inside.”


Prepon has partnered with Vitalite to help promote its new line of dairy-free cheeses as it fits into its flexitarian and seasonal eating style. While Prepon was previously a vegetarian, she and her family now tend to eat more plant-based foods during the summer months in New York City, where they reside. “During the warmer months, we tend to go more vegetarian and vegan,” Prepon said. “It has to do with those [seasonal] Ingredients.”

Prepon also learned that her children have dairy sensitivities, which makes her partnership with Vitalite more important. She introduced Vitalite’s vegan cheese to her children through very simple and clean recipes such as grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas where the dairy-free ingredient shines for itself. The scathing reviews, 2 and 4 year olds, did not disappoint.

“If the ingredients are really good, you can make something simple out of them,” Prepon said. “He melted beautifully. It was super delicious and my kids loved it. And they are the gauge because they will tell you.


Bel Group

Major dairy brands launch vegan cheese

According to the Food Institute’s 2022 report, the vegan cheese industry is expected to grow by a compound annual interest of 10% to reach a market value of approximately $7 billion by 2030. while herbal categories stimulate growth. said Cherrie, explaining that the launch of the Vitalite line of vegan cheeses was “a great opportunity to complement our existing dairy business and capitalize on some of the growth we’re also seeing.”

And Saputo isn’t the only dairy brand to identify vegan cheese as a lucrative opportunity. Dairy brand Shuman Cheese, based in the American cheese capital of Wisconsin, launched its Vevan line of vegan cheeses in retail last year. The brand arrived on the market with Shreds (shredded) and Melts (sliced) formats in three flavors: classic sharp cheddar Ched, creamy Mozz and spicy P’Jack. The brand has also expanded into the snack category with Vevan Snax, which includes snackable cheese cubes along with dried fruit and toasted nuts.

French dairy giant Bel Group is also tapping into this lucrative market by launching Nurishh (its own brand of vegan cheese) and developing dairy-free versions of its signature cheeses. In 2020, Groupe Bel worked with vegan brand Follow Your Heart to develop a dairy-free version of its Boursin spreadable cheese. It also launched Babybel vegan cheese snacks this year. The company is currently working on developing a dairy-free version of its popular Laughing Cow cheese wedges, and plans to launch the new product in U.S. retail stores in 2023.

As for Saputo, the first six Vitalite products are a starting point and the brand is already working on other dairy-free offerings to cover the entire cheese category. “As a dairy company, we make cheeses of all kinds of different varieties and types,” Cherrie said. “We see the same opportunities here for Vitalite as well.”

For more on dairy-free cheese, read:
The VegNews Guide to the 15 Best Vegan Cheese Brands
The makers of Babybel Cheese have just launched six new vegan cheeses
Trader Joe’s Just Launched Dairy-Free Feta

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