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PlanetDairy’s Decision to Exclude Hybrid Labelling for Audu Plant and Dairy-Based Products

PlanetDairy's Decision to Exclude Hybrid Labelling for Audu Plant and Dairy-Based Products alternative proteins, business, dairy, Dairy-based ingredients, Diet and health, Fats & oils, food tech, free from, hybrid dairy, Innovation and NPD, Labelling, Processing and Packaging, Proteins, Reformulation, Start-ups and disruptors, Sustainability Food and Beverage Business

The emerging category of hybrid dairy, a combination of dairy and plant-based ingredients, shows promise among consumers but lacks innovation. While hybrid dairy products like milk, yogurt, and ice cream are rare, Denmark stands out with a new hybrid dairy company, PlanetDairy, introducing the hybrid cheese brand Audu. Despite the technical hybrid nature of the cheese, the packaging avoids labeling it as such and instead focuses on appealing to traditional consumers rather than vegans or vegetarians.

Transitioning from conventional dairy to more sustainable alternatives is the goal of PlanetDairy, founded by ex-dairy executives aiming to lower CO2e footprints in dairy products. With the dairy industry responsible for 3.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the company’s approach is to blend dairy and plant-based ingredients, with the latter making up at least 50% of the formulation for products like grated mozzarella, cheddar, block cheese, and slices under the Audu brand.

PlanetDairy’s innovative blend addresses functionality and protein gaps in plant-based cheese. By combining dairy with plant-based proteins, the company strives to achieve ‘stretchiness’ and ‘meltability’ similar to traditional cheese. With a focus on maximizing protein availability and digestibility, PlanetDairy has developed a proprietary technology to enhance product quality.

The decision not to market their products as ‘hybrid’ despite their technical classification stems from industry insights suggesting that explicit labeling can create confusion among consumers. PlanetDairy aims to create a comfortable and familiar impression for consumers, emphasizing the use of plant-based ingredients and reduced carbon footprints without overwhelming customers with ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ messaging.

Despite initial success with the Audu brand in Danish markets, PlanetDairy plans to expand its range to include milk, yogurt, and cream cheese. Future product development will continue to explore plant and dairy-based ingredients, with potential incorporation of precision fermentation-derived ingredients. This innovative approach positions PlanetDairy as a pioneer in the evolving dairy industry, seeking to complement traditional dairy products rather than replace them entirely.

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