In the small Spanish town of Elche, a vegan cheese empire is growing

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Spanish vegan cheese brand Mommus started out in a small kitchen in 2018. Founder Cristina Quinto quit her job to pursue her hobby of making vegan cheese. Today, Mommus products are arriving in supermarkets across Spain, thanks to a new partnership with industrial food ingredients company Dacsa Group.

Based in Elche, a small town about an hour from the coastal city of Alicante, Mommus produces a variety of vegan cheeses including blue truffle, semi-cured and black garlic, as well as cheese spreads such than tomato and garlic cream cheese.

But the one product that Quinto says “marked a milestone” for the company and contributed to its success was a vegan camembert, made with more than 70% cashews, plus water and salt. , and fermented naturally. Plus, it’s coated in penicillium camemberti, which gives the cheese the traditional white coating of camembert and contains probiotics and heart-healthy vegetable fats.

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Mommus has received numerous awards for its vegan cheese products, including being recognized as one of the best cheeses in the world by the community magazine Abillionveg, and is part of the Miguel Hernández de Elche University Science Park, a scientific ecosystem and commercial which promotes cooperation between the university and local businesses.

According to the university, Mommus, through its partnership with Dacsa Group, is the first Spanish vegan cheese company to receive an investment.

Making vegan cheese more accessible

Until now, Mommus products were mainly available in specialty stores. The partnership with Dacsa Group was forged with the aim of making the brand’s vegan cheese products more accessible to consumers and distributing them in the country’s main retail chains.

Dacsa Group’s interest in Mommus comes after the company created a separate Food Solutions division to diversify its business beyond cereals and into other sustainable and innovative food products.

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Since the creation of this new division in 2014, the company has developed a wide range of its own plant-based products in response to the growing interest in plant-based foods, including ready meals and meat and vegan eggs.

With this new partnership, Dacsa Group and Mommus will work side by side to develop more vegan alternatives to traditional dairy products. Dacsa will also help Mommus expand the production capacity of the current Mommus range and provide support to achieve wider distribution.

Growth of the vegan market in Spain

Mommus’ growing vegan empire comes at a time when plant-based products are starting to explode in the country. Last year, Spanish food brand Flax & Kale, owned by hospitality and food company Teresa Carles Healthy Foods, launched the largest range of plant-based meats and cheeses ever produced in Spain. The range included 14 vegan meat products and 31 vegan cheese products which are now available in major supermarkets in Spain as well as in major restaurants and online.

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“At Flax & Kale we want to transform the world of food with our own plant-based products: a wide range of products developed by our in-house research and development team and entirely manufactured in our factory in Lleida, destined to revolutionize the market with healthy, tasty and sustainable foods,” said Jordi Barri, CEO of Teresa Carles Healthy Foods, in a statement at the time.

The range includes vegan beef and chicken in different formats, including burgers, croquettes, nuggets, meatballs and mince. Vegan cheeses include gouda, cheddar and mozzarella and they are sliced, cubed and shredded; as well as a spreadable Philadelphia-style cream cheese, shredded four-cheese blend, and mozzarella fingers.

“Our ambition is to become a leader in the vegetable market in Spain in the coming years with a very diversified range and really competitive prices, which we can offer thanks to 100% local production and significant investments in recent years in the latest generation industrial production lines,” said Barri. “This launch is just the first step in that direction, and there will be many more steps in the months to come.”

Parent company Teresa Carles Healthy Foods has decided to expand its Flax & Kale brand with this new vegan range as it believes plant-based foods are a long-term trend that is here to stay, not just in Spain but across the whole world.

Other Spanish brands helping to grow the plant-based sector in the country include Barcelona-based Heura, which launched in 2017 and now offers a variety of products including vegan chicken, burgers, meatballs and pizzas.

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