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Save-On-Foods is now part of a consortium in the plant-based cheese market. It joins partners Protein Industries Canada, Lumi Foods (legacy brand Blue Heron Creamery), and Winecrush Technology in the development of new products, as well as giving the products more prominent placement in grocery stores across the country.

The project will demonstrate the full potential of Canadian innovation. The partners will use Lumi Foods’ cultured cheesemaking methods—which enables the continued use of the term “cheese”—to create a new line of plant-based cheeses made from Canadian-grown crops, including oats, legumes and pulses. Their development represents a step forward in the plant-based cheese realm, both in terms of labelling and ingredient use, as most plant-based cheeses are currently made from ingredients sourced outside of Canada.

Once developed, the plant-based cheeses will be sold in Save-On-Foods locations across Canada, specifically in deli sections. This will be the first time plant-based cheeses will be alongside dairy cheeses, signifying the importance of making plant-based options easily accessible to Canadian consumers.

To help ensure the plant-based cheeses are shelf-stable for longer lengths of time, Winecrush Technology will test shelf-extending ingredients in the recipes, including dietary fibre and unsaturated fatty acids.

“It takes true dedication to evolve a sector, and that’s exactly what’s happening with this project,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “Lumi Foods, Save-On-Foods and Winecrush Technology are proving that through innovation and collaboration, new plant-based products, specifically cheese, can be made with Canadian-grown ingredients—a first for Canada. It is through innovation like this that our country will become a world leader in the production of plant-based foods, helping us reach our goal of $25 billion in sales by 2035. Plant-based products are healthy, nutritious and delicious it’s time they’re also easy to find in grocery stores.”

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