Vegan Cheese Awards 2024

The fourth annual Vegan Cheese Awards are underway, with judging to take place on 29th July at Khu Khu restaurant in Ponsonby. The world of plant-based cheeses has come a long way this decade, with the New Zealand sector seeing a boom in new companies and new products. Showcasing the best on offer throughout Aotearoa, the awards are open to any manufacturer who is selling vegan cheese in New Zealand.

“There is a huge range and diversity in plant-based cheeses, from artisanal nut and seed-based cheeses, using traditional cheesemaking techniques, to large volume, large taste blocks of cheese from feta to cheddar. Grated, sliced or wholesale: the options are endless.” Claire Insley, Vegan Society media spokesperson notes.

This year’s awards feature a newcomer, professional international cheese judge Franco Sessa, who with over 25 years of experience is keen to try his palate out with plant-based cheeses. Also judging are the award favourite experts, multi-award-winning executive chef & trainer, Jasbir “Jazz” Kaur and food and beverage industry judge Aaron Pucci. They are joined by sausage and cheese loving, vegan comedian, Tom Sainsbury.

There are new categories added to the award line up this year. Cheese Spreads and, as with the Sausage and Deli Meat Awards, an Innovation category, for the best tasting, most intriguing, vegan cheese.

The complete list of categories to enter are:

Commercial Cheddar

Commercial Flavoured Cheddar

Artisan (cheddar, gouda, hard cheese etc)

Mozzarella

Feta

Cream Cheese (plain)

Cream Cheese (flavoured)

Soft Cheese (ricotta, chevre, cottage cheese etc)

Flavoured Cheese Board (herb, cumin, etc)

Brie, Camembert and Blue style

Cheese Spreads

Innovation Category

The plant-based cheese market continues to grow, as people are seeking kinder, healthier, less polluting, more environmentally friendly alternatives.

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