Follow Your Heart is not slowing down its vegan product innovation after 50 years in the business. The company just announced three new-to-the-market products including a brand new Bleu Cheese Style Dairy Free Crumbles. Follow Your Heart’s new product marks the first time this style of cheese will have a mass-market vegan alternative. The company boasts that the dairy-free bleu cheese replicates the taste of its dairy counterpart and crumbles exactly the same. Consumers will be able to purchase the innovative bleu cheese at Whole Foods Market, Acme, Safeway, and Strater Bros. nationwide this month.

Debuting alongside the plant-based bleu cheese are newly designed fine vegan cheese shreds that will be available in mozzarella and cheddar varieties. The company stated that the new finer variations are developed to improved texture and melting ability for pizzas, mac and cheese, and quesadillas. The cheese will be available to buy in seven-ounce packages at Sprouts Farmers Market, Vons, Albertsons, Wegmans, and Walmart.

“We’ve rewritten the rule book with this trio of cheeses to close a wide gap in the dairy-free cheese category and further satisfy the increasing demand for plant-based alternatives,” Follow Your Heart Co-founder and CEO Bob Goldberg said in a statement. “Our new Finely Shredded cheeses are not only rich and creamy, they have an unbelievable melt. Plus, our new lusciously creamy Bleu Cheese Crumbles are a game-changer and will have dairy cheese consumers switching without any sacrifice.”

The company believes that these new products will enhance the versatility of its product lines. By enhancing the melting ability, flavor, and texture, the new finely cheddar cheeses can be used easier than several other dairy-free cheeses on the market. Beyond that, the company believes that its new bleu cheese-style product will attract more consumers who want bleu cheese on salads, crostinis, pizzas, and burgers.

"We hope our consumers enjoy our new cheeses on their plant-based pizzas, tacos, salads, burgers, and much more," Goldberg said. "It has always been part of our mission at Follow Your Heart to create high-quality vegan foods that enhance the lives of our consumers, and we believe these cheeses will make it easier and more accessible to make delicious plant-based foods."

Beyond the retail sector, Follow Your Heart’s cheeses have been available in the foodservice sector for years. The national pizza chain Mellow Mushroom started featuring the brand’s finely shredded mozzarella on its vegan pizzas, giving customers an opportunity to order completely plant-based at the chain. The frozen pizza company Banza also included the plant-based mozzarella on its brand new Plant-Based Cheese Pizza.

“Follow Your Heart’s new dairy-free mozzarella hits all of the ingredient quality standards we take pride in at Mellow Mushroom,” Vice President of Brand Development at Mellow Mushroom Anne Mejia said in a statement. “The taste and compatibility with our Mellow Mushroom crust and red sauce really hit the mark and our customers are already commenting that it is delicious on our stone-baked pies.”

Among the already established restaurants distribution, Follow Your Heart plans to market its new dairy-free bleu cheese crumbles to restaurants across North America. The company will begin by partnering with the fast-casual restaurant company Veggie Grill. The vegan chain will highlight the vegan Bleu Cheese Crumble on a new steakhouse-style burger across 30 locations nationwide.

Opening in 1970, Follow Your Heart initially launched to provide vegan alternatives to Southern California. After nearly two decades, the company expanded into a full-scale food brand in 1988. Since then the company has launched products across several food categories including salad dressings, cheeses, eggs, and more, and recently was acquired by the international food giant Danone.

Follow Your Heart is moving quickly to expand its already wide selection of plant-based offerings while also increasing its distribution range. The company recently started providing its products at more than 4,000 Walmart locations Nationwide. The brand’s outreach expanded by 80 percent following this partnership. Walmart locations across the United States stock Follow Your Heart’s Veganaise, American Slices, Smoked Gouda Slices, and both of the new finely shredded cheeses.

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You may think iron is synonymous with meat, and while animal protein certainly has it, that doesn’t mean you can’t get enough iron if you eat a mainly plant-based diet. In fact, you can, if you know the right foods to choose and how to pair them. The daily recommendation from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for iron intake is 18 milligrams (mg), but not all iron sources are created equal. Here’s what plant-based eaters need to know about iron and which iron-rich foods are best to help reap the benefits.