When a plant-based burger company IPOs  it's big news, but when a non-dairy cheese company that's equally loved by the vegan and vegetarian community quietly sold this week there was very little notice taken.

The deal, rumored to be an acquisition price of €500m (£449m) by the owners of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, is yet more evidence that the global consumer market for non-dairy foods is continuing to grow.

Violife, one of the most popular non-dairy cheeses on the market, sold to Upfield Group B.V., a company controlled by KKR that was created when Unilever sold its spreads business for over $8 billion last year. Upfield owns Country Crock, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, Stork, Flora and numerous other spreads. The move makes it one of the biggest worldwide players in the plant-based food industry.

Violife non-dairy cheese
Courtesy of Arivia S.A.

Violife, which does business under the corporate name Arivia S.A., was founded in the 1990s in Thessaloniki, Greece. The company now produces 500 different s.k.u.s of plant-based dairy and dairy-free products made mostly of coconut oil.

They produce over  2,500 tons of cheese and spreads a month, sold in 50 countries around the world with a total reach of more than 100 million consumers. We particularly like their cream cheese and parmesan style cheeses, which are 100% vegan and free from lactose, GMO, gluten, nuts, soy, preservatives and cholesterol. It was founded as an alternative to dairy for anyone who wanted to avoid dairy for any reason, but not lose out on the delicious taste of cheese.



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