In just 18 months, Ahlaam Ali’s vegan version of cheese has become so popular that her production facility in Dubai cannot keep up with demand.
Since the nutrition and wellbeing coach launched her dairy-free cheese company, Artizzan Cheeze, in January of last year, sales have grown 190 percent.
The growth is in line with the rising international interest in non-dairy cheeses – a market worth more than US$2.4 billion (Dh8.8billion) and projected to reach $4 billion by 2024.
“As a nutrition counsellor, I understand more than most what foods are good and bad for us,” she says. “Regular dairy-based cheese is laden with fat and other unhealthy additives. So, I set out to create a cheese-style product that would be healthier, suit modern tastes, and allow those with allergies and intolerances to enjoy a cheese taste.”
Ali has turned to Eureeca.com, the UAE crowdfunding platform, to fund her growth. The expression of interest phase launched this week, with investment opportunities starting from $500.
Ali’s cheeses are preservative and additive-free and made from organic tree nuts, seeds and coconut. Her products range from smoked cheddar to a Boursin-style cream cheese. Ali’s cheese is available for order and delivery throughout the UAE via her website, as well as at specialty shops in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and online food delivery platforms.
Artizzan Cheeze is also in talks with local pizza chains to supply its dairy-free mozzarella to keep up with the growing demand for vegan pizzas in the UAE.