General Mills Launches Vegan Cream Cheese Made With Plant-Based Whey


American food maker General Mills just dispatched its first vegan cream cheese brand Bold Cultr, which uses animal-free whey to make an identical cheese without cows.

The brand’s first item is plain vegan cream cheese, and it is presently creating two extra flavors of vegan cream cheese along with vegan cheese slices and shreds.

Bold Cultr is aimed at customers looking for cheese options that have the same taste and texture as dairy.

To make its products, the brand utilizes an inventive animal-free whey protein created by food startup Perfect Day.


The startup’s whey-production process includes creating milk protein through precision fermentation, which introduces a protein blueprint to microflora that then takes the place of a cow and produces a functionally identical protein to dairy milk.

Bold Cultr was established by Drake Ellingboe, Laura Engstrom, and Illeme Amegatcher, who are determined to reform animal products, beginning with cheese.


“With the rise of plant-based and flexitarian diets, there is a need for a cheese alternative that has the same taste, texture, and functionality as dairy cheese,” Engstrom said on General Mills’ blog. “

Many of the consumers we talked to want to be animal-free but cheese is holding them back—the alternatives aren’t doing what consumers want them to. We’re excited to reimagine what cheese can be and tackle this consumer problem head-on.” 


“The innovations coming out of our G-Works teams are an example of General Mills truly thinking differently about how we innovate.

It starts with solving real consumer problems, developing breakthrough solutions—and then fueling those brands using the scale and capabilities of General Mills to accelerate their growth,” Doug Martin, Chief Disruptive Growth Officer, said on General Mills’ blog.


“This first product from Bold Cultr is proof positive that we’re finding new ways to test and learn outside of our core portfolio and in a whitespace of the food industry.”

General Mills initially started teasing its animal-free cheese ideas recently with a brand called Renegade Creamery, which the corporation said has since been replaced with Bold Cultr.


Bold Cultr is available online through its website, and in select Hy-Vee supermarkets in Minnesota.

Rise Bagel Co., a Minneapolis-based artisan bagel shop, will also serve Bold Cultr’s vegan cream cheese beginning in January.

After testing and learning with early partners in food service, it plans to expand its retail and digital footprints in the coming months.