Winners ~ NZ Vegan Cheese Awards

Winners of the Inaugural Vegan Cheese Awards

No longer will Kiwis have to gaze at all the vegan cheeses trying to decide which one melts the best on pizza, or which one their friends will enjoy on a cheese board, these results will let them know which are the country’s best vegan cheeses. Vegan cheesemakers have finally cracked the Holy Grail of plant-based cheese, including blue, feta and mozzarella cheeses. Once considered the domain of the dairy industry, our Kiwi entrepreneurs have been working hard to create amazing plant-based alternatives.

Finally it’s here! The judges at our first Vegan Cheese Awards, held at our award host, The Butcher’s Son, have taste tested over 30 different cheeses made in New Zealand to help you find the Best Cheese. The results are in! Nine different categories of cheese were tasted and tested and given marks out of ten. These plant-based cheeses are made from ingredients such as cashew nuts, potato starch, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, even kumara and a variety of herbs and spices.

There is no cholesterol in plants, so those keen to preserve their health as well as the environment but love cheese, can finally eat their way safely into cheese heaven. Supermarkets know that vegan cheese is on the rise as they are seeing a 36% increase in plant based foods. This is a huge win for the plant-based industry and The Vegan Society Aotearoa New Zealand is delighted to present our first award winners:

2021 Results

Our awards for excellence in vegan food production have been embraced by NZ food producers and we are delighted to present our first awards for cheese with over 30 entries from makers across the country, assessed by our 3 judges across several different categories.

Best Mozzarella

Winner ~ Zenzo
Runner Up ~ Angel Food

Best Feta

Joint Winners ~ Let Them Eat Vegan and Angel Food
Runner Up ~ Savour (casheta)

Best Cream Cheese

Winner ~ Angel Food
Runner Up ~ Grater Goods

Best Soft Cheese

Winner ~ Let Them Eat Vegan (cheddar spread)
Runner Up ~ Treetop Foods (sun-dried tomato and garlic)

Best Hard Cheese

Winner ~ Treetop Foods (pepper kick)

Best Flavoured Cheese

Winner ~ Savour (cumin)
Runner Up ~ Savour (chipotle cashew cream cheese)

Best Surface Ripened

Winner ~ Moa (blue)
Runner Up ~ Savour (cashbert)

Best Commercial Cheddar

Winner ~ Zenzo (cheddar)
Runner Up ~ Zenzo (smoky paprika)

To see coverage of this year’s awards

Newstalk Breakfast Show and RNZ Checkpoint

Vegan Cheese Awards

The SUPREME winner was Dunedin based Let Them Eat Vegan with their Cheddar Spread

The awards were judged by vegan comedian Tom Sainsbury, Food and Beverage Industry Judge Aaron Pucci, restaurant owners Mike Khuttannasse (Khu Khu) and Luke Burrows (Wise Boys) who had the delicious tasks of awarding marks based on texture, appearance and flavour to our array of cheeses. They were particularly impressed with Angel Food’s Cream Cheese saying it was “Amazing on a bagel, spreadable, classic authentic cream cheese, wonderfully rich”

Media spokesperson Claire Insley remarked “Congratulations to all our winners and runners up, it’s clear that healthy plant-based cheeses are ready to tackle the Kiwi palate. Our awards are showcasing the excellence in this niche, yet burgeoning market. These cheeses are healthy for you, healthy for our environment and kind to animals, when vegan cheese tastes this good, why settle for less?”

All the winners can be purchased directly from the manufacturers or in your local supermarket or health food shop.
Why not try a winning cheese today?