With the coronavirus disrupting life as usual, consumers are craving comfort food like never before. But they also want it to be healthy, good for the planet, and tasty too – quite a challenge for a food company with a rich history selling premium cheese.
Valio USA, known for its Finlandia cheeses, is answering the call with the launch of Oddlygood Plant-Based Mozzarella for the U.S. foodservice market. It’s a meltable vegan cheese that provides a delicious and gooey addition to pizza, arguably America’s favorite comfort food.
Created by chefs with pizza makers in mind, Oddlygood made its trade show debut last month with a virtual booth at Pizza Expo 365, an online pizza marketplace and will be showcased at key industry trade shows this year including Expo West, IDDBA and Pizza Expo International.
“Eating habits are clearly changing. With our long heritage as cheesemakers, we saw an opportunity to bring our expertise to the fast-growing plant-based category,” says Mari Meriluoto, director of marketing and business development for Valio USA, a division of Valio, based in Helsinki, Finland.
“Oddlygood is as easy to work with as any other cheese and delivers on great taste, which has been lacking in vegan mozzarellas,” Mariluoto says. “It also maintains its creaminess when cold.” Oddlygood Mozzarella now tops vegan pies in some 300 Kotipizza restaurants, the largest pizza chain in the Nordic countries.
The plant-based cheese is available shredded in 2.2-lb. bags and in 6.6-lb. logs. It provides a delicious and affordable vegan alternative for any recipe that calls for creamy, melty cheese such as quesadillas, paninis, flatbreads and Italian entrées. It is made with shea and coconut oils and potato starch protein.
Valio USA has created a suite of resources for distributors and operators, including training videos, recipe ideas and an ambassador program that will showcase chefs.
Initial reviews are strong. “I used to cringe when someone would order a vegan pizza, but now I am truly proud to serve them,” says Mario DeMita Jr., owner of Mario’s pizza in Niagara Falls, N.Y. He tested Oddlygood Mozzarella by doing side-by-side comparisons with several other plant-based options and made it part of his menu. “Meltability, texture, and taste are all superior. We had nothing but positive feedback from our customers.”
Learn more at Oddlygood.net. Interested in bringing a delicious and cost-effective way to upgrade your pies? Contact Valio Oddlygood Head of Foodservice Sales George Martone, George.Martone@valio.com.