Artisanal vegan cheese company Treeline Treenut Cheeses is set to expand to 2,500 Kroger supermarket locations—including subsidiary properties Ralphs, Dillons, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, Quality Food Center, Fry’s, Smith’s, and Jay-C—nationwide this September. Treeline owner Michael Schwarz said the expansion would position his cashew-based cheeses to customers outside of the company’s vegan fan base. “The vegans are a bit like the Tea Party wing within the customer base,” Schwarz said. “Being cruelty-free is very important to them, but if you want to win a national election, you can’t just appeal to the base.” This expansion—which adds to Treeline’s current availability at stores such as Whole Foods Market, Natural Grocers, and MoM’s Markets—will make the brand the most widely distributed artisanal vegan cheese. “Artisanal treenut cheeses just went mainstream,” Schwarz said. “That speaks volumes for the desirability of our products in particular, and where the plant-based market is heading in general.” Treeline’s expansion comes at a time when the dairy alternative industry is booming and predicted to grow to an industry worth more than $35 billion by 2024.
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