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Plant-based cheese innovation: from ‘down under’ to the world

April 16, 2019 Lifestyle News No Comments Email Email

Australia’s only large-scale vegan cheese and dip manufacturer Dairy-Free Down Under is now exporting to six countries without even having set foot on a plane, thanks to introductions to overseas markets provided by the Gold Coast City Council.

In fact, the deal was sealed right here on the Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games.

Dairy-Free Down Under co-founder Kevin Flanagan said at the time he was so busy working in the family start-up that he almost didn’t attend the trade event.

“I got talked into going at the last minute by a representative from the Gold Coast City Council,” Kevin said.

“I’m thankful now because as a result we were able to begin exporting within our first year of launching Dairy-Free Down Under, which we never even dreamed possible.”

The Carrara-headquartered business, which employs 30 locals, began its exports in October last year, with export orders from Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore growing each month.

“This is particularly helpful for our cashflow as we simultaneously self-fund our R&D and build on our distribution within the Australian market, which now covers about 900 retail and fast-food outlets including health stores, independents, Costcos and Zambreros,” Kevin said.

“We’re also in discussions for export opportunities in China, Japan and the United States of America.”

Dairy-Free Down Under is now actively looking for dedicated senior production supervisor to manage its team in response to the growing demand for its plant-based products throughout Australia and now overseas too.

Australia has become the third largest plant-based nation in the world. Food innovation is growing with the trend, and home-grown Australian brands like Dairy-Free Down Under are leading the dairy-free charge.

Dairy-Free Down Under co-founder Jenny Flanagan said Australia, and in particular the Gold Coast, was internationally renowned for its healthy lifestyle and overseas markets were wanting “what’s in our water”.

“This health-conscious culture has meant some of our country’s top food innovators – including Dairy-Free Down Under – are coming out of the Gold Coast,” Jenny said.

“We believe everyone deserves a seat at the table and the chance to enjoy their favourite foods, in fact, our business was originally inspired by our daughter’s intolerance to dairy and that I didn’t want to cook multiple versions of the same dish.

“We’re happy we’re spreading this culture of food inclusivity throughout the world and grateful for this opportunity provided by Gold Coast City Council.”

It seems rather than being a fad, plant-based diets are only on the increase, which is likely to lead to more export opportunities for this budding Gold Coast business.


What: Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate will visit local vegan cheese and dip manufacturer Dairy-Free Down Under to discuss export progress since the Council introduced the business to export markets. While Mayor Tate is there, he’s going to sample Dairy-Free Down Under’s mozzarella cheese shreds on a pizza to see what the fuss is about. He’ll also don gum boots, a lab coat and a hairnet to do a walk-through of the manufacturing facility.

When: Monday, April 15, 9:15am

Where: Dairy-Free Down Under Headquarters, 3-5 Keller Crescent, Carrara, Queensland 4211 Australia

Who: Mayor Tom Tate, Dairy-Free Down Under’s co-founders Kevin and Jenny Flanagan

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