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Philadelphia cream cheese sparks social media frenzy with latest product launch: 'I need this'

The new spread took two years to develop.

plant-based Philadelphia cream cheese

Photo Credit: iStock

Bagel lovers, take note. 

Philadelphia, the iconic 150-year-old cream cheese brand, has just launched Philadelphia Plant-Based — its first dairy-free, vegan cream cheese spread.

Consumers are increasingly looking for plant-based alternatives to all of their favorite foods, especially dairy products, with 42% of U.S. households regularly buying dairy-free milk. The dairy-free category is so popular now that oat milk is even the default at some coffee shops, including Blue Bottle.

But according to recent data, less than half of consumers who try dairy-free cream cheese are repeat buyers. Most say they're not finding the taste or texture comparable to conventional cream cheese, even though they want dairy-free options for health and environmental reasons. 

But Philadelphia is hoping to change that. The company is the undisputed leader in American cream cheese — with a market share of nearly 70% — and it's hoping its new spread is going to stick. 

The new, plant-based spread took two years to develop. It's made with fava beans and coconut oil, which is designed to give it a rich, buttery taste.

"Philadelphia Plant-Based spread not only provides a solution that mirrors the taste and texture of our iconic Philadelphia brand, but it also reinforces Kraft Heinz's bet to bring plant-based offerings to the masses," Robert Scott, president of research & development at The Kraft Heinz Company, said in a statement.

Twitter users expressed excitement over the product announcement.

"FINALLY!" wrote one popular vegan food account.

"I need this to be in the northeast," said another.

"I'm highly allergic to dairy," wrote a third. "Can't wait to try this."

Philadelphia isn't Kraft Heinz's first dairy-free offering. The conglomerate recently released a dairy-free version of its Kraft Singles, and it uses artificial intelligence (named "Giuseppe") to identify the best sustainable plant-based ingredients to recreate animal products. 

Philadelphia Plant Based is now available in stores across the Southeast. So if you're in the Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, or Houston area, have your bagels ready. 

For the rest of the U.S., you'll likely have to wait until next summer to get your schmear on. But as any bagel lover knows, the perfect bagel is worth the wait.

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