The shop, which was opened last week in Brixton by sisters Rachel and Charlotte Stevens, sells a range of artisan vegan cheeses, breads, crackers, and chutneys.
But the dairy industry is unhappy that it uses the word ‘cheese’ to describe its products. Under EU law, dairy-related names including ‘milk’, ‘cheese’, and ‘butter’ can only be used to refer to products derived from dairy – with a few exceptions.
“Dairy UK has a duty to ensure the nutritional and health benefits of real dairy are recognized by and communicated to consumers,” a spokesperson for Dairy UK said. “It concerns us that consumers are being misled with the use of dairy terms like cheese by the plant-based sector.
“It is fundamental to protect the consumer from product descriptions which are misleading. In the first instance, we will be contacting La Fauxmagerie to make them aware of the current EU ruling on the protection of dairy terms.
“Like milk, cheese has a host of nutritional benefits and is a source of a number of important nutrients including calcium, protein, vitamin A, phosphorus and vitamin B12.”
Despite Dairy UK’s claims that shoppers are confused by terms like ‘vegan cheese’, a 2018 US survey showed that consumers do, on the whole, understand the difference between plant-based and dairy products.
According to the research by the International Food Information Council (IFFC), fewer than 10 percent of US consumers believe that plant-based milks contain any dairy products.
The study shows that a further 75 percent know the vegan products do not contain cow’s milk, and the remaining respondents are not sure. The IFCC says these results show ‘a low level of consumer confusion over nomenclature and basic differences between the two’.
Plant Based News has contacted La Fauxmagerie for comment.