Football club Cheddar AFC announces sponsorship deal with Violife – encouraging players to go plant-based

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  18th August 2023

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Football club Cheddar AFC has signed an unexpected sponsorship deal – with vegan cheese brand Violife.

The brand has become the club’s new shirt sponsor in a move it hopes will help to show people how easy it is to ditch animal products and go plant-based.

Their new strip, described as ‘unbelievably cheesy’, features a ‘world-first grated design and an upgraded plant-based version of the Club’s historic crest’.

And the non-league club’s players – previously known as the Cheesemen and Cheesewomen, and now referred to as Cheesymen and Cheesywomen – are now also being encouraged to embrace more of a plant-based diet.

The move follows a poll showing that 41 per cent of Brits say they would miss cheese too much to go vegan. Violife, which has just released a new plant-based alternative called Cheddarton, hopes that its partnership with the 131-year-old Cheddar AFC, will ‘show the nation just how easy it is to go plant-based’.

The players' new kit sports the 'world-first grated design and an upgraded plant-based version of the Club’s historic crest'. Photo © Violife

The players' new kit sports the 'world-first grated design and an upgraded plant-based version of the Club’s historic crest'. Photo © Violife

Cheddar AFC

According to polling, cheddar is rated as the favourite cheese of more than half (58 per cent) of Brits.

Now the Cheddar AFC players have ‘given Cheddarton the stamp of approval, agreeing Violife has cracked the cheesy code for the team’s favourite cheese’.

Another finding of the polling is that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of all plant-based diets end because people cannot resist the allure of cheese.

To help the Cheesymen and Cheesywomen move away from meat and dairy, ex-Lioness and committed vegan athlete Karen Carney will work with the club.

She will ‘share with players the benefits she experienced from switching to a plant-based diet in 2018, including helping her improve her performance on the pitch’.

Her input will be crucial, as a staggering 60 per cent of Brits polled believe that athletes need to consume meat and dairy.

However, despite the reluctance of some to switch to a plant-based diet, many can see the positives with a fifth (20 per cent) believing it is better for the environment and protects animal welfare (19 per cent).

The players are embracing plant-based food. Photo © Violife

The players are embracing plant-based food. Photo © Violife

The benefits of going plant-based

In a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, Karen Carney said: “I turned vegan in 2018 and noticed the positive change immediately both in my health and performance on the football pitch when playing for both club and country. 

“The perception of the plant-based diet is that you will miss out on certain foods but thankfully Violife means I never miss out on my cheesy favourites like pizza and cheese on toast.“ 

Kieran Webster, Captain of Cheddar AFC added: “Living and growing up in Cheddar, cheese is in the players’ blood. 

“We know what’s key to making the cheesiest, gooiest dishes around, so if we can go plant-based, switching Cheddar for Cheddarton, anyone can!”

And Jess Millner, Senior Brand Manager at Violife, said: “If the people of Cheddar can embrace Cheddarton and still stay cheesy, anyone can. The idea of switching to a plant-based diet can seem like a big leap, and clearly many are worried about how they would feel without some of their favourite foods. 

“But going plant-based doesn’t have to mean you no longer get to enjoy them, with Cheddarton letting you make a simple switch without having to sacrifice on taste or texture.”

According to Violife, its new Cheddarton has a ‘flavour profile that is expertly crafted to mirror traditional cheddar’, and it melts, grates, and crumbles like its dairy counterpart.

In addition, it says the product produces less than half the carbon emissions, and occupies two-thirds less of the land to produce, when compared to dairy products.

Cheddarton is available now in Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda & Morrisons stores across the country, RRP £2.75. 

Is your interest piqued? Find out more about Violife’s new cheddar block with ‘half the emissions’ of dairy cheese – and where to buy it

Featured Photo © Violife

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

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