Addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are critical global challenges. As a substantial contributor to emissions, animal-based products are under increasing scrutiny. Animal-free dairy products provide a potential. Although understanding consumer acceptance of these products is crucial, the literature on this topic is scant. This study investigates the perception and acceptance of animal-free dairy among German consumers (N = 1,487) using an online survey with five information treatments (general and topic-specific information about animal-free cheese, gene-modified organisms, animal welfare, environmental concerns, and farmer existence). The acceptance of animal-free dairy was measured by the respondents' willingness to try, substitute, buy, and regularly buy animal-free cheese. Acceptance was found to be comparatively lower than in past studies, although still prevalent among 45.65 % of consumers. Notably, there were significant variances in consumers' perspectives toward animal-free cheese, causing an irregular distribution in their willingness statements. Multi-group analysis using partial least squares structural equation modeling showed that consumer acceptance did not significantly differ between treatment groups. However, individual analysis revealed that the willingness to buy animal-free cheese was positively influenced by perceived benefits and perceived sustainability. Conversely, perceived risks decreased this willingness. Positive attitudes toward farming and knowledge about farming increased perceived risks, while high social trust lowered them. Attitudes toward animal welfare and social trust positively influenced perceived benefits. These findings can be applied to inform and facilitate market introduction strategies of animal-free dairy products for producers and policy makers, providing insights into consumer acceptance of these products in Germany.