house cheeses that have stronger scent and flavor profiles. “Many consumers are becoming
more open to trying stronger so-called ‘stinky’
cheeses,” says Wiley.
Champignon recently introduced St. Mang
Bavarian Made Soft Ripened Cheeses, bloomy
rind cheeses made from milk sourced from
only Bavarian farms, where cows graze on fresh
alpine grasses. The cheese is available in Garlic
& Chive and Mild Green Peppercorns varieties.
“These cheeses are unique not only in their
savory flavor profiles, but also in the fact that
the herbs and spices are evenly incorporated
throughout the cheese, which is a technique
our cheese makers have mastered,” says Wiley.
Also spot on the flavor-forward cheese
trend, the Lactalis Group in Laval, France, has
announced it will launch a President Brie with
Truffles, which features specks of shaved black
truffles throughout the creamy round. This new
wheel will be available in fall 2018.
Cheese is the fastest-growing savory snack
between meals, according to the Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group. Meanwhile,
IRI data shows that deli snack cheese is leading
overall category growth for cheese snacks.
“Premium branded deli snacks have been
stealing share from traditional dairy snacks for
the past few years, and the trend is continuing as
consumers seek specialty items,” says Heather
Engwall, director of marketing for Emmi Roth
in Fitchburg, Wis. And as cheese producers
continue to marry snacking with convenience,
sales are sure to continue an upward trajectory.
“Consumers are looking for ways to streamline their lives, and having snacks in convenient,
on-the-go packaging helps them achieve this,”
says Stephens of Schuman Cheese. “Cheese
plays a big role in convenience and snacking as
it’s high in protein and calcium, and typically
has simple, recognizable ingredients.”
ASSOCIATION PERSPECTIVES RAW MILK CHEESE
Le Gruyère AOP has been made in the Gruyère region of Switzerland since
1115 AD, using the same recipe for over 900 years.
“...as people become more
aware of the contents of
the food that they eat, an
cheese is very enticing.”
The Interprofession du Gruyère
(IPG) is charged with protecting and
promoting this fine heritage. Mr.
Philippe Bardet is the Manager of
Marketing and Promotion for the
Grocery Business: Mr. Bardet, please
explain the role of the IPG.
Philippe Bardet: The Interprofession
represents the milk producers, cheese makers,
and affineurs that work to produce Gruyère
AOP. Our job is to oversee the quality control,
the quantities, the political and economical
aspects, and the marketing and promotion of
the brand. We aim to protect the heritage and
authenticity of the brand.
GB: And what does this job entail?
PB: We are protecting the AOP designation
(PDO in English), which says that only cheese
produced our way and in our region can bear
our name. We ensure that our quality is always
very high, so that the unique flavor of our
cheese is consistent, and consistently the best.
GB: Are there any trends in the business that
you see and try to follow?
PB: We are not trend followers. We are
making the same cheese, in the same way, for
900+ years. Luckily, a healthy trend towards
natural foods fits with our product - as people
become more aware of the contents of the
food that they eat, an all-natural, additives-
free cheese is very enticing. And because
Gruyère AOP is also naturally lactose- and
gluten-free, it’s a great choice for people
with those dietary restrictions as well. And,
as opposed to those products that alter their
recipe or ingredients to provide some of these
health benefits, with Gruyère AOP that’s just
the way it has always been, since 1115 AD.
INTERPROFESSION DU GRUYÈRE
Amount by which
volume sales growth
of specialty cheese has
outpaced the cheese
category overall in
the past year.
Source: WMMB, IRI