ARLA DAIRY CHEESE AND CREAM CHEESE
What are some of the key
changes in this category
in the past year?
Across the cheese category and
CPG as a whole, a key driver of
change is consumer desire and
demand, which runs the gamut
from clamoring for cleaner
labels to demand for greater
transparency to shifts within the
retail environment. Arla came
into the conversation at the right
time, with the right product. At
a time when many brands need
to change to meet consumers’
needs, Arla didn’t have to. We
are a 136-year-old dairy farming
co-operative that has always
made great tasting products from
What are some of the
in this category?
The U.S. market has a number
of characteristics that create a
challenging environment. For
starters, people are often on
autopilot when they are shopping
in the dairy aisle. Current choices
and ingrained habits rule what
goes into their basket. For Arla,
that meant disruption was critical.
The brand needed to break into
people’s awareness and show
how our products were different.
It’s not just rote habit that’s
guiding choice in dairy, either.
The clean label space is getting
more competitive by the minute.
Plus, dairy aisle competitors
spend tens of millions of dollars
on media alone and have strong
retail ties and deep trade
How has your company
been a category leader in
Arla Foods entered the U.S.
market more than a decade ago
in the deli section. The brand sold
Danish blue cheese, Havarti and
Gouda, along with some other
yellow cheese types under the
Castello brand name. As of late
2015, Arla expanded its product
portfolio and directed its focus to
include products in dairy, where
92% of U.S. cheese volume is
Though a relatively new player,
Arla’s sliced cheese product
sales quadrupled, catapulting
the company into the number six
spot among sliced cheese brands
and ringing up over $11 million in
sales. Arla’s cream cheese sales
doubled during the same period.
Arla now commands a 6.5%share
of the almost $1.6 billion sliced
cheese category, a rapid ascent
for a little-known brand in the
U.S. Arla’s entrance into the
marketplace has also created
some fresh competition in the
cream cheese category, a dairy
aisle staple long dominated by
one major brand.
How do you partner with
food retailers to help
them become successful
in this segment?
As a new player to the
marketplace, Arla took the
role of a value-adding partner
with retailers. An important
component of our partnership
with food retailers is focusing
marketing funds on engaging
consumer initiatives and
emphasizing the brand’s unique
position in the dairy cheese aisle.
What specific retail chains
have benefited from your
Describe their success.
Some of the key retailers that
have benefited from our Arla
Cream Cheese are as follows:
• Along with a terrific Shopper
Marketing initiative to bring
awareness to our great tasting
better for your product, Kroger
launched the product line and
our findings were that the
shoppers who purchased the
Arla Cream Cheese were 20%
incremental to the category
(New buyers or Additional
• Publix recently launched our
Arla Cream Cheese, including
the latest innovation Squeeze
• Meijer has benefited from our
entire line up of Arla Products;
Cream Cheese, Arla Sliced
Cheese and Arla Snack Cheese
including Squeeze and they
have partnered with us to
promote the Arla brand in total
Any key trends retailers
should watch for?
There are a few key trends that
all point to positive growth for
Arla. For starters, the snacking
trend continues to go strong.
According to the NPD Group,
only about 14%of consumers are
eating just breakfast, lunch and
dinner. The rest snack between
meals and are increasingly eating
snacks as a meal.
People are eating anything and
everything as a snack, which
bodes well for the cheese
category as a whole. Arla cheeses
make an excellent choice for
a healthy, unprocessed snack
that’s nutrient-dense, and that’s
what consumers are looking for
today: wholesome, real food with
ingredients that they feel good
about from brands that they trust.
People are reaching for great tasting clean label foods, which bodes well for
cream cheese and the cheese category as a whole.
SUPPLIER PERSPECTIVES C H E E S E