The Annual Meat Conference opens the door for
meat professionals to access fresh ideas and perspectives. Come and
satisfy your appetite for learning and professional growth.
February 25-27, 2018
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
ensuring that each cheese counter nationwide reflects
the standards of the original NYC location.
Churning Out Creative Cheeses
This year, cheese makers are finding increased consumer
interest in unique, adventurous varieties. “Havarti,
Gouda and Brie have all grown in the latest 13 weeks,”
says Amy Woodbridge, senior brand manager for Arla
Foods’ Castello cheese brand, citing data from New York-
based research firm Nielsen for weeks ending Nov. 4,
2017. “Consumers are asking for bold, exciting and savory
flavors. We’ve also seen more of a purchasing influence
from millennials who are asking for products that provide
unique, new experiences and opportunities.”
This is especially true during the holidays, when con-
sumers seek creative ways to impress and entertain their
guests, according to Stacey Miller, director of brand man-
agement for Litehouse, based in Sandpoint, Idaho.
“Specialty cheese is purchased the most during the hol-
idays,” says Miller. “Consumers who may not be regular
specialty cheese purchasers will be purchasing and serv-
ing [cheese] at their parties.”
Litehouse launched a Center of Attention national
cheese promotion in December for the hol-
iday season, featuring in-store signage—
including shelf talkers, easel back displays
and ad slicks—tips for holiday parties, recipe
ideas and an integrated social campaign and
These tactics are beneficial for retailers to
boost specialty cheese sales for the holidays.
But particularly after the season winds down,
it’s crucial retailers also cross-merchandise
with categories across the store perimeter.
Pairing cheese with wine, crackers, nuts, produce and jams is an effective way to inspire cheese lovers
and push sales of non-cheese products.
“To execute the most effective programs, retailers’
best account vehicles, point-of-sale and social media are
leveraged to communicate the program, thus creating
a full 360 marketing platform,” says Marlo Yates, trade
marketing director for Castello. “Partnering with complementary departments and products within deli delivers on cross-category purchase behavior, thus increasing
market basket size.” Castello reports a 10% increase in
sales on average when participating in retailer programs.
Cheese and plant-based
cheese category sales in 2016.
Source: State of the Specialty Food
Industry 2017, Specialty Food Association
Specialty Business Gourmet & Specialty