At first, the consumer move to at-home eating during the pandemic challenged the volume of products needed at retail. Now, as shoppers have begun to experiment and lean into the immense variety of options available to them, their focus has shifted toward finding bold flavors that strike their tastebuds in new and exciting ways, and Trugman-Nash’s brand Old Croc is rising to meet that need with its Medium and Grand Reserve Cheddars.
“The truth is, we spend a lot of time developing cheeses that we bring to consumers so that they can understand and experience what Cheddar should really taste like and be like. That is the genus of the Old Croc brand,” explains Ken Meyers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Trugman-Nash. “Having our cheese is like tasting Cheddar for the first time because so many people haven’t really tasted a true old-world heritage Cheddar.”
To get Old Croc’s special Grand Reserve variety, the company uses old-world heritage cheesemaking techniques, bringing out extremely bold, creamy, sharp, and nutty flavors to please consumers’ palates. All of the brand’s products are imported from Australia where they are crafted using milk from grass-fed cows that are pasture-raised without hormones and then aged two years for an extra sharp taste.
The end result is a Cheddar that is low moisture compared to other cheeses of the same variety, allowing Old Croc’s Grand Reserve to develop a clean, rich flavor profile with body and delicious lactate crystals for a premium eating experience.
Besides the high-caliber ingredients going into the production of Old Croc’s Grand Reserve Cheddar, one thing that differentiates the product is its unique process and the company’s commitment to taste and consistency. This translates to the brand packaging its Grand Reserve by flavor, not just variety.
“We specialize in selling flavor more than anything,” says Ken. “We grade every lot of cheese we put in the package, and we do it by flavor. There are times where our Sharp Cheddar is actually older than the Extra Sharp in our repertoire due to different times of the year, milk, and other factors, making its flavor exceptional and better meeting our standards for our Grand Reserve. So, we segregate out the absolute best flavor profile, always making sure we have the cleanest flavored cheese and that the description matches what's on the package.”
As demand for specialty cheese has risen, Old Croc is rolling out newly revised packaging for Grand Reserve as well as expanded size offerings. Originally available in 10 oz, 16 oz, and 24 oz bars, now the brand has introduced a 7 oz product for shoppers to add to their baskets.
Accompanying Grand Reserve is Old Croc’s new Medium Cheddar, which is created using the same old-world heritage style of cheesemaking and prime ingredients. Aged for more than three months, the brand’s Medium Cheddar has a smooth, creamy texture; a full flavor; and is ideal for melting and slicing.
The variety comes in 7 oz chunks, 24 oz chunks available at club stores, and 5 lb loaves, to meet a wide range of consumer needs. That desire to provide options to a broader range of shoppers was one of the inspirations behind the creation of Old Croc’s Medium Cheddar and part of the company’s vision for the future.
“This will allow us to have a wider audience for our brand and a larger portfolio for those that are looking for the absolute highest flavor profiles and other benefits of grass-fed in other cheeses,” Ken says regarding the introduction of Medium Cheddar.
In addition to expanding its consumer range, Old Croc is also looking to grow its customer base to include foodservice operators, capitalizing on the increase in popularity of grass-fed offerings.
“We believe that there is a lot of room for growth in foodservice, because people are serving grass-fed burgers, which got us thinking, why are they not putting grass-fed cheese on top of that grass-fed burger and doing a whole grass-fed offering?” shares Ken. “We believe once foodservice starts to pick up again, we'll start our investment in the sector that will be a great new channel for our brand.”
Armed with an arsenal of quality cheeses and a blueprint for expansion, what will the future hold for Old Croc? Whatever it may be, I know flavor will follow, and therefore you can count me in, along with all of the other consumers looking to elevate their eating experience.