“Not all goat cheeses are created equal.”
I’ve never resonated with a phrase so much until I spoke with Patrick Considine, National Sales Director of Mosaic Meadows. I may have only been in this trade for a few years, but I know when to keep my eyes peeled for innovation, and Mosaic Meadows is just the industry pacesetter to look out for.
“Despite the challenges of 2020, we had a significant growth year,” Patrick tells me. “Back when lockdowns started taking effect, we were already working pretty heavily to get more retail projects up and running. Because of that, we were able to pivot and grow our retail sales enough to reach up in the double digits.”
That initiative obviously led Mosaic Meadows’ LaClare Family Creamery branch to see monumental growth. The company refocused its foodservice efforts over the past 18 months to bring its fresh goat cheese production onto many consumers’ radar—and that growth has been, as the kids say it, Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.).
“LaClare has seen an almost 200 percent increase within the last half of the year in our raw goat milk cheddar. It’s kind of unheard of for something like raw goat cheese, but it caught fire, and it’s great to see that continue to rise this year,” laughs Patrick. “I also think our flavors have been a big hit with consumers because we take our inspiration from what people are doing in the kitchen. Goat cheese is one of those things that goes so well with just about everything. Our line represents that and is a direct reflection of what people are doing and what flavors are popular.”
This inspiration, I feel, is still pretty exploratory and experimental. While consumers have expanded their flavor palates, LaClare has taken a few cues to keep its products on-trend and on shoppers’ radars. Flavors such as Maple Bourbon, Apple Cinnamon, Everything Bagel, Chipotle Honey, Zesty Ranch, and Fig Honey are all varieties I would love to cram on my own charcuterie board.
Of course, not all goat cheeses are created equal. What makes LaClare stand out on retail shelves is the dedication and quality the creamery puts into its goat dairy production and operation.
“People are noticing the quality difference between us and everyone else, and I like to think it is because of the milk we use,” Patrick explains. “Milk is obviously a big factor, but I believe the flavor of our products is because of how we operate; we use 100 percent domestically produced goat milk from our own farms that are 15 miles down the road. We have control over the supply chain to ensure sustainability, and we want to be able to scale up that milk production as our business and sales grow.”
As Patrick tells me, the vertical integration of LaClare’s business has allowed LaClare to reduce CO2 emissions by significantly reducing the distance its milk needs to travel to its plant, compared to others. The average round-trip is 30 miles versus the 150 to 300-miles others need to travel for the same amount of milk. And as consumers continue to shift more into goat milk products, LaClare has a significant presence on retail shelves to change preconceived notions and perceptions of a once-niche category.
“Before, goat cheese used to be associated with an overpowering flavor or a tangy taste, and that’s not how it should—or has to—taste,” says Patrick. “Not all goat cheeses are created equal, and a lot of that comes back to the quality of the milk. There’s only so much that a cheesemaker can do, but the most important piece is making sure you have the best main ingredient. And I think that’s what LaClare is really always focused on—making sure that our main ingredient is the best out there.”
To get an inside look on how this industry innovator runs, watch the video below.
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