2024 has officially begun, which means another year of opportunities to tap into the ever-growing cheese sector. One key trend gaining momentum is the rise of imported cheese, which continues to forge its way into more consumers’ baskets. To appeal to this elevated demand, Saputo is building a collection of high-quality products and brands.
“Imported cheese is one of the best ways to explore the flavors and unique food traditions of the world,” begins Jenny Englert, Director of Marketing, Saputo USA. “Imported cheeses often use traditional aging processes, integrate unique regional flavors, and offer consumers’ palates new textures and flavor notes that compliment familiar cheese experiences. For example, El Cortijo Iberico cheese brings familiar textures to the palate, however, its unique buttery aromas bring new flavors that are both delicious and surprising to taste buds.”
Saputo has a variety of imported cheese brands that retailers can spotlight as this category continues to gain momentum, including:
“The demand for imported cheeses has grown significantly in recent years. In fact, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), the United States imported more than $1.57 billion in cheese in 2021, making it the seventh largest importer of cheese in the world,” Jenny adds. “This data tells us the desire to explore global flavors through cheese is strong and will likely grow in 2024 and beyond.”
The opportunities in this category are abundant, especially as charcuterie and cheese boards remain a strong trend in the food and dining world. As these small plates and serving options remain of high interest to consumers, Saputo continues to present new and exciting cheese flavors and size formats for shoppers to explore.
From Wensleydale Creamery Yorkshire Wensleydale to Cathedral City Cheddars and Joan of Arc Camembert and Bries, Saputo provides a host of offerings from top cheese makers around the world to encourage the exploration of the imported cheese category.
“Flavor is the key driver when it comes to the allure of imported cheeses, as well as the unique stories behind the cheeses. When consumers start exploring the global cheese world, they’re pleasantly surprised by the various profiles from cheese to cheese—learning that no Wensleydale, Gouda, Cheddar, or Brie tastes the same due to a cheese’s geographic location and aging process,” Jenny continues. “The special properties of Landana Jersey Gouda are a great example of geographical and product integrity, as Landana Jersey Gouda is produced with the utmost care and attention for people, animals, and the environment, which results in a better flavor that you can genuinely taste the difference in every smooth, creamy bite.”
To make the most of this growing sector, Saputo advises its retail partners to encourage consumers to explore the world of imported cheese by providing guided suggestions with language such as, “If you like cheddar A from Wisconsin, you may also like cheddar B from Cathedral City.”
In addition to guided suggestions, education on flavor profiles and aging processes, as well as serving recommendations are always helpful and encouraged to help consumers make an informed decision when purchasing unfamiliar or new cheeses.
More category deep dives await you here on the pages of DMN, so stick around.