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what they prepare at home." Adding value also has kept the category
fresh: Formaggio now pre-mixes its cilliegine mozzarella salads and has
changed the shapes of its rolls, which pair mozzarella with specialty
meats and herbs.
snacking and samplesize products.
"Naturally, people demanded an easier way to serve the fresh mozzarella, so we pre-sliced it and now also offer it on snack package forms,"
Riley says. "There's always movement in our category and we strive to
keep the category fresh."
Three things differentiate Formaggio from its competitors, Riley says:
quality of ingredients, artisanal handmade production and a focus
on texture and flavor. "We have the highest buttercream retention of
anyone in our category. This is because of the time we take to hand
stretch the cheese, hand mix the salad, hand roll the rotellos. The
artisan approach is the key difference between us and everyone else."
When it comes to merchandising, Formaggio has one big piece of
advice for its retail partners: if you can, do in-store demos. "Once
someone tastes our cheese they invariably want to bring some home
to share the experience with others," Riley says.
Green Bay, Wisconsin-based BelGioioso Cheese Inc.'s latest additions to
its line of Italian cheeses include a new snacking cheese and a line of
all-natural shredded, grated and shaved cheeses, packed in 4 oz cups
for consumers looking for a sample-type size, says Jamie Wichlacz, the
company's marketing and public relations manager. Parmesan is the
latest entry in the snack category, which is marketed with the "PowerFull Snack" tag. The new cups feature Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina,
Romano and Provolone.
Also new at BelGioioso is its Artigiano line, which comes in three
flavors: Classico, Vino Rosso and Aged Balsamic & Cipolline Onion.
Strong category growth, Wichlacz says, has helped paved the way for
the company to continue beefing up its product roster. "The demand
for quality Italian cheeses made in the U.S. continues to grow. Chefs and
consumers both continue to recognize our quality and appreciate our
Earlier this year, BelGioioso added three new items to the La Bottega di
BelGioioso line: Pepato, CreamyGorg and Italico.
Pepato was created by hand-mixing the company's Asiago with whole
black peppercorns. BelGioioso recommends pairing it with Bordeaux,
American pale ale beer or white chocolate, shredding or shaving it onto
a roast beef panini or melting it into mashed potatoes.
CreamyGorg is a soft, spreadable blue-veined cheese with earthy tones.
Each wheel is rubbed by hand with salt as it ages in caves for 90 days.
The variety's tender texture and bold flavor make it the perfect topping
for steak or chicken, according to BelGioioso. It can also be stirred into
hot pasta for an instant side dish, and it pairs well with Barolo, hard
cider or a dry coppa.
Italico is crafted in small batches using extra rich milk gathered each
day from BelGioioso's farmers. The variety is washed by hand in salt
water brine as it ages for 90 days, allowing it to bloom and develop
a rose-colored rind and earthy flavor. Italico pairs well with Merlot,
dark ales and berries, and is perfect, according to the company, for
upgrading grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese.
Wichlacz says the best way to merchandise BelGioioso cheeses at retail
is to group them together to help showcase the different varieties the
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