inStorebuyer - June 2012 - (Page 35)

cheesecorner INNOVATIONS IN DELI CHEESE Teaching Cheese The “foodie” movement continues to grow. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines foodie as a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads. Supermarkets need to reach out to foodies, and one way to do this is through the cheese case. But it’s not as simple as randomly stocking premium and artisan cheeses. Supermarkets need to stock the right cheeses, and staff must communicate with the cheeseshopping foodie in the correct language and with the right knowledge base. With good cheeses and an educated staff, you’ll even the playing field and better compete with the specialty cheese shop for foodie business. The ideal situation Sending your staff to specialized classes for formal cheese education is the best way to get them properly educated. Many culinary schools around the country offer such courses starting with the basics, moving through pairings and up to advanced cheese making. If you already have a cheese counter or think you might add one in the future, formally educating staff provides good background and credibility when dealing with a cheese connoisseur. The Cheese School of San Francisco is the only independent institution of its kind in the nation dedicated entirely to helping people maximize their enjoyment and appreciation of cheese through education and tasting events, both structured and informal. The Cheese School is committed to building a complete curriculum with classes and tasting events that can be taken alone or in combination to satisfy food lovers of all types, from the merely curious to the serious cheese enthusiast and the foodservice professional. If you don’t have the budget or resources to send your staff to San Francisco, a number of resources exist for those who are interested in educating themselves on gourmet, artisan and specialty cheeses. much as possible, says Nick Managan, foodservice marketing manager for Cabot Creamery in Montpelier, VT. Once you know when a vendor representative will be in the store, schedule staff accordingly and make an effort to get everyone together. Prepare questions and points of product that you want to cover. If possible and time permits, set up quick educational sessions between staff and vendors. Your vendors are there to help you sell, and they represent the best resource for knowledge of the products they supply you with, so use them. Provide resources Encouraging your staff to educate themselves on the nuances of gourmet cheese serves as a step in the right direction, but providing them with the resources is the second step. Numerous books on cheese exist and some are classics and heavily respected. Many authors write about cheese exclusively having years of experience and training. The Murray’s Cheese Handbook is touted by many as the only cheese book you’ll ever need. Authors Rob Kaufelt and Liz Thorpe provide an alphabetical guide to more than 300 cheeses of the world, entirely Tap your suppliers The more cheese you sell, the more money you make. Your vendors benefit from this as well. They make great resources, so take advantage of their knowledge and wisdom when it comes to the products you offer. Vendors will often visit supermarkets to set up and execute demos and tastings. Encourage staff and reps to interact. During the demos and tastings, supplier reps usually focus on the shopper, but are more than willing to talk with staff and educate them as | inStorebuyer | June 2012 | 35 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of inStorebuyer - June 2012

inStorebuyer - June 2012
Editor's Note - How Consumers Eat
Table of Contents
Frontline News - CSM to Divest Bakery Supplies
Frontline News - Register for All Things Baking
Frontline News - Chang wins Supermarket Chef Showdown
Frontline News - Haggen Hires Bakery Director
Frontline News - Kings Unveils Innovative Store
Frontline News - Culpitt Ltd. Wins Queen’s Award
Frontline News - Consumers Watch Sodium Intake
Food Serivce Retail - Minimize Sandwiches for Maximum Appeal
Baking & Decorating - Decorate to Win
Bakery Development - Seek New Opportunities with Pies
Deli Development - Specialty Cheese Broaden Appeal
Foods of the Decade
A Price War in Phoenix
Food Safety - Labeling Regulation Poses Burden
Health & Nutrition - Weight Loss Trends
Cheese Corner - Teaching Cheese
Product Trends
Product Showcase
Marketplace Network
Ad Index

inStorebuyer - June 2012