Saputo - August 2019 - 2

have leveraged this consumer interest, introducing
them to unique global cheeses, according to Hartman
Group qualitative insights and quantitative data. Smaller
portions and packaging encourage experimentation and
lower the risk of trying new cheese products.
Retailers like Trader Joe's "have changed the way
consumers engage with cheese, offering tastings and
extensive cheese counters," Abbott says. "They are
guiding consumers on the cheese journey by providing
products in multiple applications and flavor varieties."
Cheese producers may leverage the 'experiential'
dining trend by partnering with manufacturers and
other industries to create unique eating occasions that
engage consumers. For example, in-store tastings or
festivals allow consumers to sample new products and
learn about serving suggestions and complementary
pairings with wine, nuts, bread or fruit.
fresco, Cotija and Oaxaca, which all bring different
attributes to cooking.
"More consumers are eating global cheeses as a part of
their daily diets, and cheese as an ingredient is popping
up in products more often," Abbott continues. "Hispanic
varieties, like manchego from Spain or haloumi and feta
from the Mediterranean regions, are moving into the
Cheese infused with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern
spices and curries are catching on with consumers. Also
trending are hotter flavor formats created with various
peppers used in conventional Hispanic cooking, including
jalapeño, habanero, chipotle and ghost peppers.
Today's consumers want to know
how their food is made, where it
comes from, and how they can
create an exciting
food experience.
Cheese producers,
manufacturers and
retailers must be
perceived as sources
of this information,
whether in-store,
social media or
websites, according to
IDDBA data.
Social media channels
encourage consumers
to actively participate
and try global
cuisines. Retailers


"Consumers want to create experiences for their
families and friends. They are curious about unique
appetizers and meal combinations to bring home,"
Richard says. "Cheese is perfect for endless innovation
in fresh and commercial fresh or frozen baked goods,
resulting in constant excitement in the marketplace."
Food television shows also deserve credit for elevating
consumer awareness of cheese pairings, flavor
combinations and unconventional applications. They
also have driven new culinary concepts, innovation
and product usage throughout the cheese industry.
"Consumers watch food television as a sport," Abbott
explains. "They are educated about foods, which
translate into their shopping habits and preferences."
While international cuisines certainly influence
consumption of global cheeses, the primary driver isn't
cuisine specific. Hartman Group research indicates that
innovation is driven more by authenticity, transparency
and quality fat. In the past, consumers believed that
eliminating fat, avoiding certain ingredients and
changing their preparation methods were the best way
to achieve good health. But that is no longer the case.
"Today's consumers are willing to choose more indulgent
foods if they are perceived as premium, traditional,
artisanal, locally sourced and authentic," Abbott says.
"These trends create opportunities in the cheese space."
The craft of cheesemaking is one such opportunity.
"There is a storytelling component to cheese," Richard
notes. "From what part of the world it originates to
where the cows or goats are raised ... the whole story
from farm to cheese case or aisle is quite compelling."


Saputo - August 2019

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