Saputo - August 2019 - 3

From Unknown to Uniquely Familiar: Inside the Cheese Journey
Consumers seek variety, and they are looking beyond
traditional offerings. Products featuring globally inspired
food and ethnic flavors are especially appealing to those
consumers who crave something unconventional.
"As Americans become more acquainted with global
cheese on a regular basis, [these lesser known varieties]
will become more familiar," says Eric Richard, industry
relations coordinator for the International Dairy Deli
Bakery Association (IDDBA). "Gradual incorporation
of globally inspired flavors, especially those Hispanic
cheeses that are already moving into mainstream
cooking, can grow consumer preference for new
products made with these types of cheese."
Education is key to making global cheeses more familiar.
Certain cheeses are better suited to stand alone
rather than being incorporated into a product. Helping
consumers understand the value of using one cheese
over another in different ways entices them to try
different combinations and products on their own.
Targeted messaging and labeling can help manufacturers
and retailers better connect with consumers, according
to IDDBA data. Including an ethnic cheese's story on the
packaging engages and educates curious consumers.
Sampling of global cheeses and products with ethnic
flavors also widens exposure and establishes brand
awareness.
Global cheeses are often included in products to
appeal to those looking for a more gourmet, culinary
experience. Commercial fresh and frozen products
(including appetizers, breads, pizzas, pastas and
desserts) play into the consumer desire for fresh,
premium foods made from high-quality, authentic
ingredients.
Incorporating global cheeses in adult or even kids' snack
trays could be an area of growth for producers. Kids
today are exposed to multicultural cuisines and flavors
at a much earlier age.
"Younger generations of consumers are an evolving
customer base, and they will be looking for authentic
products with global cheeses and ethnic flavors that
deliver an amazing experience," Richard says. "But it
takes time. Exposure. Familiar. Mainstream. That's the
journey."

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Saputo - August 2019

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