WHEN it comes to packed lunches, cheese is no longer confined to the inside of a sandwich. Adults and children both appreciate a cheesy addition to their wrap, salad or pie according to some of the biggest cheese brands.
And another source of a cheese hit is a savoury biscuit. At the end of last year, Dairy Crest joined up with Burtons Biscuits to create Cathedral City Baked Bites.
They’re available in five x 22g snack packs (RRP £1.69) and a 35g on-the-go bag (59p) as well as a 125g sharing bag (£1.59).
The company also has Cathedral City Mature Snack Pack, an individually wrapped 50g cheese portion and Cathedral City with Pickle, a snack pack containing five cheddar sticks and a Branston dip.
For kids, Cathedral City has the lunchbox range Chedds, including a new, stronger variety called Chedds Nibbles Extra Cheesy, launched earlier this year.
“Chedds was created in response to consumer demand for a children’s snack made with real natural cheddar that is fun and engaging,” said Cathedral City’s Adam Mehegan.
“Kids’ cheese snacking has historically suffered an image problem with some existing branded offerings being perceived to be processed and unnatural.
“With Chedds, parents can be reassured that their kids are getting a quality snack that they will be excited to find in their lunch box.
There are also Chedds Shapes – mini bags of mild cheddar in fun shapes – and Chedds Towers, packs of 12g cheese portions.
• According to Bel UK, producer of Babybel, Leerdamer and The Laughing Cow, there are three proven, successful cheese snacking styles: miniature cheeses such as Mini Babybel, strings and dips.
Steve Gregory, head of category management at Bel UK, said: “Children’s snacking remains the core opportunity in cheese snacking and Mini Babybel is one of a few brands really driving growth in this area, with 24% cheese snack market share according to Nielsen.
“However, adult snacking is also a growing opportunity for cheese brands, with 15% of the population buying adult snacking brands in cheese in the last year according to Kantar. Health and flavour are extremely important to this adult audience.”
He points out developments such as The Laughing Cow Light with Blue Cheese and Light with Emmental which, he said, “appeals to the brand’s core audience of health-conscious females on the look-out for a tasty yet lower-calorie cheese treat.”
He quotes Nielsen figures showing that The Laughing Cow Light and flavours (including Blue Cheese) are growing the overall light cheese category, with value sales up by 19%. He claims that the Blue Cheese variant has delivered more than £2.8m to the category in the last year.
• Kerry Foods’ cheese snack product, Cheestrings, has an advertising campaign and on-pack promotion designed to underline the health credentials of the brand. It’s part of the Brave Bones Club, a website where families sign up and complete a series of challenges to earn badges to celebrate their achievements.
The new scheme offers consumers a range of free Bonkersly Brave game cards to collect and trade.