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How has consumer interest in British cheese changed recently?
In the last few years, numerous new and existing British products have developed to mirror the well-known and much-loved European-style cheeses, such as Brie, Camembert, Feta, Halloumi and Morbier, resulting in an innovation-driven larger range offering more variety of British-produced cheese. The premium quality of these products has encouraged those consumers who prefer to purchase British over imported to switch from their long-standing favourites to a local equivalent.
Why does British cheese offer an exciting opportunity for indies?
Through the drive for supporting local, and also the movement of storytelling, the British cheese industry is really pinned on the artisan heritage of the producer, the farm, and most importantly the way the cheese is made.
This is really the reason consumers choose a product – they want to feel that they are part of that story, and this is often the reason why a consumer will buy one product over the other and become brand loyal to a product. Fine food shoppers are looking for cheese and fine foods which match their love for food. They will be encouraged to engage more with something they can relate to, being British.
How can indies ensure they are stocking the very best of British cheese?
By following industry social media, fine food retailers will be exposed to the latest new developments. Industry events drive retail customer interest which then filters down to the producers and wholesalers. Retailers and Wholesalers are continuously following consumer and flavour trends, with this guiding the development of the products consumers are asking for.
The industry also runs a calendar filled with awards such as the British Cheese Awards, International Cheese & Dairy Awards etc., and consumers are able to attend sections of these events and also participate through social media.