Friday, October 20, 2017

Global Cheese Trends 2017

From the World Dairy Expo’s Dairy Product Contest in Madison, Wis., at the beginning of October to Anuga 2017 in Cologne, Germany, and then to Chicago (nice season Cubbies, til next year!) for this week’s NACS 2017, the exposition of the National Association of Convenience Stores, cheese has been getting lots of attention. Artisan cheesemakers, regional creameries and global brands are showing the industry that cheese, a simple, clean-label, natural food that starts with four ingredients—milk, cultures, enzymes and salt—can be enjoyed as a snack, an on-the-go mini meal, an entrée and as dessert.

Let’s explore some recent entries to the global cheese case. But first, congrats to Sartori Company, for its Grand Championship winner at the World Dairy Expo. The Plymouth, Wis.-based cheesemaker took home the high honor for its Black Pepper BellaVitano Cheese.

Link HERE for more information on Word Dairy Expo and the contest.{7279EF7C-C92C-4BB7-9153-6D3578965EF4}&pid={772BEDAE-50B9-46F8-861D-E13763FDE010}

At Anuga 2017, a biennial fair that is the world’s largest food exposition for the retail trade and the foodservice and catering markets, cheese dominated the dairy hall, which is one of 10 expositions within the overall Anuga show. To read last week’s blog on Cultured Dairy Product Trends from Anuga, link HERE.

This 34th Anuga was impressive and a record setter. More than 7,400 companies from 107 countries presented products from all over the world and all categories over the course of five days. Around 165,000 trade visitors from 198 countries took advantage of this unique offer for sourcing, information and ordering at top level.

“Anuga is the world’s biggest and most important business platform for the international food industry,” said Gerald Böse, president and CEO of Koelnmesse. “The trade fair brings the global supply and demand together very precisely. With its clear concept and focus on relevant themes, it is a reliable marketplace for the global food world for customers from Germany and abroad.”

To read an overview of the entire Anuga expo, including a slideshow of some amazing innovations, link HERE to an article I just wrote for Food Business News.

The Anuga taste Innovation Show competition is part of the exposition. Nearly 900 companies placed more than 2,300 products in the new products database on the Anuga website for consideration for the taste recognition. In total, the jury selected 67 products and concepts.

Two winners were cheese.

This includes Hard Feta from Polyphemus Fine Dairy Products, which is Greek feta cheese p.d.o. (protected designation of origin) with a maximum moisture content of only 50%. The reduction of moisture lends this feta cheese a strong taste and a harder, more crumbly texture. This cheese benefits from an additional maturing time (at least 4 months), which allows its proteins to decompose into short-chain proteins and peptides for extra taste and aroma.

Lustenberger & Dürst SA in Switzerland received the Anuga taste Innovation Show accolades for its convenient LeSuperbe Swiss Raclette Gourmet Baking Tray product. The packaged Swiss raclette cheese comes with a baking tray that makes it possible to prepare slices of raclette directly in the oven without an additional tin. The consumer does not need a classic raclette oven or any other baking tray. It can simply be prepared directly in this innovative box. Furthermore, the raclette slices can also be directly melted in the microwave. After preparation, the baking tray can be lifted out of the oven or the microwave with the hand because the box does not gets hot.

Other innovations spotted on the show floor include Basiron Choco, which combines two foodie favorites: cheese and chocolate. The limited-edition cheese from Veldhuyzen, The Netherlands, will be available starting mid-November, just in time for the holidays. The large waxed rounds are designed for in-store cutting.

Also perfect timing for the holidays, Germany’s Bayernland offers Mozzarella Wraps. For retail, the wraps come as individual 130-gram sheets of mozzarella. The user simple fills, rolls, slices and enjoys. For foodservice, resealable tubs contain eight wraps sitting in brine. 

The Netherland’s Vandersterre Holland B.V., makers of the popular Prima Donna line of cheeses, is rolling out Jersey Gouda under its Landana label. Made from the milk of Holland-reared Jersey cows, the company describes the gouda as “different cow, different milk, better cheese.” There are two varieties. Mild is aged for about eight weeks, while Mature is aged for about 17 weeks for a fuller, richer flavor and body. Also new under the Landana brand is Smokey Hot Pepper, which is traditional Dutch cheese with smoked jalapeno peppers for an interesting kick. 

Germany’s Alpenhain now offers a convenient, spreadable form of camembert. New Camembert Crème come in natural and chive varieties. The cheese is made using fresh local Alpine milk without added flavor enhancers, preservatives, colors, emulsifying salts or thickening agents. It can be used as a bread or crackers spread, alone or with jam or honey, or as a cooking tool in everything from sauces to stuffed chicken breast. The spread comes in 125-gram containers for retail. For foodservice, chefs can work with 1.5 kilogram tubs or offer guests 25-gram portion packs.

After launching a corporate realignment this spring, the DMK Group of Germany used Anuga to roll out an integrated range of products. New Milram cheese varieties include Rügener and Küstenkäse in slice format. This convenient form brings the flavors of northern Germany to the nation’s sandwiches. These two cheese originals, made of milk from the island of Rügen, owe their particularly intense flavor to the red smear cultures used in their production.

 Austria’s Concept Fresh continues to grow its no-melt cheese sold under the Gusteria brand. The most recent introduction is Burger, which are patties sized for bun. This joins the brand’s snacking size that rolled out two years ago. Both the burgers and the snacking medallions come with grill marks, so that they can be easily microwaved and served. The burger made its debut in the Classic flavor. The snacks come in three flavors: Chili-Paprika, Classic and Herbs.

M.J. Dairies of Bulgaria showcased an innovative kids’ cheese snack. The recloseable tub is designed to resemble a fish bowl, while the cheese snacks it contains come in the shapes of fish, dolphins and starfish. The cheese is vacuum packed inside the tub, with or without brine.

Switzerland Cheese Marketing is introducing Smart Snack. The branded snack is from and with Original Swiss Emmentaler AOP, a raw milk cheese made with cows milk from the valley of the Emme in the canton of Berne and made in the same region by local dairies. Each 178-gram upscale package contains two slices of the cheese (70 grams total), two slices of bread (80 grams total), a jar of spread (28 grams) and a knife. There are three varieties. Break Filler has whole meal bread with cranberries and cherry and orange spread. Life Saver has whole meal rye bread with chia seeds and a peppery pear and passion fruit spread. Soul Food has whole meal oat bread with apricots and apricot and pimiento spread.

Because kids want their own fun snack products, Italy’s Parmareggio SPA is rolling out the ABC and 123 collections. These snack packs contain single-serve portions of parmesan cheese along with accompaniments such as breadsticks, crackers, muffin and even a juice box.

Greece’s Alpha Gefsi Edesmata offers consumers a fun way to enjoy feta, which is as a dip and spread. Often mixed with Greek yogurt, or various herbs, spices or chopped vegetables, the product line recently had a makeover, with packaging now showing food photography and offering serving suggestions.

Italy’s Granarolo Group is making ricotta cheese a convenient snacking product by making it available in single-serve cups. The product is also lactose free and marketed as a high-protein food.

The company is also one of a number of Anuga exhibitors who introduced baked cheese snacks. Granarolo Cheese Crisps are 100% Italian cheese snacks that are gluten, lactose and carbohydrate free. High in protein, the shelf-stable cheese snacks come in five varieties. They are: Black Olive, Classic, Onion, Paprika and Pizza.

Such baked cheese snacks are gaining momentum throughout Europe, so much so, that non-dairies want a piece of the action. Hungary’s Felfoldi Confectionery Ltd., will be rolling out Let’s Cheese early next year. These 100% cheese oven-baked snacks are marketed as rich in protein and calcium. They come in range of varieties, including ethnic flavors such as Hungarian and Italian, as well as Hazelnut, Natural and Pork Rinds.

At the NACS show in Chicago, which ends today, Friday, October 20, Sargento, Plymouth, Wis., brings a flavorful twist to the familiar with a new and unique cheese snack. The Southwest Blend Snack Stick is natural cheese that blends the creaminess of Monterey Jack with Chipotle Cheddar, Colby and Pepper Jack cheeses.

About a year ago, Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark., introduced the Hillshire Snacking brand, which includes an array of individually portioned protein snacks for an elevated on-the-go eating experience to satisfy a more sophisticated food palate. The line includes Hillshire Snacking Small Plates, with each offering containing 15 or more grams of protein per serving. The plates are combinations of meat (salami slices, spicy pork chunks or grilled chicken chunks), cheese, crackers, crisps and nuts. At NACS, the brand revealed it latest addition to the line. The new combinations come with alcohol flavor-infused meats. Varieties are: Apple Chardonnay, Smokey Bourbon and Whiskey & Brown Sugar.

Chicago-based Kraft Heinz Co., is also grows its meat and cheese P3 (portable protein pack) snacking line. New P3 Protein Plates contain 60% more food than the original snacking size, according to the company. They are currently available in four varieties: Turkey, Cashews, Cheddar and Cranberries; Chicken, Almonds, Colby Jack and Blueberries; Ham, Cashews, Cheddar and Cranberries; and Turkey, Almonds, Monterey Jack and Blueberries. All P3 Protein Plates are designed to be shelved in the refrigerated section.{7279EF7C-C92C-4BB7-9153-6D3578965EF4}&pid={772BEDAE-50B9-46F8-861D-E13763FDE010}

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