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British Cheese Tastes Broaden

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British Cheese Tastes Broaden

British Cheese Tastes Broaden
September 05
11:55 2013
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British cheese tastes are broadening out latest retail sales data can reveal. While British Cheddar and Stilton still hold their own as shopping basket staples nowadays shoppers are also picking up what not so long ago were considered fancy continental cheeses.

Sales of varieties such as Manchego, from Spain, Comté, from France, and Taleggio, from Italy, are soaring, making continental cheese the fastest growing area of the UK cheese market.

In the last year, sales of continental cheeses have grown by 8% (Kantar data July 2013) which for a market worth £375 million is strong growth.

At Tesco, the UK’s biggest seller of cheese, the trend is even more pronounced with demand up by 13%. The most popular continental cheeses in the last year have been:

* Chaource – sales up 350%

* Comté – sales up 180%

* Langres – sales up 160%

* Cave Aged Emmental – sales up 120%

* Ossau-Iraty – sales up 60%

* Reblochon – sales up 50%.

Tesco cheese category buying manager David Chamberlain says: “During recent harder times people have entertained more at home and that has led to shoppers trying new cheeses as well as picking up their British favourites like Cheddar and Stilton. While the likes of Brie, Camembert, Emmental, Gruyère and Gouda are all established top sellers and have graced the cheeseboards of UK cheese connoisseurs for many years, it’s lesser known varieties such as Chaource, Comté and Reblochon which are starting to win new fans in the UK.”

Continental cheeses that have seen strong growth in the last year at Tesco include:

* Chaource – a creamy French soft cheese made with cow’s milk cheese and similar to Camembert though with a hint of mushroom.

* Comté – a hard French cheese made from cow’s milk with a nutty, sweet flavour not dissimilar to Gruyère.

* Langres – a strong French soft cheese made from cow’s milk that is similar to Epoisses. It has a distinctive orange brown rind.

* Reblochon – a soft unpasteurised cheese made in the French Alps from cow’s milk with a nutty taste and Brie like texture.

* Ossau-Iraty – a smooth French cheese made from sheep’s milk that is slightly nutty with complex flavours.

Cheese expert Nigel White, secretary of the British Cheese Board, remarks: “The UK economy is improving and some households are becoming more adventurous – total cheese consumption appears to be rising and imports have been assisted by a weakening of the Euro.”

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