THE NATION’S SET FOR A ‘CHEDDAR GORGE’ THIS DECEMBER – BUT MILLIONS MORE WILL HAVE A BLUE CHRISTMAS

This was sent to me by Holly, from a PR agency called Porter Novelli.  Interesting to see the top five sellers on Morrison’s deli counter.

Morrisons sees a surge in demand for British cheeses

 

Blue Mature Stilton.tifDairy loving Brits are set to out-fromage the French this Christmas, as homegrown cheese sales hit an all-year high in the run up to the festive season.

With households up and down the country planning to serve a cheese platter as a finale to their Christmas dinner this year and the retailer is predicting sales of more than 2,500 tonnes of cheese over the festive period – the weight of over 6,250 cows†. While all-conquering Cheddar will claim the lion’s share of the crackers  – with a whopping 1,300* tonnes – or 52 % of the supermarket’s entire 2011 sales – snapped up in the three weeks to Christmas, British produced blue and soft cheeses such as Camembert and Brie are taking on their grown-up French cousins.

More specifically, Morrisons Stilton sales have surged by 12% in 2011, with December purchases of the Christmas classic set to make up a quarter of the entire year’s sales. The retailer’s sales of UK produced Camembert increased by a massive 41% this year, while English Brie – currently growing faster than its more famous French counterpart – and English goat’s cheese, have also seen leaps of 10% and 15% respectively.

Recent statistics show that we’re a nation of cheese lovers with 96% of Brits chomping on cheese at home and the entire cheese market has increased by 32% since 2006.

Domestic demand is encouraging UK producers to follow in the footsteps of their continental, cheese-making peers.  Oxford Blue, similar in texture to Dolcelatte and Cornish and Somerset Brie, (English variations on the traditional French soft cheese) are expected to sell well as Christmas Day approaches. Morrisons reveals that 70% of people actively look for British produce on the shelves. According to over a third of people questioned, buying British this year is a more important choice than when food shopping five years ago.

Commenting on the nation’s expanding cheese repertoire Ed LeBer, Morrisons dairy buying manager said:  “Far from being ‘cheese bored’, British shoppers are more adventurous than ever when it comes to selecting their post prandial cheeses, and Christmas is the perfect time to experiment even more. As a nation we have a proud cheese-making heritage so it’s great to see new, home-grown varieties ensuring that this tradition goes from strength to strength.”

Morrisons top selling deli cheeses of this year are:

1.       Blue mature Stilton

2.       Wensleydale with Cranberry

3.       Applewood smoked Cheddar

4.       French Brie

5.       Scottish mature coloured Cheddar

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2 Comments

Filed under Ribblesdale Cheese

2 responses to “THE NATION’S SET FOR A ‘CHEDDAR GORGE’ THIS DECEMBER – BUT MILLIONS MORE WILL HAVE A BLUE CHRISTMAS

  1. Smutri

    I can’t believe this is what the British public buys as top selling cheeses. There are so many more taste bud tempting cheese, but I suppose Morrisons isn’t where they shop. The independent cheese shop gives the best selection and best advice. I shall be keeping to my local deli.

    • Hello Smutri

      Well, I know what you mean. Local delis are bound to have a wider range of perhaps more artisan cheeses that are not mass produced, though to be fair, Morrisons do stock a range of more artisan style cheeses – perhaps it is that the great British public do not consume them in such large quantities as the 5 mentioned. Maybe we need to do more to encourage and raise awareness of artisan, less commercially produced cheeses. There is also a price issue in that we, as artisan cheese makers cannot make cheese as cheaply as someone who processes tens of thousands of litres a day. The additional cost of making small batch quantities as we do, makes cheese more expensive to the consumer.

      But yes, the top 5 list, I agree, is a little disappointing.

      With best wishes

      Iona

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