While specialty cheese has made its way into everyday eating occasions, the holiday season remains a key time for retailers to launch promotions, encouraging customers to make cheese the center of their holiday entertainment.
For instance, Aldi this year launched its renowned cheese advent calendar in November for the first time in the U.S. Available for $12.99, the calendar featured 24 snack-sized European cheeses in cheddar, gouda, edam, havarti and red Leicester varieties. And because the wildly popular calendar sold out so quickly—within minutes of stores opening on launch day—the retailer also offered suggestions for shoppers to build their own DIY cheese advent calendars, promoting its award-winning cheeses like Happy Farms Preferred Brie Cheese Round for $2.99 and its limited-time offer of Specially Selected Holiday Waxed Cheese Truckles for $2.49.
Photograph courtesy of Aldi
Certainly, Aldi’s advent calendar appeals to consumers as both a gourmet-style gift or convenient party platter and conversation starter. Over the 52 weeks ending Oct. 27, 2018, sales of cheese party platters grew 8.9%, according to Nielsen, enticing shoppers for their convenience and opportunity to explore multiple varieties in a single product.
Similarly, Whole Foods Market launched its annual 12 Days of Cheese promotion to inspire shoppers to build their own centerpiece cheese platters and explore new varieties at a steep discount for the holiday season. Each day from Dec. 12 to Dec. 23, the retailer is featuring a different artisan cheese at a 50% discount, offering Amazon Prime members an additional 10% off for unique items ranging from Klare Melk Truffle Gouda to Vermont Creamery Bijou and Rogue Creamery Organic Enraptured Blue.
Reeling in Shoppers With Recipes
To attract shoppers who may feel intimidated by the countless varieties and flavor profiles, retailers are getting inventive with recipe ideas that offer an approachable entry point to specialty cheese.
SpartanNash recently partnered with food blogger and cookbook author Molly Yeh to feature ingredients from its Our Family private brand in her blog recipes, such as pizza bourekas and caramel apple cake with cream cheese frosting, which is made with Our Family cream cheese, shredded mozzarella and ricotta cheeses.
Photograph courtesy of SpartanNash
“I’ve been a fan of Our Family for several years now and am thrilled to be working with such an incredible brand,” Yeh said. “I keep my fridge full of Our Family cheese at all times. The ingredients are reliable and consistent, and the name ‘Our Family’ is just so darn lovable.”