Pine River Wins Top Awards at U.S. Championship Cheese Contest

NEWTON, WI – For the sixth consecutive contest, Pine River Cheese Spread earned a Best-of-Class award at the 2023 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest held in Green Bay, Wisconsin last week. The company also took home two silver medals for its outstanding cheese spreads.

Mango Habanero took first in the Flavored Cold Pack Cheese class with a score of 99.105 out of 100 total points. “This is the first win for Mango Habanero and we’re so excited it’s been recognized,” said Mary Lindemann, Marketing Director of Pine River. “This spread combines spicy habanero peppers with sweet mango and is then blended with our expertly aged Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar for a perfect addition to your cheese board.”

Jalapeno was a close second in the Flavored Cold Pack Cheese Class with a score of

99.025. This spicy spread was also a Best-of-Class winner at the 2020 World Championship Cheese Contest.

Pine River’s final award came in the Cheese Based Spreads class with Pimento taking second place. This was the second win for Pimento, a classic southern blend of cream cheese, pimentos, and sharp cheddar cheese shreds, which also took home Best-of-Class in the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest.

“We’re celebrating our 60th Anniversary this year and have won over 200 awards in that time, but the nervousness and excitement at these competitions never goes away,” said Lindemann. “When you see your product in that Best-of-Class spot and get to share that honor with your team, the dedicated people working so hard to make it all possible, it’s the best feeling in the world!”

This year, the biennial contest had 2,249 entries across 113 classes. Forty-two nationally renowned judges ranked each entry on quality, flavor, texture, salt, color, and finish. Awards were given for the top three entries in each category (gold, silver, and bronze), with Wisconsin earning an impressive 54 Best-of-Class honors. The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is the premier technical competition for cheese, butter, yogurt, and whey.

To view the full list of winners, click here. To learn more about Pine River, or use our online store locator to find a retailer near you, visit

About Pine River Pre-Pack

Founded on more than five generations of experience in the dairy industry, Pine River Cheese Spread produces three styles of award-winning Wisconsin Cheese Spread — Cold Pack Cheese Spread, Clean Label Cold Pack Cheese Spread, and Shelf-Stable Gourmet Snack Spread. We also offer Private Label, Food Service, and Fundraising services. Our cheese spreads are crafted one batch at a time in our state-of-the-art facility in Newton, WI. For more information, visit