2018 has seen Somerdale International’s sales in the USA & Canada pass the £15 million [$19 million] barrier, with revenues having increased by over 35% in the last 5 years. Somerdale has reinforced its position as the leading British specialty cheese exporter to North America with a record 1,500 tonnes plus of great tasting cheese having been sold in the last 12 months through some 3,000 retail and foodservice outlets located across the United States and Canada. The record sales figures come at a time when Somerdale is focused on growing further its presence in the States with a range of both new products and best sellers being showcased at the Winter Fancy Food Show being held in San Francisco from 13th to 15th January 2019.
Somerdale’s sales now represent c.17.5% of all UK cheese exports to the States with around half being under the Somerdale brand. Somerdale has witnessed strong growth in its great tasting range of aged sweet tone Cheddars including its Westminster Rustic Red brand. While it has also seen growing sales of its non-GMO Cheddars and Double Gloucesters.
Commenting on Somerdale’s plans to increase its presence in North America, director Alan Jenkins said: “The US Specialty Cheese category is now worth some $4 billion having grown 6.6% between 2015-2017*. However, for every 1kg (2.2llb) of British cheese currently sold in the US, 10.82kg (23.9llb) of French cheese is sold and given that British cheese is second to none when it comes to choice, flavour and provenance, I believe there is a huge potential to grow sales of British cheese moving forward.
“From Somerdale’s perspective, the Winter Fancy Food Show is a great opportunity to showcase our core range of high quality branded and customer specific British cheeses which we believe will meet the requirements of and add value to every level of cheese outlet. Superb tasting cheeses that play directly into many of the key trends driving sales of specialty food, especially among our core ‘millennial’ consumers, such as cooking & entertaining; experiencing & sharing; original taste & provenance; fresh & natural; and non-GMO & nutrient dense. While at the same time we are launching a number of seasonal ‘cheese specials’ and in store marketing campaigns that will keep our offering exciting and relevant to what are fast changing consumer & market conditions throughout the year.”
Special cheeses and campaigns being showcased at Winter Fancy Food 2019 include:
Westminster ‘Royal Addition’ Cheddar
A ‘Royal Addition’ of Somerdale’s flagship Westminster Cheddar will be launched at Fancy Food to celebrate the forthcoming birth of a new Royal baby for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Megan. Traditionally made by the Heler family in the North West of England this specially selected 12-month aged Cheddar is certified Non-GMO and has wonderful hints of burnt caramel and sweet nuttiness. The latest ‘Royal Addition’ Westminster Cheddar will be available from early April in two formats a 7oz (200g) retail pre-pack and a 4.4lb waxed truckle ideal for the deli counter.
Commenting on the launch of the latest Westminster ‘Royal Addition’ Cheddar, Alan Jenkins, Director of Somerdale International said, “Following their fairy tale Royal Wedding which caused great excitement around the world and not least, for obvious reasons, in the United States we are delighted to be celebrating the forthcoming birth of Harry and Megan’s first child.
“At Somerdale we have marked many of these major Royal milestones with celebratory cheeses which combine specially selected great tasting British cheese with fantastic commemorative pack designs and striking point of sale material. They are always hugely popular especially in the United States and never fail to bring real excitement and interest to the specialty cheese fixture.”
Claddagh Bó – Aged Irish Cheddar for St Patrick’s Day
Originally launched at last year’s Fancy Food show, Claddagh Bó is a handcrafted Irish aged Cheddar made by the Cahill family on their farm in County Limerick using milk from grass fed cows.
The name Claddagh Bó comes from two traditional Gaelic terms. The design of the ‘Claddagh ring’ is said to symbolise the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown), while Bó is Gaelic for Cow and its partnership in nature. Claddagh Bó’s Irish provenance is complemented by its stunning hand waxed packaging in the colours of the Irish tricolour making it an ideal centrepiece for a St Patrick’s Day cheeseboard this March.
Commenting on Claddagh Bó, Alan Jenkins said “St Patrick’s Day is now celebrated across the United States and it has become a symbol of America’s love for Irish and Irish American culture. In 2016, according to the National Retail Federation consumers in the United States spent a remarkable $4.4 billion on celebrating St Patrick’s Day. Claddagh Bó proved a real winner last year with its great Irish aged cheddar taste and iconic green white and orange packaging making it an absolute must for retailers wanting to join in the St Patrick’s Day festivities.”
‘Chill & Grill’ campaign
For the Summer season Somerdale will be launching a ‘Chill & Grill’ marketing campaign to highlight the use of a range of British cheeses for outside entertaining and grilling occasions. The campaign will include fun and informative point of sale material that will help give speciality cheese fixtures a real stand out appeal; selected in-store consumer tasting activity and online & social media activity based upon tasty and original recipe ideas utilising Somerdale’s range of cheeses including its aged sweet tone cheddars, sharp cheddars, Double Gloucesters and blue cheeses such as traditional Blue Stilton – known as the ‘King of British Cheeses’.
Further seasonal campaigns are in development for later on the year.
* Specialty Food Association/Mintel ‘State of the Specialty Food Industry 2018’ report
About Somerdale International
Somerdale International was honoured in 2016 with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. It provides an effective route to the international market for great tasting British cheese made in some of the country’s leading creameries including traditional Cheddars, blue cheeses, flavored cheeses and traditional hand-made, artisan cheeses.
Today, it is the leading exporter of British cheese to the USA with shipments leaving for New York every week. While it has also grown its presence in key markets such as China and the Far East, the Caribbean, Australia and emerging markets such as the Middle East & North Africa and Brazil.