The kids cheese market is set to become a lot more crowded, as the UK’s largest dairy processor, Dairy Crest, this week unveiled the product line-up behind its much-anticipated new children’s Cheddar, Chedds, backed by a £3m marketing budget.

The company is targeting £17.5m in retail sales for the brand in year one, with a view to Chedds being as big as one of the three leading kids’ cheese brands Dairylea, Cheestrings, and Babybel within five years.

Dairy Crest, which produces the market-leading Cathedral City Cheddar, is launching in three formats under its new brand Chedds Nibbles (nine 18g packs of mild Cheddar cubes), Chedds Bricks (eight 18g miniature blocks of mild Cheddar) and Chedds Cheese & Toasties (three packs of miniature mild Cheddar slices, accompanied by mini slices of Melba toast).

All three products are made from Cathedral City mild Cheddar, carry the Cathedral City logo, and are priced at an rsp of £1.99. Chedds will go into stores from July, with listings in most of the major multiples, although Dairy Crest would not be drawn on exact listings at this stage.

A six-week national TV campaign to support the launch of Chedds will kick off at the end of August, targeting mothers and ­children aged six to 10.

Dairy Crest is the second major Cheddar brand to recently launch a dedicated kids’ product, following First Milk’s launch of Dairy Maniacs Cheddar Stix at the end of May. But Gemma Baggaley, Dairy Crest group brand manager, said she was confident Chedds would stand out from ­other Cheddar-based kids’ cheeses because of the clout of the Cathedral City brand.

“We are the number-one Cheddar brand, and when mums know it’s Cathedral City, they know it’s just Cheddar,” she said. Also, Chedds’ formats were very different from other products, she added.

The kids cheese snacking category is currently worth £305.6m, up 3.9% year-on-year [Nielsen MAT w/e 14 May 2011].