Dairy Crest has launched Davidstow Cheddar as a standalone brand in a bid to increase its share of the branded Cheddar market.

The new brand will go into 700 Sainsbury's stores on 20 June, replacing Sainsbury's own-label Davidstow.

To date, Davidstow has only been available at retail as a supermarket own-label 'named creamery' product. Other supermarkets will continue to stock it as an own-label product.

The new branded range would boost overall Davidstow sales about 100% within five years to more than £50m, predicts Dairy Crest.

"This launch represents the most significant category initiative in Cheddar since Cathedral City, and is designed to add value to the category by better meeting the needs of consumers for authentic provenance," said marketing director Paul Fraser. "The target is to create another national Cheddar brand to grow Dairy Crest's overall market share of the branded Cheddar category."

Dairy Crest also produces the £214m Cathedral City brand [Kantar], but Fraser insisted there would be no cannibalisation of sales as the two products were very different.

Davidstow had a nuttier, richer flavour and was aimed at a different consumer group, he said. "Our insight suggests that the Davidstow brand will appeal to a more affluent, older demographic."

Davidstow is available in two variants, Cornish Classic Mature Cheddar (rsp £3.99 for 395g) and Cornish Crackler Extra Mature Cheddar.

Most supermarkets currently sell Cathedral City Mature for £3.88 for 400g (Brand View).

The launch comes as competition in the branded Cheddar market heats up.

Last week, as Milk Linkannounced its annualresults, chief executive Neil Kennedy said its financial performance had been strong "despite extremely difficult trading conditions, particularly in relation to the cheese market where discounting by the major Cheddar brands erodedvalue from the market".

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