It is the biggest cheese category launch of the month – possibly even the year – and that’s not speaking figuratively.

Weighing in at 10 times the size of the standard packed lunch favourite, Maxi Babybel, the new large, limited-edition version of its bite-sized sibling (aka ‘the little cheese that likes to get out’) has hit UK supermarket shelves for the first time.  

But why super-size something that’s well known and successful for being snackable?

Aiming to fill a gap on Christmas cheeseboards, the 200g waxed cheese is expected to be a hit with the TikTok generation, who have apparently been clamouring for this heftier version.

Babybel bigging up its flagship product

That intense demand for the big cheese is driven by nostalgia, given the edam-style mini Babybel has been cleverly marketed at children for generations. But it’s the children of the 1990s and 2000s who will remember the jingles and adverts more fondly, and will no doubt be the ones who snap it up.  

And not to wax lyrical, but the brand is likely to be right about the selling power of Maxi Babybel.

Babybel has maintained basket share and sales have continued to rise, up 6.8% this year compared with last. Growth can be seen across the wider snacking cheese subcategory, with significant launches this year including Pilgrims Choice snacking nets and also Dairylea revamping its Lunchers range.

Despite the growth in smaller formats though, Babybel bigging up its flagship product makes commercial sense at a time when consumers are both going big, and going home – with sharing formats becoming increasingly popular for both price and convenience. Let’s also not forget that those 1990s kids are of cheeseboard buying age, and will no doubt want a talking point among their cheese curation over the festive period.

Look at Quality Street’s Giant Purple One

Also, look at the success of other brands cashing in with bigger versions of their big sellers, including the Giant Purple One from Quality Street, Giant Crumpets by Warburtons, Big Hoops from Hula Hoops, as well as Cadbury Dairy Milk Giant Buttons.

Many of these have even stood the test of time and not been confined to limited edition status. But it is unlikely the Maxi Babybel will become a staple.

Despite already being a hit in Europe, in an even larger format than the UK’s, for now it feels like a novelty product here, which is exactly what the brand has marketed Maxi Babybel as.

Consumers are willing to spend a bit more on a bit of fun at Christmas, but the high price per gram threshold of Maxi Babybel will no doubt mean, in the long term at least, it will make sense for this big cheese to last for a small amount of time on supermarket shelves.