Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce are to make their debut in the cheese aisle following a licensing deal struck by Long Clawson dairy.
Both Ketchup (made from mild Cheddar) and Worcestershire cheeses (medium Cheddar) are available in nets of five 20g snacking portions, a pack of four slices (140g), a 200g wedge (all rsp: £2.39) and a 1.3kg block - for deli counters. The first product to launch - Worcestershire Sauce slices - went into Tesco last weekend. The others will follow in September.
This is not the first time cheese has been blended with table sauces: Marmite and Branston Pickle are produced by Norseland under licence from Unilever and Premier Foods.
But the launches marked a step change in strategy for Long Clawson, which until now has produced largely own-label Stilton, blended and territorial cheeses, said marketing director Maggie Walker. “It creates a different pace within the business,” and introduced Clawson to a new but loyal consumer fan base.
“Tomato Ketchup is the iconic sauce brand, with an in-built consumer franchise of millions.” Heinz also had a “massive” social media presence, she added.
Sales of Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Lea & Perrins (also owned by Heinz) are worth £122.2m and £12.4m respectively [Nielsen MAT 7 July 2012].
Clawson believes Worcestershire Sauce cheese will be used by consumers to top lasagne and chilli, and Ketchup cheese will prove popular for sprinkling on to pizza and pasta.
Walker predicted it would “not be unreasonable to expect £2m in first year sales.”
The cheeses are prominently branded with the labelling from the sauce bottles, but with the addition of the words: ‘Proudly crafted by Long Clawson Dairy. Established 1911’.