Pilgrims snacking

Source: Ornua Foods

The brand will launch its Pilgrims Choice Snack Sticks into 380 Tesco stores nationwide in September

Pilgrims Choice is taking aim at the buoyant snacking cheese market with the launch of a new Snack Sticks line.

The NPD marks the Ornua Foods UK cheddar brand’s first foray into the snacking cheese category.

Its six-pack net of individually wrapped extra mature cheddar snack sticks is aimed at adults and will go on sale in 380 Tesco stores nationwide in September (rsp: £2.10/6x20g).

Pilgrims Choice said it was aiming to meet a gap in the market for a “stronger” snacking cheese, in a category which it said was dominated by “mild and often bland snacks primarily meant for kids’ lunchboxes”.

Snacking cheese sales grew 6.6% to £149m last year, as volumes rose 1.6% [Kantar 52 w/e 4 September 2022], with branded products outperforming own label.

Why small cheese is in big growth: cheese category report 2022

In addition to being pitched against brands such as Dairylea’s core and Lunchables brands and Babybel, who were the only top 10 cheese brands in growth last year, Pilgrims Choice’s NPD will also compete against Cathedral City’s long-established range of snacking cheeses and those sold by the likes of Ilchester.

“We know adult snacking is under-represented when it comes to cheese with our category and insights data showing adults are actually the largest consumers of the kids snacking category,” said Tim Watson, UK commercial director at Ornua Foods UK.

“Our Snack Sticks will offer these adults a great-tasting and more mature alternative with the depth of flavour tempting and tantalising adult taste buds.”

The Snack Sticks will come in purple packaging, reflecting the brand’s colour coding for extra mature cheddar, and will come in shelf-ready branded cases of 24 nets.

The launch will be supported by in-store shopper media activity and point of sale material as well as through a social media campaign initially targeting Tesco shoppers.