Source: Unsplash

By Matt Chittock

Publishing: 25 November 2023

Advertising deadline: 10 November 2023

Submissions deadline: 7 November 2023

Cheese brands are staging a comeback. Branded value market share has lost 4% points in the past year as shoppers have switched to cheaper own-label lines in response to soaring prices. To fight back, brands have been upping the ante in terms of innovation and marketing. We’ve seen new Red Leicester, Smoked Cheddar, carbon neutral Somerset Red and Cheddar lines, plenty of new plant-based and snacking lines and expansion into new markets. What impact is all this having on sales?

Health: Evidence suggests that health consciousness is of growing importance for shoppers when they’re deciding what to put in their baskets. How are cheese manufacturers and retailers looking to attract health-conscious consumers? How are lighter cheeses performing?

Indulgence: With fewer people dining out as the cost-of-living crisis bites, what opportunities are there for retailers and their suppliers to cater for the so-called ‘big night in’ occasion with premium, indulgent offerings? Who’s doing this best?

Own label and the retail mix: How are different retailers approaching the category in terms of branded and own label ranging, merchandising, promotions and the like? Which retailers are in strongest growth and decline? Why? And how is the brand/own label mix changing?

Price and cost pressures: How are retail prices changing as the cost-of-living crisis eats into household budgets and rising costs squeeze margins? What are retailers and suppliers doing to mitigate these pressures?

Plant-based cheese: There have been several high-profile plant-based cheese launches in the past year? Plant-based cheese was previously seen by many consumers as vastly inferior to the real thing; what technical advances have been made to improve the final product? How are recent launches performing and what’s next for the market?

Kids cheese: How is the market for kids cheese products performing? What recent launches have their been in this part of the market? Is own-label winning share of the market as it is in mainstream cheese, or is the strength of the big brands helping to maintain branded share? What’s next for this part of the market?

Innovations: We will profile eight new products or ranges that, ideally, have not appeared in The Grocer before. We need launch date, rsp, and a hi-res picture of each.