Grana Padano is joining forces with the McLaren Group, best known for its Formula One motor-racing team, as part of a E1m campaign to raise awareness of the parmesan-style Italian hard cheese in the UK.
The campaign will include in-store promotions in selected supermarkets, training for cheese sellers and buyers, as well as TV and press ads.
Elisabetta Serraiotto, marketing manager of the Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Grana Padano - a consortium of 200 Grana Padano producers in northern Italy - claimed the brand was the first official food or drink partner to the McLaren Group and would work closely with its catering arm Absolute Taste which feeds VIP guests at Formula One race meetings and
other events. Grana Padano, which has PDO status (product of designated origin), is Italy’s top selling cheese, but only 20% of production is exported.
Sold in 35-45kg wheels for delicatessens or in pre-packed wedges, it is available in Waitrose, Sainsbury and Harrods. Serraiotto said the objectives of the campaign included educating consumers about the differences between Grana Padano and Parmigiano-Reggiano and improving distribution and merchandising.
Italian celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli has also been signed up to act as brand ambassador.
Sean McAllister