from Tony Reid, product manager, Lactalis (UK), New Malden, Surrey
Sir; re The Dairymen (September 7, p34) in which it was suggested French Emmental was growing due to low pricing.
Whereas it is true that French Emmental is typically priced below Swiss Emmental, to argue that the extraordinary success, particularly of the Pr鳩dent brand Emmental, which represents more than half of the Emmental market, is based solely on a price point, is to miss most of the point.
Pr鳩dent Emmental has created and grown a new category. Pr鳩dent Emmental Block was the first in the category to offer the British Cheddar consumer a versatile continental cheese in a familiar block format, hence opening the door for switching both into our brand and into the continental cheese arena in general. More recently, with the addition of grated and slices, we have extended our reach to the convenience consumer, with outstanding success.
Pr鳩dent Emmental is a very different product to the Swiss Emmental. With a lighter, sweeter, nutty flavour, our appeal is broader than that of the more pungent varieties.
Due to this, Pr鳩dent Emmental has expanded from the cheeseboard into recipes, snacking and lunchboxes, while promotion has drawn attention to the health benefits of cheese.
These factors, together with the successful extra fill promotions and sampling, have brought new consumers into continental cheese.
With the brand growing at over 85% y-o-y [TNS, 52 w/e June 2002], we only wish outstanding category growth were as easy as simply setting the right price.