In 2016, consumers are all about authenticity — and that’s good news for Cabot Creamery.
“One of the things that people really like right now is being able to connect their food to, ‘Is is natural?’ and ‘What are the ingredients?'” Cabot manager Cristin O’Donnell told Business Insider. “Our cheese meets all those needs.”
The number one trend in cheese in 2016 is local and artisan, according to O’Donnell. Now more than ever, people care not just about the taste of the cheese, but also what goes on behind the scenes.
When it comes to appealing to fans of artisan cheese, more and more customers are looking beyond the basic cheddar and mozzarella to consider cheeses that have been aged longer with bolder flavours. A Euromonitor report from 2015 says that Americans are increasingly “adventurous” in their cheese choices, selecting more and more cheeses with distinctive flavour profiles.
Then, there’s the question of how the sausage — or, in this case, the cheese — is made.
“For us to make that local connection is great,” says O’Donnell. “To be able to say, ‘Cabot Cheese is owned by farm families in the local New England area,’ boom, we don’t have to do anything to sell the local side of the cheese.”
The growth of consumer interest in the intricacies of all stages of the food production chain is impacting the entire culinary industry. Fast-food chains from McDonald’s to Taco Bell are investing in localised products, antibiotics free meat, and natural ingredients. Even in the beverage industry, soda and beer companies are working hard to push brands as “artisan” options.
However, with increasingly informed consumers, authenticity can ultimately trump any shallow attempt to cash in on the trend.
Cabot Creamery was founded by farmers pooling their dairy products in 1919, and has worked as a cooperative ever since. That’s local cred that Kraft, which has a 27% value share in the cheese market in the US, could seriously profit from.
However, with food snobs dominating the market, and artisan cheeses on the rise, the US is looking beyond slices of American cheese.2016 promises to be an exciting year for cheese makers like Cabot, with local connections and a the freedom to get creative when it comes to dairy.
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