Education and Influence Adds Value

Molly Browne , Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin on DairyBusiness News

I believe that education is the nucleus of the specialty cheese market. It is a world that is still surrounded by an air of mystery, and in fact, somewhat intimidating to many people, even though cheese consumption in the U.S. is at an all-time high with per capita cheese consumption over 38 pounds annually.

Education is a ‘grate’ way for Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) to create advocates for Wisconsin Cheese through the retail channels as, per IRI, 25 percent of grocery store cheese sales are handled by trained deli or specialty department staff. When consumers add Wisconsin Cheese to their grocery carts, it’s a win for Wisconsin dairy farmers and the consumer.

It’s not a coincidence that specialty cheese has exploded in popularity as consumers have begun to expect more transparency in the food system. People want to know what’s in their food and how it’s being made, and that

shift in perspective has set the stage for massive growth in the specialty cheese market. Behind every great cheese is a great story, and in front of it, is a highly educated cheesemonger who knows the details of that story and can convey it to the customer. This is their ultimate superpower — the ability to turn value-minded grocery shoppers into cheese aficionados who don’t hesitate to spend a little money on a carefully crafted, finely-aged cheese from a little-known processor from a town they’ve never heard of before.

Through these retail spokespersons is the opportunity to elevate perceptions of Wisconsin Cheese while increasing trial and sales by arming key retail influencers with educational resources. The continuing efforts to educate, influence and tell the Wisconsin story builds demand for the milk farmers produce.

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