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CHEESE FOR EDUCATION Specialist


Sheri Allen Owner, Cheese Professional Artisanal Touch Events, LLC


OFFER CONSUMER ADVICE One big question I hear from customers is, “Why is this cheese so expensive?” Some customers don’t seem to understand buying US-made cheeses means supporting a family, or farmers. Telling the story behind the cheese is important because it helps them understand why the cheese might be selling at a premium price. It’s a price for craftsmanship.


Cutting, wrapping, and having samples in front of them (the customers) allows them to have that conversation. People are hesitant to spend seven, eight, nine dollars on a wedge of cheese without tasting it first. Sampling is rare in European, as it’s expected that their customers already know what they want. Americans want to taste it before they shell out that much for a wedge of cheese. Customers are more likely to buy smaller wedges, then come back to buy larger wedges.


There is a growing trend of consumers educating themselves on cheese. They attend classes and pairing events, they travel. But we still have a long way to go.


When we are talking about pairings as part of samplings, quite often I’ll put out a cheese with a particular cracker or bread or other accompaniment. They’re not just picking up the cheese; they’re picking up the preserve, they’re picking up the charcuterie.


How retailers can provide more:


1. Sampling Sampling Sampling. I cannot stress enough how impactful it is to get a taste in the consumer’s mouth. They buy what they try


and like. Pairings are particularly successful. Many customers will buy all the components to recreate the experience for entertaining at home. Cheesemongers help their customers look like rockstars to their guests by suggesting accompaniments or offering the sample as a perfect bite or cheeseboard selection.


2. Whether you have an actual cooking school space or utilize a part of the store to conduct classes for customers it drives sales back to the island. It’s an opportunity to educate customers on specific cheeses and or pairings. Customers love the opportunity to explore new cheeses in that kind of setting. They bring their friends and make it a social event.


SIDE NOTE:


Get a cheese that will make a statement: One of the most unique cheeses I have had the opportunity to taste these last 2 years has been from Kris Lloyd out of Australia. Her philosophy is to use indigenous flora, ingredients to finish her exquisite goat cheese making it something you can only get from her. Her cheese “Ant Hill” is topped with ants that bring a delicious Lemongrass bright citrusy note to the cheese as you “burst the little sacs on the ants with your teeth.” Her other cheeses are topped with beautiful flowers and are given names like “Picasso,” and “Monet” as they are a work of art. Her “Gold Bloom” offering new this year has flakes of gold along with tiny yellow blossoms. Several of her cheese come with a small vial of indigenous amber honey to drizzle on the cheese just before serving. The cheese are not only centerpiece worthy, they come with the preferred accompaniment.


89


WHAT’S IN STORE | 2020


© 2019 International Dairy Deli Bakery Association


Cheese


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