British dairy Adams Foods has launched a range of diced cheese products under its Pilgrims Choice brand - a development it describes as grated cheese “version 2.0."
Pilgrims Choice Crumbles, available in Mature, Mature with Black Pepper, and Extra Mature with Breadcrumbs and Herbs variations, are 4mm diced cubes of Cheddar cheese.
The product, developed over the last two years, is the first of its kind at UK retail level. The distinct advantage Crumbles have over grated cheese, according to Adams Foods, is that they melt much more evenly.
Speaking with DairyReporter.com, Mike Harper, director of brands at Adams Foods, said that if the success of diced cheese in the US is anything to go by, Pilgrims Choice Crumbles “will be big in the UK too.”
“We think it will be a phenomenal product," he said. "It has done well in the States, so we have high hopes for it.”
While researching the product, Adams Foods said it identified growing consumer demand for quick, easy, tasty meal solutions.
“Over the last 30 years, the time spent making meals has halved. Consumers want something quick and convenient,” said Harper.
“When people talk about grated cheese they often say it’s great, but on hot food it dries up and you have to use a lot. But when you melt Crumbles, they produce a thicker, creamier layer.”
Adams Foods achieved this “enhanced meltability" after tests on a range of cheese dice sizes including "2mm, 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm."
“With 4mm dice we have the best compromise between thickness and meltability," said Harper.
While on the “category side” Adams Foods was attempting to develop something that would create “new occasions for cheddar cheese to be used.”
“A combination of these factors led to the development of Crumbles,” Harper added.
Future of the category
The UK grated cheese market is growing significantly, according to Adams Foods.
With this in mind, the company wanted to add something unique to the category through which it could demand a premium price.
"We knew that grated was the fastest growing category in cheese. But there is also absolutely no price premium," he said.
“While it might not totally replace grated cheese…we believe diced cheese it is the future of the category.”
“This should be seen as version 2.0 of grated cheese."