Carving a niche in an already consolidated domestic cheddar cheese market will not be an easy task for Dairy Farmers of Great Britain (DFB) - with an estimated 300 different cheddar stock keeping units (SKUs) appearing across the average UK supermarket.
At present, the UK cheddar market is dominated by own-labels, although there are some branded variants, such as Cathedral City from Dairy Crest and Anchor cheddar from Arla Foods UK.
Philip Gibson of DFB, however, is confident that the Cadog cheddar brand can still make an impact, by placing particular emphasis on its status as a niche dairy product. "Our line of Cadog cheese will heavily emphasise its Welsh provenance, showcasing the quality of Welsh dairy produce," he said.
The entire cheddar range will be manufactured using Welsh milk at the Llandyrnog factory, north Wales - which DFB acquired from Associated Co-op Creameries earlier this year.
But perhaps the most influential sales gimmick for DFB lies in its bilingual packaging, which will be produced by Amcor Flexibles in France. "We decided to launch our Cadog cheddar cheese line with packaging available in both English and Welsh language editions in order to highlight its regional origins," said Gibson.
DFB believes that providing its brand with "on shelf differentiation and impact" will help it garner a share of an already crowded UK market. The packaging, which will be rolled out for the medium, mature and vintage varieties, will give the cheese an "attractive and high quality all-over design".
Speaking to DairyReporter.com, DFB confirmed that it would initially roll out the Cadog line across a number of Welsh multiples, as well as through independent retailers. Dependent on the success of the product, the co-operative's long-term strategy will be to extend its reach into the English domestic cheese market.
According to market research from analysts Mintel, the UK cheese market represents approximately 25 per cent of the UK dairy industry, with cheddar alone accounting for 53 per cent of total cheese value sales. Analysts estimate that by 2007 the UK cheese market will be worth £1.8bn.