Arla using cheese to conquer America

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Arla foods Cheese Arla

Americans are eating Danish havarti cheese faster than Arla Foods
can make it for them, the firm has said, helping it to build a
better foothold across the Atlantic.

Some Havarti product lines have increased sales by more than 1,000 per cent, according to Lau Andersen, product manager for Arla Foods in the US.

"This is far above expectations, and demand is now so great that we are out of production capacity and have to turn away customers,"​ he said.

The success is another sign that Arla is building up its presence on the US dairy market.

The group said havarti sales, marketed under the Denmark's Finest brand, have soared over the last couple of years on the back of a revamped marketing campaign and new packaging that is easy to open and re-sealable.

Top havarti flavours were Plain and Dill, but Jalapeno has achieved significant results in areas with a large Hispanic community, Arla said.

Andersen said the Denmark's Finest brand, which also sells the firm's Rosenborg blue cheese and Mediterra Feta, sent "all the right signals"​ to do well in the speciality cheese sector.

That is also an area Arla Foods is becoming increasingly familiar with in the US, as part of its push to seek out added value dairy markets around the world.

"Over the past 10 years, the speciality cheese market in the US has grown by 8 per cent per year. For a number of years, Arla Foods has been pursuing a successful added value strategy in the US,"​ the firm said in January.

Arla earlier this year took over the White Clover dairy in Wisonsin, which had been making havari and feta for Arla under licence since 1998. The group also bought out Canadian speciality cheese firm, National Cheese Company, in November 2004.

And, in June Arla bought up Danish rival and speciality cheesemaker, Tholstrup, for an undisclosed sum. Tholstrup sells most of its cheese to Germany, Sweden and Ausria, but also exports seven per cent to the US.

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