Swedish cheese slices are too thick – so Valio steps in

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Valio is introducing its range of sliced cheese to Sweden, although the names will change to reflect the Swedish market.
Valio is introducing its range of sliced cheese to Sweden, although the names will change to reflect the Swedish market.

Related tags: Cheese

Finnish dairy producer Valio is increasing cheese exports to Sweden  with new sliced cheeses.

Exports of the three new products – cream cheese, Gouda and Port Salut, all in 140g packages – start in May.

Valio says it has been actively looking for new export markets for cheese after food exports to Russia came to a halt.

Following consumer tests, Valio selected what it considered to be the most suitable cheese for Swedish tastes: cream cheese, Gouda and Port Salut.

In Finland, the cheeses are known by the brand names Valio Turunmaa, Valio Salaneuvos and Valio Luostari, however these names are not being used in Sweden.

Competitive advantages: thinner slices

Valio says that Swedes eat more than 19 kilograms per person per year; slightly less than in Finland, but greater than the European average.

And competition in the Swedish cheese market is fierce, according to Valio. Cheese imports account for 45% of the market.

Valio says that its advantage in Sweden is the thinnest slices on the market.

“We are exporting cheese slices to Sweden that are thinner than the other available options for similar cheeses,”​ category manager Teea Björklund said.

The cheese slices market in Sweden is still small but is growing. And Valio says that a third of consumers say that sliced cheese currently on offer is too thick. In Sweden, the slices of cheese, depending on the type, are on average 15% to 50% thicker than in Finland.

Reducing waste

Valio points to a growing trend in Sweden toward smaller package sizes, and consumers looking to reduce food waste.

In Sweden, Valio's product range now also includes the new cheese slices, as well as yogurts, kefir, milk, cooking products, and Emmental and Cheddar cheese pieces.

Valio's Swedish subsidiary, Valio Sverige AB, was founded in 1994, however, all products sold by Valio in Sweden are manufactured in Finland.

Related topics: Markets, Cheese

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