The Cheese Board Builder is an interactive digital tool where users can generate a virtual cheese board with a selection of cheese and other non-dairy food items and beverages.
“As our product offerings have expanded, we’ve added cheeses such as Double Crèmes and Cheddar to our portfolio in the last year alone, the brand has been focusing more on cheese boards, as they appear to be on-trend and popular with consumers,” Amy Woodbridge, Castello senior brand manager with Arla Foods USA told DairyReporter.
Consumers seek premium over processed
Another major force behind the tool comes from the rise in global consumption of specialty cheese. According to Woodbridge, consumers are becoming more educated about different types of premium cheese and phasing out processed cheese from their shopping lists.
“Research shows that consumers want authentic cheeses,” Woodbridge said, citing a Mintel market research report.
“Cheeses like Havarti, and Asiago and Asadero, have grown 10% or more in the past year alone.”
No need to consult a cheesemonger
The Cheese Board Builder is designed to simplify what Woodbridge says is the sometimes daunting task of selecting premium cheese by taking the guesswork out of what pairs best with the particular taste and texture preferences.
“We also know that consumers often struggle with what to put on their cheese boards besides the basic cheese and crackers. We paired this insight with the knowledge that consumers are online or on their mobile devices more than ever and came up with the idea of the Cheese Board Builder,” Woodbridge said.
By visiting the Castello Cheese Board Builder site, users input their taste and dietary preferences by answering four brief questions, and the tool generates a selection of cheese as well as other food pairings to further tailor the cheese board.
Castello draws from more than 80 different ingredients to pair with its line of cheese products including: honeycomb, maple cream, roasted pardón peppers, bresaola, and beverages like blended strawberries and peach iced tea.
Cheese boards are trending
“Cheese boards in general seem to be very on-trend. If you visit social channels like Pinterest or Instagram, your feeds will be filled with beautiful boards,” Woodbridge said.
“But we wanted to take this trend a step further and provide consumers with creatively-crafted pairings that you wouldn’t initially think to put on a cheese board.”
The company also tapped into the growing trend of gluten-free by providing a wide range of gluten-free items. Consumers can also opt for low-sugar and alcohol-free boards, she added.
The tool is not an app, Woodbridge said. However, it can be accessed from any mobile or desktop device via the company’s website.
The online tool’s functionality includes an option to share the cheese board via social media and also generates a custom shopping list based on the board’s contents.