Since creating a prototype and launching an online campaign last year, 11,000 people signed up to get on the waiting list for Hobson’s calendar.
“I’m thrilled to announce I’m working with the wonderful team at Norseland, Ilchester; owners of popular cheese brands such as Applewood, Mexicana and Jarlsberg,” said Hobson.
“I did it for the love of cheese, and never imagined in my wildest dreams that people would show me so much support. It was overwhelming and I was thrilled to see a whole army of cheese lovers keen to see cheese in all the places that chocolate usually dominates.”
The entrepreneur said it was a busy year figuring out the complexities of packaging, contracts, retailers and trademarks but the calendars will go on sale in Asda stores from November 9, for £8 ($10.56).
Each calendar has a ‘book style’ packaging design, allowing one half to be torn off after the initial 12 days of Christmas to maximize fridge space.
The calendar includes 24 individually wrapped cheeses, with five different varieties.
- Jarlsberg – Famous for its distinctive sweet and nutty taste and its large, round holes.
- Applewood – Applewood is made from West Country Cheddar with a delicate smoky flavor and smooth texture, finished with a dusting of paprika for good measure.
- Mature Cheddar – Ilchester’s Cheddar comes from the West Country near where Cheddar originated in the Mendip Hills.
- Red Leicester Cheese – Smooth and nutty. Add a splash of color to your cheese board with this traditional English cheese based on a classic Cheddar recipe.
- Wensleydale with cranberries – Traditionally made with a smooth and creamy gold award winning Wensleydale. It is a creamy white and slightly flaky cheese, this Ilchester version is paired with juicy sweet festive cranberries.
Hobson added the US, Canada, Australia, Europe and rest of the world have not been forgotten and if the calendar performs well in the UK she plans to take the product abroad.
DairyReporter wrote about the London food blogger last year.
She said there are so many wonderful advent calendars in the world containing things like chocolate, gin and lipstick but after blogging about why there wasn’t a cheese one, the response was overwhelming.
“You’d think this would be something that retailers had sold many times before. Something the likes of Babybel or Laughing Cow had jumped on for a Christmassy marketing gimmick – but no,” she said.
“I searched high and low to no avail. Upon Googling it, I did however come across lots of people asking the same question I had. Why?”
Hobson created her own cheese advent calendar as a prototype last year with vintage Gouda, St. Helen’s Farm goats’ cheese, Blue Stilton, German smoked cheese and French Doux De Montagne.
“The challenge was how do you get cheese to stay fresh for a whole month? Well, the first thing to note is that this is obviously going to have to be an advent calendar that lives in the fridge. There are no two ways about it. Fresh cheese = fridge,” she said.
“The second, make sure you choose cheese that has a long best before date. All the cheeses I purchased would not be going off til way past the 24th December.”
Hobson can be found Tweeting about her progress on the hashtag #CheeseNotChoc