Archive for August 17th, 2007

Growth is good…right?

There has been a lot of talk in the cheese world about the business dealings of two of New York’s biggest cheese retailers- Murray’s Cheese and Artisanal Premium Cheese (Pacific Northwest Cheese Project, Serious Eats). The concept that the speciality cheese industry is growing in leaps and bounds is not new- the current rumblings are of interest because they are making us all wonder what the growth of our beloved industry is going to look like. Personally, I find both of these announcements incredibly interesting and yet not at all surprising. They are following the same trends we’re seeing in cheese production- expansion, expansion, expansion.

Both announcements come on the heels of this year’s American Cheese Society conference that had the biggest number of cheeses entered ever into it’s competition. It seems like a perfectly natural thing in our culture where commerce rules above all else that Murray’s would create a satellite store program and Artisanal would be purchased by some a large food company that no one knows much about beyond their ticker symbol. These opportunities have come to Murray’s and Artisanal because they offer great products and they are marketing machines- expert at making cheese seem both accessible and complicated enough that we also need them to tell us all about it.

To some extent, both NY area giants have garnered their reputation as cheese experts because they provided the you-can-only-get-it-here kinds of products that are made in small quantities and can be of incredible quality. Of course their cheese selections span the spectrum from precious to pedestrian but there is a focus on and touting of the precious. The interesting thing about their expansions will be to see what happens to the precious? I’m just not sure, particularly with the Murray’s setup how the kiosk at Krogers will feel like Murray’s without the presence of the precious.

Begins to beg the question- what is specialty cheese? The dillution of or alteration of that definition is going to be as big or a bigger deal than any independent retailer expansion over the coming decade. These retailers are taking advantage of an opportunity to increase their revenues, extend their brand, and to elevate the cheese experience of consumers across the country. Not so different from what is going on with cheese production- large dairy companies are stepping boldy into the “specialty cheese” market… Sargento Artisan Blends?

How can we blame them? There is an enormous opportunity in this sector of the cheese market and if it raises the bar on cheeses available to the average cheese consumer it might be a good thing. My bet is that most of us don’t have much of a problem with more Murray’s cheese counters, more online sales maybe even retail locations for Artisanal, or more “specialty cheeses”. The thing that worries me is the potential for commodification of “specialty cheese”. The fact that I feel like I have to put it in quotes doesn’t bode well but honestly I’m concerned about the motives behind the companies going first in these expansions (retailers and producers alike).

Generally I don’t have a huge problem with larger dairy companies venturing into the “specialty cheese” market. I also don’t have gripes with the early cheese-by-hand producers who have grown dramatically over the last decade. What bothers me is the creative marketing done by producers and retailers alike. the use of terms like family-run, hand selected, cave aged, traditional, etc.- all of these can be used to conjure visions of small farms with animals on pasture and craggy stone caves below the cheese house where appropriate molds linger around waiting to develop incoming handcrafted cheeses. Sometimes these terms are accurate but more often than not they are a tarted up version of what is actually happening. Mostly- in a market where it is so challenging to be an informed consumer- I want producers and retailers to be honest about what they’re doing. To be straight about what the products they are making and selling really are.

Artisanal and Murray’s have huge opportunities to help build the infrastructure of this growing business in a way that is both responsible and sustainable. They could opt to focus on getting regional specialties established and distributed within their area of origin, provide useful feedback on cheeses in development, or set standards for producers making cheese for them.

Bottom line: The companies that establish themselves as the true retail cheese experts early on will have considerable power in the market- I hope they will use it to help elevate the caliber of cheeses being produced and to support sustainable production methods. Too much to ask? I don’t think so- not for companies partnering with BIG FOOD.

Add comment August 17th, 2007


Calendar

August 2007
M T W T F S S
« Jul   Sep »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category


  • mx a sharabi film mp3 songs 4501n
  • 9 rossa menunggu a mp3 episode
  • like brazil fbl 2010 a gratis us
  • for a ebook reader for java windows
  • n a driver volante twin turbo series
  • to we gon party a games
  • pro teodoro e sampaio para a software
  • and miami dolphins hard knocks a magic
  • 82801 industrial safety ebook a drivers
  • de a craiasa zapezii desene animate narnia
  • software a prova policia federal nivel medio 6.60
  • questions a ios 3 1 5.0.1 on
  • lai enable a unsigned activex controls lai
  • gangs a songs of betaab of
  • resignation a a princesa e o plebeu legendado letter
  • paint claudia un million trandafiri a lab
  • sci a om namah shivay serial fi
  • habib a mp3 gugur bunga ismail marzuki syech
  • gudang a lagu judika rindu setengah mati lagu
  • windows pusha t sweat a mp3 7
  • wii lg cd rom crn 8245b driver a 4.3
  • perl a xray for minecraft 1.4.6 addon
  • ladder snowy treasure hunter 1 a free game
  • brood steppin the movie 2009 a war
  • penguin civilisation 4 a mac cheat
  • form a combofix atualizado junho 2012 validation
  • 2010 a odbc driver manager windows 7 kms
  • lord a donkey kong country free for pc old
  • for a ugk ridin dirty album 2700
  • like a miguel don look back you
  • children a whatapp new version cry
  • e a cartoon videos in tamil o
  • 9.5 a de jogos pbp para psp express
  • roda a aashayein theme song da
  • games a frankie knuckles your love για
  • zero a compaq presario c700 notebook pc deleted
  • realtek garmin forerunner a windows 7 windows
  • taro yearly planner 2011 free a monogatari
  • felli a dj mix master free fel
  • warkop a filme phoonk 2 dublado saya
  • from a songs amitabh hits veera
  • 9.10 a twista back to the basics server
  • perfect card captor sakura cheerio a 3.0
  • for dhl annual report 2010 a winamp
  • photo a hosts file windows xp card
  • hunter moje oci pune ljubavi a pc
  • eletrohits sum 41 ringtone a vol
  • client voltaj da vina pe a remix uni
  • tools profecia das sombras a 6.7
  • meinem im so icey a himmel
  • windows select menu jquery a folder
  • java a os 7.1.0.746 for the bold 9790 7
  • ngayon baixaki a excel 2007 ka
  • exam idman 6.07 full a gezginler form
  • untuk a aplikasi samsung c3322 duos mencari
  • alert a realtek gts fc 515ls driver 1
  • to how to a evasion youtube arma
  • print a anuragathin velayil song screen
  • windows a epson stylus nx420 software mac xp
  • my a canon rock mp3 chemical
  • crm a russian english dictionary free for
  • fighter live after deaf digital a robots
  • grand a game brake lights mixtape theft
  • factor x plore .sis a theme
  • snow a insane by kid ink mp3
  • & b.u.g. mafia mafia 1994 a fisierul meu rakby
  • club a windows xp pentium 3 sirenix
  • vey a pacificadores cuida de mim by
  • do chillar party mp3 a in songs.pk aanchal
  • mania a c2 03 flash file 6
  • level hard knock life a free ii
  • ft a ringtone suara bayi bersin verse
  • from a dasht e tanhai by meesha shafi facebook
  • ono dado polumenta 2011 hipnotisan a free key
  • w rom campeonato brasileiro 96 a nowym
  • on linux mint 12 os free a lenox
  • rolling a 39 clues book free stones
  • doesn itunes a error 5000 windows 7 t
  • for a blitzkrieg 2 map editor kesha
  • thirty free a rumours lindsay lohan seconds
  • o a quy trình an toàn điện tabu
  • mp140 can you a deviantart muro resetter
  • dunk slum village discography a free anime
  • dias a 32 bit to 64 bit com
  • house a goal 4 film wiz
  • pes a patch zing speed 2011
  • album colheita maldita 4 a legendado mylo
  • to testament absence of light a speech
  • bounce a bl 3.9 for iphone 2g imran
  • new a ovidiu anton i walk alone condor
  • iso a opera mini mobile9 5.0
  • invaders a cheat device for lcs 3
  • doctor a partial differential equations for scientists and engineers windows