FOR THE LOVE OF CHEESE – CHEESE SALES INCREASE

As Kiwis prepare to celebrate New Zealand Cheese Month, sales data shows consumers are enjoying more locally made cheese than ever before.

Nielsen data shows supermarket sales of New Zealand Specialty cheese have increased in value by 6 percent in the 12 months to August 2017. What’s more, in the first quarter of 2017 Nielsen reported 771, 383 Kiwi purchased specialty cheese, an increase of more than 20 percent compared with the same period in 2014.

Every October the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA) members host a variety of tastings, inviting cultured Kiwis to events across the country to meet cheese makers and taste their wares.

NZSCA Chair, Miel Meyer said October is an opportunity for cheese makers to focus on educating people about their cheese in the lead up to the summer entertaining season.

October is an important month for cheese makers.

“October signals the spring flush it's when most dairy animals have their young, grass is lush and plentiful and there is an abundance of milk allowing cheese makers to create fresh seasonal cheeses. Fresh cheeses such as ricotta, goat's curd and buffalo mozzarella have such a delicate flavour that it makes them perfect to use with the fresh tastes brought to us by spring.”

“Additionally, other cheeses which require time to mature such as cheddar and blue varieties are at their peak from now until winter.”

Cheese Lovers are encouraged to take advantage of tastings and events at Countdown and New World supermarkets, as well as speciality cheese retailers such as Sabato, Farro Fresh and Canterbury Cheese Mongers.

Events will be listed on the NZSCA website http://www.nzsca.org.nz and NZ Cheese Lovers Facebook www.facebook.com/CheeseLoversNZ will have cheese giveaways, share recipes and information about New Zealand cheesemakers throughout October.