Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cheese Please

At The Undercover Cook we follow all kinds of food and cooking trends. Some of my personal favorites are the trends in cheese. According to The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association we ate more than 32 pounds of cheese per capita last year! Not only are we eating more cheese, our taste for cheese is getting more sophisticated. The consumption of natural, artisan and ethnic cheeses is on the rise. The other big trend in cheese is, of course, convenience. As consumers look for food solutions that fit into their increasingly busy lives they continue to reach for more grated, crumbled, cubed, string, natural cheese slices and seasoned pre-shredded cheeses. The convenience cheeses take out the prep work without sacrificing the taste of traditional block cheese.

So as you are thinking about recipes for your brand or your latest cookbook, think about including cheese based recipes tailored towards your target consumer. For example, if you are targeting busy moms think about simple recipes that utilize the ever widening variety of convenience cheese, like a taco dip that uses pre-seasoned shredded cheese instead of of block cheese and spices. If you are targeting DINKS think about using cheese from the specialty cheese case, such as a recipe for boursin crusted pork chops. If your brand features upscale regional products think about using regional artisanal cheeses in your recipes. It is important that your recipes appeal to your target consumers' ever changing taste just as well as your products do.

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