“Dessert cheese” offers new sweet-savoury experiences
With innovative formats inspired by desserts and new sweet-savoury experiences, ‘dessert cheese’ can make the cheese course exciting again.
- Create the ‘dessert cheese’ categoryAs the boundaries between sweet and savoury foods blur, there is an opportunity for cheese brands to offer ready-made solutions that blur natural cheese and dessert foods.
- Put cheese on the shortlist of dessert optionsWith innovative formats inspired by desserts and new sweet-savoury experiences, cheese can play a bigger role in making the last course of a meal exciting.
- Fuse regional foods and flavoursNovel “dessert cheese” can associate with fusion foods and flavours from different regions. Brands can explore the concept of East-meets-West (eg sweet cheese dumplings) and North-meets-South (eg dulce de leche flavoured cheese) flavour combinations.
The boundaries of sweet and savoury foods is blurring
To divert consumers away from high levels of sugar in sweet foods, some manufacturers are introducing products that lean in to savoury, instead of focusing solely on sweet. Sweet foods, such as desserts, already feature vegetables that have a flavour profile that naturally bridges savoury and sweet (eg carrots, butternut squash and sweet potato). In chocolate confectionery, brands explore the unexpected flavours delivered by cheese, including traditional ones such as blue cheese,Manchego and Edam.
As the boundaries of sweet and savoury foods blur, there is an opportunity for cheese brands to offer new sweet-savoury experiences. By offering “dessert cheese”, brands can offer ready-made solutions that rejuvenate cheese consumption at the end of a meal behind its mainstream usage in traditional desserts (eg cream cheese in cheesecake, mascarpone in tiramisu).
Cheese is the right platform to encourage trial and exploration
When it comes to trying new flavours, cheese consumers are adventurous. In major European markets, among consumers who describe themselves as very or somewhat adventurous, around half say they like trying flavours they have not tried before in cheese.
Although comfort and familiarity have been buzzwords to describe flavour innovation during the last two years, evidence suggests that consumers are becoming more adventurous again. A large majority of consumers in major European markets say that they are more open to trying new flavours than they used to be. Between one in five and one in four people claim to want to see more sweet flavours in savoury foods.
The definition of dessert foods are flexible in consumers’ eyes
After the main course of a meal, consumers eat through a wide repertoire of food and drink. Cheese is on the menu for nearly one in five UK consumers; in France, it is 62% of consumers.
The definition of dessert food is flexible. In the UK, 49% of dessert consumers agree that hybrid desserts (eg a crème brulée cheesecake) are appealing. In Poland, 72% of dessert eaters say that there should be more innovative desserts.
‘Dessert cheese’ products offer ready-made solutions that blur cheese and dessert foods.
Innovative formats inspired by desserts can make the end-of-a-meal cheese course exciting again.
Rising Sun Farms Gorgonzola Cheese Torta comprises gorgonzola blended with cream cheese and pears, topped with toasted hazelnuts and cranberries (Cambodia).
2. Cheddar profiteroles
M&S Food Molten Cheddar Cheese Profiteroles are choux buns filled with a rich and creamy cheddar cheese sauce topped with pecorino cheese (Ireland).
3.Mascarpone and gouda fruitcake
Milbona Mascarpone Fruit Speciality with Gouda & Hazelnuts consists of mascarpone and gouda, with apricots, hazelnuts and dates (Germany).
Break the cheese category norms with East-meets-West and North-meets-South flavour combinations
In Asia, foodservice has helped grow the popularity of cheese-based desserts (eg cheese tart).
Asia remains a reliable source of inspiration for cheese brands looking to break category norms. Novel “dessert cheese” can offer East-meets-West flavour combinations as well as North-meets-South ones.
In European markets, Gen Z* cheese buyers, who are less into tradition than older generations, will be open to products that blur and fuse foods and flavours.
Arla Taste Thailand chili and ginger flavoured fresh cheese
Cheescake Camembert Maeil Sangha Cheese is layered with white cake sheets, baked cream cheese and camembert mousse and covered with soft castella (South Korea).
Häagen-Dazs Four Cheese & Honey Ice Cream Sandwich includes camembert, gorgonzola, gouda and cream cheese, with a honey sauce, a camembert coating and cheese wafers (Japan).
Lotte Crunky Cheddar Cheese & Parmezan Flavoured Crunchy can be heated in an oven toaster to offer a crumbly and crispy texture (Japan).
For cheese to play a bigger role as a dessert food, brands can offer ready-made solutions that blur natural cheese and dessert foods. “Dessert cheese” can deliver new sweet-savoury experiences in formats inspired by desserts. Brands can associate with fusion foods and flavours from different regions, with East-meets-West and North-meets-South flavour combinations.