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October 13, 2017
For a listing of previous Retail Watch stories, please see our Retail Watch Archive.

Frigo Cheese Heads introduces line extensions, promotions for all ages
Saputo says line is an ideal fit with snacking trends

LINE EXTENSION — Saputo Cheese USA Inc. says its Frigo Cheese Heads Three Pepper Colby Jack Wisconsin Snacking Cheese offers a “kick of spicy heat” and is great paired with meats, nuts and other cheeses.

ANYTIME SNACKING — Frigo Cheese Heads Fresh Gouda Wisconsin Snacking Cheese was created to be an everyday snack itself or paired with almost any other food. The product is one of several line extensions recently introduced by the brand.

By Kate Sander

SAINT LEONARD, Quebec — Frigo Cheese Heads is among the brands that leading dairy processor Saputo Inc. is taking to new heights.

With dozens of plants in Canada and the United States as well as other parts of the world, Quebec-based Saputo Inc. — through numerous large acquisitions over the past two decades — has grown to one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world, according to Rabobank, which annually lists the world’s top dairy companies.

In addition to Frigo Cheese Heads, which is the No. 1 String cheese producer in the United States in total volume sales, Saputo’s products are sold in countries around the world under well-known brand names including Saputo, Alexis de Portneuf, Armstrong, COON, Cracker Barrel, Dairyland, DairyStar, Friendship Dairies, La Paulina, Milk2Go/Lait’s Go, Neilson, Nutrilait, Scotsburn, Stella, Sungold, Treasure Cave and Woolwich Dairy.

Saputo says it is the largest cheese manufacturer and the leading fluid milk and cream processor in Canada. In the United States, Saputo ranks among the top three cheese producers and is one of the largest producers of extended shelf-life and cultured dairy products. The company also is one of the top three dairy processors in Argentina, and among the top four in Australia.

Among the areas being focused on companywide is the growing consumer trend of snacking.

This trend seemingly is not slowing down, says Brad Panarese, marketing manager, Saputo Cheese USA Inc., noting a 2016 Technomic snacking study that found 83 percent of consumers are snacking on a daily basis, 7 percent higher than previous years.

For Saputo, that means Frigo Cheese Heads are a natural fit to meet this consumer need.
“Cheese sticks are among the best-selling convenience snacks across grocery and mass (merchandisers),” Panarese says.

Because of its natural fit with snacking, Saputo’s Frigo Cheese Heads brand continues to monitor the market as well as the competitive set to strategically innovate as it continues to expand distribution, Panarese adds.


“Cheese sticks
are among the
best-selling
convenience snacks
across grocery and mass
(merchandisers).”

Brad Panarese
SAPUTO CHEESE USA INC.


New line extensions launched earlier in the year continue to perform well, Panarese says. These include Frigo Cheese Heads Fresh Gouda and Spicy Beef Sticks (pack of eight), which pair Gouda cheese with Spicy Chipotle and Habanero Beef, designed to be snacked on together or separately; Frigo Cheese Heads Fresh Gouda Wisconsin Snacking Cheese (pack of 10), created to be an everyday snack itself or paired with almost any other food; and Frigo Cheese Heads Three Pepper Colby Jack Wisconsin Snacking Cheese (pack of 10), which the company says has a “kick of spicy heat” and is great paired with meats, nuts and other cheeses.

The company also recently has expanded its Frigo Cheese Heads offerings with a line of three-pack items great for smaller store formats and independent grocers, Panarese says.

The products come in a new shelf-ready tray making each SKU easier to merchandise, he adds.

The smaller package size is available in four varieties: Original String, Light String, Mild Cheddar and Colby Jack.

Saputo has significantly invested in marketing Frigo Cheese Heads, executing several programs this past year to cater to the entire family.

This past summer, in partnership with the Carl Buddig Co., Frigo Cheese Heads launched a joint national free-standing insert (FSI) along with a series of social posts highlighting easy snacking solutions rolling meat and String cheese for a quick summer on-the-go mini meal.

Leading up to the start of the 2017-2018 school year, Frigo Cheese Heads also once again launched what has become a popular “Build A Bright Future” promotion where parents and teachers can submit essays for their child’s school explaining why they deserve a $10,000 prize to give their students a brighter future. Nine runner-up schools also get $2,500 each.


“Frigo Cheese Heads
will continue to
monitor the
marketplace to
understand how
to evolve and adapt
to future customer and
consumer needs.”

Brad Panarese
SAPUTO CHEESE USA INC.


Submissions are being accepted through Oct. 31, and then public voting opens for people to decide the winning essays.

The promotion, which began in 2014, has continued to grow in participation, and this year more than 3,000 schools are expected to submit essays for a chance to win.

The Frigo Cheese Heads brand isn’t just for kids, though. This fall, the brand also is turning its attention to the adults in the family with two adult-oriented programs.

Beginning Sept. 1 and through the end of November, Frigo Cheese Heads is promoting its “Cheese and Meat Combo Packs” during the football season by partnering with online football merchandise retailer Fanatics.com.

Through the promotion, the brand is giving away hundreds of Fanatics gift cards. The brand also is promoting locally in the Chicagoland area via CBS & WBBM Chicago Bears Radio, leveraging game-day radio spots promoting the brand as well as sampling at one of the Bears home games.

Also through this month Frigo Cheese Heads is celebrating consumers’ love of Wisconsin Cheese and Beer with “Cheesetoberfest.” Featuring the brand’s Wisconsin Snacking cheese line, and in partnership with Draft Publishing magazine, consumers have a chance to win hundreds of Stainless Steel Beer Growlers or a trip to the 2018 “Beer Lovers Festival” in Wisconsin, a craft brewery tour to local brews and more.

In 2018, Frigo Cheese Heads plans to do more programming and partnerships to drive awareness of its product segments and cater to entire families’ snacking needs.

“Frigo Cheese Heads will continue to monitor the marketplace to understand how to evolve and adapt to future customer and consumer needs,” Panarese says.

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