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June 1, 2018
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Norseland builds market presence with fresh ideas and convenience

JARLSBERG BURGER — This summer, Norseland is showcasing new burger ideas, including The Marvelous Meltdown (Jarlsberg Fondue Burger).

LIFE’S BEST SERVED WITH JARLSBERG — Norseland’s “Life’s Best Served with Jarlsberg” campaign, which debuted in the New York metropolitan area this spring, was designed to showcase how Jarlsberg is adaptable and relevant to local life — the customs, celebrations and recipes that matter most to people — all around the world. The campaign included a Times Square billboard in New York City, a new microsite and other creative.
Photo courtesy of Norseland

By Kate Sander

DARIEN, Conn. — Norseland Inc., best known in the United States for its Jarlsberg cheese, continues to grow its U.S. footprint with snack sizes, menu ideas and prepared foods that cater to all consumers seeking convenience and flavor.

“We’re expanding in the prepared deli and in the grocery grab-and-go cases,” says Valerie Liu, marketing manager, Norseland Inc.

As part of this strategic shift, Norseland —which is owned by Norway-headquartered TINE SA — will debut new ideas and products that cater to these trends at the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) show in New Orleans this month.

At the show, Celebrity Chef George Duran will be on hand to offer new burger ideas and preview the company’s global summer burger promotion, which will hit social media and grocery stores in July.

Duran has made four burger recipes, each with a story: The Marvelous Meltdown (Jarlsberg Fondue Burger), Melted Maui Madness (Pineapple Bun Jarlsberg Burger), The Viva La Quinoa (Quinoa and Red Lentil with Jarlsberg) and The Brooklyn Bacon Bonanza (Bacon Burger Stuffed with Jarlsberg).

As part of the campaign, the four burgers have their own backstory and their own film. The campaign places the burgers in different settings, and the ambience is quintessentially New York: three of the four burger shorts are filmed in a Williamsburg brownstone, and the fourth on a rooftop in Queens with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. There also will be print materials for in-store use, including a burger-shaped brochure with the burger recipes.

This is the first large international campaign Jarlsberg has launched in several years and one of the biggest campaigns the company has ever done across all its markets. The aim is to create momentum for the Jarlsberg Burger and show the cheese’s versatility.

Consumers also will get the chance to enter to win an exclusive Jarlsberg Grill Kit every week from July 2-Aug. 27; the grand prize is a Green Egg Grill.


“We are dedicated
to long-term brand
building to inspire
shoppers nationwide
… which ultimately
translates to shoppers
buying more Jarlsberg
and making
more memories.”

Valerie Liu
NORSELAND


Duran, known for hosting cooking programs on TLC and Food Network, plays a central role in the campaign. To create a relaxed and natural setting when filming, some of the extras on set are real life friends of Duran. The casual feel reinforces the motto of the campaign: “It’s a social thing.”

Norwegian advertising agency SMFB developed the campaign with TINE SA. The campaign’s main markets will be the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

The campaign follows Norseland’s spring campaign, “Life’s Best Served with Jarlsberg,” which debuted in the New York metropolitan area.

That campaign was designed to showcase how Jarlsberg is adaptable and relevant to local life — the customs, celebrations and recipes that matter most to people — all around the world.

“As millennials and echo booms — aka older millennials — enter the peak ages where rituals around family life and cuisine are re-established, we want to ensure they’re reminded of Jarlsberg: its great taste and the pleasant memories they associate with it,” Liu says.

“Life’s Best Served with Jarlsberg,” which included a Times Square billboard in New York City, a new microsite and other creative, was successful, and the company currently is examining metrics and making plans to expand it, Liu says.

“We are dedicated to long-term brand building to inspire shoppers nationwide … which ultimately translates to shoppers buying more Jarlsberg and making more memories,” she adds.

“As a leading specialty cheese brand that dates back to when I was a child, we couldn’t be more thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Jarlsberg and their amazing team as we take the next step into the connected future of consumerism,” says BJ Kito, vice president of operations, Digital Surgeons, which handled the campaign creative, digital elements, advertising, website and media buying for the program. “We are grateful for Jarlsberg’s leadership and investment in attracting and communicating with the next generation of consumers.”


“We’re not just cheese anymore — we also offer foodservice items, both for the grocery and for easy prep for restaurants. Foodservice is really growing, and we want to grow along with it. We see out-of-home eating as an opportunity.”

Valerie Liu
NORSELAND


In addition to traditional Jarlsberg, — in which Norseland recently invested in new packaging technology to keep deli slices fresher longer — IDDBA attendees also will get to sample newer items designed to be especially appealing to snackers. For example, Cheese Fusions are made with 100 percent real cheese infused with flavors ranging from spicy to smoky to savory. Each 2-ounce pouch is ideal for on-the-go snacking, providing a good source of calcium and protein, Liu says. Cheese Fusions also are a creative topping for dishes that need some extra flair.

Norseland also will feature a number of European cheesemakers it partners with, including Parmareggio, which was founded in 1983 in Montecavolo di Quattro Castella (Reggio Emilia), on the hills around where Parmigiano Reggiano originated. Parmareggio has become the world’s main producer of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Norseland offers snack sizes of this and many other cheeses it imports, including Old Amsterdam Bites, portion-controlled bites of Old Amsterdam Premium Aged Gouda.

As it builds its presence in snacking and usage ideas, Norseland also has had success with Folios, a cheese wrap that is available in Jarlsberg, Parmesan and Cheddar varieties, as a diet-friendly alternative to flour-based wraps. The product was developed with Lotito Foods Inc., Edison, New Jersey, a manufacturer with which Norseland has partnered for the past decade, handling Lotito’s sales, marketing and distribution.

This spring Lotito Foods, which historically has offered primarily Italian-cheese related products, also is debuting a collection of authentic regional Italian street foods for the foodservice industry.
Liu says Norseland executives shares Lotito Foods’ enthusiasm about the new products.

“We’re not just cheese anymore — we also offer foodservice items, both for the grocery and for easy prep for restaurants. Foodservice is really growing, and we want to grow along with it. We see out-of-home eating as an opportunity,” Liu says.

The new prepared food items are imported directly from Italy, made fresh from traditional, all natural ingredients, then frozen fresh. The new items include:

• Mini-Calzoncelli, delicate pockets of dough stuffed with a variety of Italian fillings;

• Battered and stuffed zucchini flowers filled with Mozzarella and ready to heat and serve;

• Suppli Croquettes in several flavors, including Risotto, Tomato and Mozzarella; Potato, Garlic and Mozzarella; and Eggplant Parmigiana and Mozzarella;

• Sicilian favorites including Breaded Mini Eggplant and Mozzarella Bites; and

• Mini, Medium and Large Arancini, a Sicilian street food made from local rice and formed into breaded rice balls.

“For the first time ever, you don’t have to step on a plane to enjoy the indescribably delicious Italian foods we all know and love,” says Chris Lotito, president and owner, Lotito Foods.

Norseland and Lotito see a lot of opportunities for these products: Deli department sales in supermarkets and grocery stores have grown to more than $11.5 billion with 69 percent of retailers reporting growth of 5 percent or higher in their prepared foods department.

The companies also note global flavors and street food dishes are reported by IDDBA to be top trends for 2018, with 42 percent of Gen Zers searching for street foods and 23 percent of Americans saying they would rather build a meal of snacks than sit down for a traditional meal.

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