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    Brits showing growing demand for ‘fancy new cheese varieties’

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    British cheese flavours have become more and broadening, states a recent report, showing while British Cheddar and Stilton remain popular, many shoppers have begun purchasing what were previously considered fancy continental cheeses.

    According to a report by supermarket Tesco, while British Cheddar and Stilton still hold their own as shopping basket staples, nowadays increasing numbers of shoppers are also picking up what not so long ago were considered fancy continental cheeses.

    In the last year Tesco has seen volume demand rocket for its Finest range varieties such as Ossau-Oraty and Morbier from France, making continental cheese the fastest growing area of the UK cheese market.

    The most popular continental cheeses in the last year, based on volume sales, have been:

    • Triple Crème Brie – sales up by more than 100 per cent
    • Ossau-Iraty – up 80 per cent
    • Morbier – up by more than 70 per cent
    • French Brie with Truffle – up by 70 per cent
    • Vintage Gouda – up nearly 60 per cent
    • St. Felicien – up by nearly 60 per cent
    • Chaource – up 45 per cent
    • Comté – up by 40 per cent
       
      Tesco Cheese Buyer Charlotte Gramlick explained, “This is a trend we first noticed during lockdown as people weren’t able to go out to restaurants they were trading up to fancier cheeses when shopping.

    “But that trend has become even more pronounced now during recent harder times with people entertaining more at home and that has led to shoppers treating themselves to new cheeses as well as picking up their classic British favourites like Cheddar and Stilton.  

    “While the likes of Brie, Camembert, Emmental, Gruyère and Gouda are all established top sellers and have graced the cheeseboards of UK cheese connoisseurs for many years, it’s lesser-known varieties such as Chaource, Morbier, St. Felicien and Ossau-Oraty which are starting to win new fans in the UK.”

    Continental cheeses that have seen strong growth in the last year at Tesco include:

    • Chaource – a creamy French soft cheese made with cow’s milk cheese and similar to Camembert though with a hint of mushroom.
    • St. Felicien – A creamy, mould ripened cheese with a nutty mellow flavour.
    • Morbier – A semi-soft, creamy cheese with a layer of ash through the centre for a sweet flavour.
    • Ossau-Iraty – a smooth French cheese made from sheep’s milk that is slightly nutty with complex flavours
    • Comté – A hard French cheese made from cow’s milk with a nutty, sweet flavour not dissimilar to Gruyère.

    Gramlick added, “We have continued to expand our range to meet the needs of this growing trend and now have a total of 53 Finest range cheeses including 25 continentals.”

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