Lactalis UK & Ireland urges retailers to maximise their cheese sales this Christmas

12 October, 23
Lactalis UK & Ireland is calling on Britain’s retailers to make the most of the cheese category’s potential in the build up to Christmas.

Lactalis UK & Ireland is calling on Britain’s retailers to make the most of the cheese category’s potential in the build up to Christmas. The award-winning dairy company recommends stocking up on the two highest grossing cheese categories – speciality and hot eating – as early as October, as they see significant seasonal increases over the winter period.

With this in mind it highlights Président and Galbani as the two must-stock cheese brands this Christmas, with both appealing to affluent shoppers and foodies. Key products traditionally experience a rise in demand with sales spikes throughout the months of October, November, and December. For President this pertains to; Brie, Camembert, Crispy Bakes and Emmental. And for Galbani; Mascarpone and Dolcelatte.

Président is the #1 Brie & Hot Eating brand, while Galbani is the #1 Italian cheese brand in the UK (52we 9th Sep 23).

Héloïse Le Norcy-Trott, Group Marketing Director for Lactalis UK & Ireland, says:

“Cheese is synonymous with Christmas in the UK. This is why we’re urging retailers to stock up on popular cheese lines as early as possible in the lead up to Christmas to capitalise on this significant sales opportunity. Reflecting on last year, Speciality and Hot Eating began to rise in October up +4% and +14% respectively on the prior four weeks (4we 8th Oct 22 versus 4we 5th Nov 22). This grew to a peak in December with value sales of £90.6m and £5.5m each (4we 31st Dec 22). For comparison the figures for the 4we 13th Aug 22, were £26.4m and 540K a piece.

“With all these cheeses benefitting from uplift throughout the Christmas period, it’s vital to have stock available early enough to encourage consumer purchase and stay stocked up until January.”

Lactalis UK & Ireland is a market leader in both of these high grossing seasonal categories – Speciality and Hot Eating. President’s flagship SKU Brie 200g, increased by +129%, Camembert 250g +244%, Crispy Brie Bakes 150g +75% and Emmental 200g +53% (4we 13th Aug 22 versus 4we 31st Dec 22).

Lactalis also sets the pace with its Galbani Continental cheeses. Galbani is the UK’s #1 recipe cheese brand, the #1 Italian cheese brand, and the #1 mozzarella brand, both in the UK and globally. However, it’s the Mascarpone 250g and Dolcelatte 150g, that experience a surge over the winter months. The former up +202% from £25K to £77K and the latter +77% from £195K to £344K (4we 16th Jul 22 versus 4we 31st Dec 22).

An additional reason for stocking Président & Galbani SKUs this December is the growth they have experienced over the past year. Even with the cost-of-living pressures, consumers are searching for indulgence, and continental cheese remains an end of dinner treat for people entertaining at home. President Brie 200g is up +17% in volume, Camembert 250g +21% and Emmental 200g +12% year on year (4we 31st Dec 22).

In regard to Galbani, Mascarpone 250g and Dolcelatte 150g have seen value growth of +16% and +15% respectively year on year (4we 31st Dec 22).

Le Norcy-Trott concludes: “To fully capitalise on potential sales, we recommend introducing those popular cheese types even earlier than December, as in the last quarter shoppers are open to spending more on premium cheeses. In doing so, retailers will extend their seasonal sales, keep shoppers coming back, and add value to the category”.

Sources: Circana Unify +, if not otherwise specified, data refers to value sales.

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