The campaign “Discover the European Cheestories with cheeses from Spain”, co-financed by InLac and the European Union, includes a powerful mix of activities such as attendance to fairs, exhibitions, tastings, actions at point of sale and collaboration with American importers and distributors.
DESPAÑA AUTHENTIC SPAIN, in New York, has hosted the opening event of this campaign, with the presentation of a docu reality and a cheese tasting. The US is the third most populous country behind China and India. Within ten years, this colossus will have almost 350 million inhabitants, who will demand increasing amounts of foods such as cheeses. And per capita cheese consumption is estimated to increase by more than 4.3% through 2027. A country of opportunities for European cheeses?
Aware of this potential, the dairy sector marks a new milestone in its commitment to greater internationalization, with cheeses as the main protagonists. Thus, and with the aim of boosting the presence in this large foreign market, the Interprofessional Dairy Organization (InLac), which brings together all the links of production and marketing in Spain from farmers to manufacturers, has promoted, with the support of the EU an ambitious three-year promotion and dissemination campaign: “Discover the European Cheestories with cheeses from Spain“.
DESPAÑA AUTHENTIC SPAIN in New York City has hosted the launch of this campaign, where a docu reality was also presented in which two American influencers (The Smith’s) travel with their caravan to the main Spanish cheese areas to discover all the enormous potential of these jewels of the gastronomy. The event also featured a tasting of European, Spanish, cheeses by master cheesemaker Angelica Intriago, vice president at Despana Brand Foods.
“For the Spanish dairy sector, it is of vital importance that American consumers know the commitment of our production and elaboration methods and their differential aspects with respect to competitors from other countries: respect for the environment, traceability, food safety or animal welfare”, stressed the president of InLac, Daniel Ferreiro.
Shipments from Spain to the United States continue to have great importance. In 2022, some 8,600 tons worth 90 million euros were exported; In such a way, that it is consolidated as the third foreign market in value and the fourth in volume in this category. Among the most appreciated Spanish cheeses in the USA, we can find cow, sheep, goat and blended cheeses, as well as cheeses with quality seals such as Manchego, Murcia al vino or Mahón-Menorca.
The US is a large consumer of European cheese. Cheese imports amount to 1,310 million dollars, a trend that is increasing, especially in the gourmet cheese market, which is the main segment in which Spanish cheeses compete.
According to InLac, per capita cheese consumption in the US stands at 17 kg per person/year, but Americans are developing a taste for specialty cheese varieties with EU differentiated quality seals (PDO/PGI) originating in Western Europe, and demand in the gourmet cheese category is expected to continue to grow.
Similarly, the degree of acceptance of ethnic cuisines, such as Mediterranean and Mexican, has also stimulated sales of European cheeses. “The popularity of Latino foods and Hispanic cheeses is on the rise. The US is a market where we are firmly committed”, clarifies the managing director of InLac, Nuria M. Arribas.
Historic actions to boost the American market
The campaign has proposed a 10% increase to level of knowledge about the benefits of our cheeses, marked by the high production standards in force in the European Union, enhancing their characteristics in terms of quality, flavor, traceability, and food safety. And, at the same time, the informative actions designed to increase knowledge about the variety and diversity of cheeses of Spanish origin by another 10%
The promotion campaign of InLac and the EU will enhance the knowledge of European cheeses in a staggered manner, emphasizing communication to professionals, both importers and the RESTAURANT sector. A very complete and diverse mix of activities will include presence in annual fairs in different parts of the US, trade-hospitality collaboration agreements that make the product known to professionals, actions in the media and at the point of sale, among others.
In addition, to keep exporters informed and promote product awareness in the United States, a microsite has been enabled to communicate all activities while including a platform for distributor and exporter service to provide them with the necessary tools to stimulate internationalization.