Celebrate NZ Cheese Month
New Zealanders are buying better quality cheeses as they explore new specialities, including locally-made feta, halloumi and Parmesan.
Speciality cheese is the big winner with Nielsen Supermarket Sales MAT to 14 July 2019, showing specialty cheese has grown by 7.3% in value and volume compared to the corresponding time last year. The same data shows the total value of sales of cheese in NZ are up by 2.9% compared with the same time the previous year, with a value growth of 6.3% vs one year ago.
The figures were released by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA), which hosts NZ Cheese Month every October to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the country’s cheesemakers.
NZSCA Chair Neil Willman says the sales figures are clear proof that New Zealanders are embracing the local cheese industry and getting more adventurous in their tastes as they do so.
“It’s a reflection of the change to a more international style of eating. New Zealanders are wanting to explore different tastes and flavours and our cheesemakers are offering a broader range of cheeses to meet this demand.”
“As well as making the traditional cheddar we’ve grown up loving, NZSCA members are making speciality cheeses which haven’t been seen before in NZ – Mexican cheeses like Cajeta and Oaxaca , or Italian favourites such as mozzarella, ricotta and mascarpone and interestingly other Italian styles which are less familiar in New Zealand such as; Scamorza , Stracciatella and Stracchino.”
Neil says it’s wonderful to see the growth in sales of NZ-made cheese – and this October he’s encouraging Kiwis to put even more NZ-made cheese on their plates.
In a first for Cheese Month, the NZSCA is working with Barker’s to find Kiwis’ favourite NZ cheese company. Voting will be promoted via CheeseloversNZ Facebook and Barker’s of Geraldine social media.
NZ Cheese Month gets off to an early start in Hamilton on Saturday 28 September, when Sky City hosts Ferment Fest, Waikato’s Artisan Beer, Cheese and Fermented Food Festival (11:00am – 5:00pm).
Waikato is home to several award-winning cheesemakers and many exciting craft brewers. Ferment Fest is a celebration of cheesemaking, brewing and makers of fermented foods offering samples, demonstrations, live music and more. Admission is free.
To keep up to date with other cheese tasting events and experiences during NZ Cheese Month in October check out the CheeseloversNZ Facebook page.