Lactalis takes specialty cheese direct-to-consumer

In addition to answering demand for fine cheeses, the platform will deliver recipe and food content to its upscale target.

Lactalis-cheeseworldLactalis Canada is going after “authentic epicureans” with the launch of its new DTC site, Cheese World.

The dairy company behind well-known brands such as Black Diamond, Cracker Barrel and Astro yogourt, is offering up a variety of heritage cheeses, including domestic, cheddar, feta and brie, and also harder-to-find global cheeses such as Roquefort.

And it’s promoting the specialty cheese store in Canada’s two biggest markets, Toronto and Montreal, with designs on expanding nationally.

“Throughout the pandemic, we saw that online grocery transactions as a share of total online transactions more than doubled, so the pandemic in essence accelerated the need for consumers to have as much choice as possible when it comes to their grocery purchases,” says Vince Vetere, GM of cheese and tablespreads at Lactalis Canada.

The move to a DTC site, he says, is informed in part by insights that despite the growth in ecommerce, only 7% of consumers find online grocery shopping easier than in store. And 45% of shoppers find fresh goods are particularly difficult to find online.

Because it’s the largest dairy brand in the world, Vetere says it can source Lactalis cheese the world over, and that the site acts as a kind of portal to global cheese.

“We created an offering that ensures quality of fresh product…and further tested our packaging so that the product will arrive fresh and cold,” Vetere says, adding that it’s also fully recyclable and compostable.

Vetere tells strategy there are plans to expand the platform, which took a year to develop, to include rich content such as new usage occasions, flavour trends, and recipes.

In addition to new cheeses debuting on the site, subscribers will also have access to special content from chefs, artisans and expert cheese makers designed to inspire including recipes, tips on creating cheeseboards and the perfect food and beverage pairings to complement all types of cheese in the coming months.

“Longer term, we also see this as an avenue to engage with fine cheese consumers much more deeply,” Vetere says, what he calls “authentic epicureans” – consumers that value “real and higher-end fine foods.”

Lactalis will continue to support key brands like Baldersons in store with on-shelf POS and in-store demos. The DTC site, Vetere says, is merely an alternative channel to access these brands.

There is a digital, social media and influencer buy (see, below) to accompany the launch, and a partnership with BlogTO and MTLBlog, Vetere says, will deliver five million impressions to its target buyer.

Brand Marketing & Communications Group created all of the photography assets. Neil Watson from Neat Branding created the assets for the influencer campaign.