Boursin wants to be more than a premium snack

From Shopper Marketing Report: The cheese brand's contest aims to make inroads in less formal occasions, like brunch.


Soft cheese brand Boursin is looking to expand beyond special, festive occasions to include dayparts like brunch.

Its latest in-store initiative, part of a broader national campaign, is “Cheese Up Your Brunch,” in which the brand is offering up a chance to win a brunch kit made by Italian home appliance manufacturer Smeg. 

Campaign assets include stackable displays, mini danglers, recipe cards, posters and shelf talkers. The promotion will be at all major banners through until mid-May.

“We are inspiring consumers to use [Boursin] outside of really festive occasions, so that’s why we thought of the brunch occasion, which is a social gathering that’s really popular in North America,” says Chantal Pelletier, director of brands for Fromagerie Bel Canada, a French-based multinational with a product portfolio that also includes the likes of Babybel and The Laughing Cow.

Pelletier tells strategy part of building the soft cheese category at point of sale, especially with time-pressed shoppers, is appetite appeal, such as assets that show a fresh, open faced sandwich, as well as inspiring consumers through recipe cards. Its messaging taps the consumer inclination to make their own creations: “Boursin inspires, you create.”

For this campaign, it’s highlighting two SKUs developed for brunch occasions – apple maple and fig balsamic – to give consumers inspiration and around a time that’s less formal than “peak platter” occasions, like Christmas and Easter.


The target audience is pretty broad, Pelletier admits. However, it’s discovered Boursin resonates with not only “social gathering lovers” but also cooking enthusiasts. These are the twin targets the brand is going after, and Pelletier says it does not talk about socio-demographic targeting, but rather interests.

“Being part of the fine cheese category, without being snobbish and being accessible, makes it wide appeal,” says Laurent Fouctière, brand manager for Boursin. According to Fouctière, it’s part of an effort to bring the cheese to a more casual, everyday usage and being part of regular consumption, rather than occasions.

He adds that in terms of timing, now is a very good moment to get back to smaller, less formal social gatherings and associate the brand with these kinds of get together.

The contest is being promoted on Instagram, and ads on food-related TV programming. Cash back reward app Checkout 51 is one of the many touchpoints being deployed for the campaign for the cheese, what Boursin calls “premium, but justified premium.”

Summer sales have gone up year after year, the brand says, with Boursin increasingly also associated with picnics and barbeques.