Wisconsin cheese companies, retailers poised for holiday sales success

Special to The Freeman

Dec. 3, 2014

MADISON – Cheese sales jumped 20 percent in the week before Thanksgiving and 35 percent in the week before Christmas, according to 2013 data collected by Information Resources, Inc.’s (IRI) database for Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

Sales were up 50 percent or more for some cheese varieties, including including brick, butterkäse, camembert, cream cheese, fontina, gorgonzola, mascarpone and ricotta. Variety packs made up of slices, cubes or wedges of various cheese also sell particularly well during the holidays.

This year’s outlook is even better as consumer confidence hit a high in the 2014 third quarter. IRI reports that 8 percent of consumers say they will be spending more on holiday celebrations this year as compared to 6 percent in both 2013 and 2012.

Fewer consumers expect to tighten their holiday budgets, as well, with 36 percent of shoppers planning to spend less in 2014 compared to 43 percent in 2013 and 45 percent in 2012.