Bridge Cheese has launched two new mozzarella blends to help customers beat rising inflation on ingredients, without compromising on quality or taste.
The Telford-based business, which supplies cheese and dairy products to wholesalers, the food service industry and food manufacturers, has started production of Meadow Valley, a premium value range and Encore, a price-fighter mozzarella brand, to offer customers alternatives to their existing cheese products that will help offset soaring ingredients costs.
Inflation is already at a 30-year high, reaching 7.0% in the 12 months to March 20221. Year-on-year inflation for dairy products (milk, cheese and eggs) in the Consumer Price Index currently stands at 8.6%2. This is all putting pressure on the food service sector and food manufacturers who are already struggling to balance rising production costs.
Bridge Cheese Managing Director, Michael Harte, says many of the companies it supplies are now looking for more cost-effective cheese products to protect their margins without passing the costs on to cash-strapped customers.
“The price of cheese is going up and up, and unfortunately these costs can no longer be absorbed by suppliers. Increases are being passed down the supply chain, but many of the customers we speak to are reluctant to put up prices for end users who are already feeling the pinch from higher living costs.
“With Meadow Valley and Encore, we are giving our customers the opportunity to flex their mozzarella product selection to a more blended product which tastes, looks and behaves the same as our premium mozzarella and cheddar products but with a more affordable price tag. Meadow Valley is our mid-range offer, while Encore is a more value proposition.”
Both the Meadow Valley and Encore lines are being produced at Bridge Cheese’s recently extended facility in Telford and both are available to order now. Meadow Valley and Encore are particularly suitable for hot eat products such as pizzas, paninis, jacket potatoes and garlic bread. They offer the same stretch and melt qualities that customers demand from mozzarella, and can be combined with mild white cheese or cheddar for extra flavour. Both ranges are available in 2kg and 5kg bags, and in various formats.
“The food service industry in particular has had a pretty torrid couple of years”, adds Michael, “so as a strong supplier to the trade, we have to step up and support those customers with the products they need to succeed whether it’s an indulgent, speciality cheese or a cost-efficient alternative which delivers taste and functionality on a stretched budget.
“If a wholesaler loses one customer, they lose a whole basket of business. We’re keen to support independent businesses, so this doesn’t happen.”
1 Consumer price inflation, UK – Office for National Statistics
2 Food prices on the rise again | The Food & Drink Federation (fdf.org.uk)