Cultured Club

by Shonda Talerico Dudlicek

Branded cultured products and cheese saw significant gains in the past year.

The widespread popularity of Hispanic foods may explain why consumers are buying more cheese, sour cream and dip. Or maybe the weight-conscious among them are choosing diet staples such as yogurt and cottage cheese.
Most brands held onto their top spots from the previous year, except in cottage cheese, in which Knudsen® took the highest ranking among name brands. Knudsen replaced Breakstone® in cottage cheese from the previous year; both brands are in the Kraft family.
Cacique, a California company known for its Mexican cheese, broke into the top 10 list of natural cheese brands, edging out Polly-O®, an Italian cheese brand held by Kraft. Private label natural cheese saw a 14.1 percent increase in sales over 2002, and the total category experienced an 11.2 increase.
Among the top 10 natural shredded cheese brands, Borden™ observed a 13.4 percent increase, while Sargento® ChefStyle saw a 15 percent drop. The category itself posted modest gains.
The introduction of the Dreyer’s®/Edy’s® Grand Light® brand in limited test markets proved popular enough to warrant the brand’s entry on the top 10 ice cream brands.
In the frozen novelties arena, Dreyer’s/Edy’s showed an almost 60 percent gain in sales over the previous year. Silhouette’s Skinny Cow brand saw a 14.1 percent increase, moving up to the No. 3 spot. Displacing the Dole® Fruit and Juice brand were the Carvel and Fudgsicle® brands.
In the yogurt and yogurt drink category, brands grew by nearly 8 percent, with Yoplait® and Dannon® Light ‘n Fit™ posting 12.8 and 9.6 percent gains, respectively. Dannon la Crème™ made the top 10 with a nearly 9 percent increase in sales over the previous year.
The pudding/mousse/gelatin and parfait category saw a 4.2 percent increase, though Hershey’s® had a surge of nearly 77 percent over the
previous year. The Jolly Rancher® and Lakeview Farms brands lost their spots among the top 10.
Cottage cheese brands showed a less than 1 percent decrease, but the Hood® brand’s appearance on the list marked an 80 percent increase in sales. The Prairie Farms® brand also posted double-digit gains, and both Hood and Prairie Farms knocked the Kemps® brand from the top 10 tally.
In sour cream, both the Daisy® and Tillamook® brands netted a 17.6 percent sales gain, unseating Meadow Gold from the list.
The dip brand category made way for the Yoders brand with a modest increase, leaving Rod’s® to dip below the top 10 ranking.
Flavored milk/eggnog/buttermilk brands posted a gain of less than 1 percent, with Garelick Farms® (up 19.5 percent) and Hershey’s (up 30.5 percent) replacing Hiland and Barbers on the list.
Butter as a category lost ground with a 6.2 percent drop in sales.
Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. did not report data for whole, skim or lowfat milk.

A freelance writer and editor based in the Chicago area, Shonda Talerico Dudlicek is a former managing editor of Dairy Field magazine.

Leading Brands by Category
Flavored Milk/Eggnog/Buttermilk Nestlé Nesquik
Natural Cheese Kraft
Natural Shredded Cheese Kraft
American Cheese Kraft Singles
Ice Cream Breyers
Frozen Novelties Klondike
Pudding/Mousse/Gelatin/Parfaits Jell-O
Yogurt/Yogurt Drinks Yoplait
Butter Land O’Lakes
Cottage Cheese Knudsen
Sour Cream Breakstone
Dip T. Marzetti

Top Flavored Milk/Eggnog/Buttermilk Brands  VIEW TABLE

Top Natural Cheese Brands   VIEW TABLE

Top Natural Shredded Cheese Brands   VIEW TABLE

Top American Cheese Brands   VIEW TABLE

Top Ice Cream/Sherbet Brands   VIEW TABLE

Top Frozen Novelties Brands   VIEW TABLE

Top Pudding/Mousse/Gelatin/Parfait Brand   VIEW TABLE