Perhaps there is nothing more versatile than specialty cheeses. Retailers who carry the product ring up more sales and promote the products throughout the stores. Those findings come from an analysis by the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association of Madison, Wis.

The trade group found that consumers who purchase specialty cheese have nearly double the basket size of the average shopper. IDDBA said that specialty cheese “strongly connects” to 83 store categories, which represent around 25% of total store sales and spans across 50% of store departments. For example, the cheeses connect with categories like:

  • Fresh, home cooking occasions (produce spices, beef steak, and salmon)
  • Entertaining occasions (bakery breads, deli dips, and snacks)
  • Indulgent bakery occasions (cakes, cookies, and sweet goods)

Cheesemakers can use these findings to develop cheeses and formats for their retail customers.

IDDBA reports its finding in a piece of original research titled “Total Store Connectivity: Revealing New Pathways to Win – Specialty Cheese.” The report examines the correlation between specialty cheese and other store items. It suggests ways food retailers can increase sales by marketing specialty cheeses within specific store categories.

IDDBA said that specialty cheese “has become a key player within the deli space.” The cheese accounts for roughly 12% of total deli sales and ranks as one of the top 10 fastest growing categories within deli.

Developed in conjunction with Nielsen Perishables Group, the research is available free exclusively to IDDBA members.  See all of the association’s research at