Cheese is growing in popularity as a convenient option for snacking, in sandwiches, as an ingredient in cooking and as an accompaniment to wine. Tapping into this growing demand, domestic brands such as Karums have seen strong growth by introducing interesting flavour combinations, such as fresh cheese with red chilli pepper and fresh cheese with blue cheese.
Supermarkets/hypermarkets remain the leading distribution channel for cheese, with consumers appreciating the convenience offered by these stores. While markets will often focus more on domestic cheese supermarkets include a wider variety of options, including mozzarella, mascarpone, halloumi and brie.
Latvia has seen growing demand for vegetarian and vegan products driven by several factors including the health and wellness trend and growing awareness and concern over animal welfare. In line with this, leading grocery retailers Maxima and Rimi both launched ranges of vegan and vegetarian products in 2017, including vegan cheese.
Domestic importer and wholesaler Siera Nams A/S has retained its lead in cheese in 2018 despite seeing a further decline in its value share. The company offers the popular international brand Philadelphia among others, as well as domestic products such as its eponymous range of sliced cheese, which is very popular in Latvia.
Rigas Piensaimnieks SIA has seen one of the most dynamic growth rates in 2018, with its Karums range of fresh cheese seeing double-digit growth in current value terms. Karums benefits from a natural image with its products being free from preservatives and vegetable fat, which fits with the current trend towards clean labels and more natural ingredients.
Part financed by the EU, in 2017 the Latvian Dairy Committee commissioned the launch of Milk River under the Information and Promotion Measures for Agricultural Products support programme. The campaign’s goal is to promote Latvian dairy products in non-EU markets such as the US, China and the United Arab Emirates, with a focus on the quality, taste and diversity of the country’s dairy.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.