Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Brilliant Marketing 101

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board sent out their Fall issue of "What's New from Wisconsin" this week, and on the front page is a new line of Seasonal Cheddars from Carr Valley.

Borrowing a concept from Otter Creek Organic Farm, which rolled out its own seasonal cheddars years ago, Carr Valley has brilliantly repackaged its different cheddars into seasonal selections. The labels are absolutely gorgeous and could open for their own art show. All of the cheeses are made in 23-pound wheels and sport different outside wax colors, depending on the season. Here's the rundown:

Irish Valley Cheddar: Named for the valley where owner and Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook grew up, this cheddar is produced in the early spring. The label features lots of clover, which ties in with both the Irish theme and early spring grasses. It is a bandaged white Cheddar and dipped in vibrant green wax.

Field of Flowers Cheddar: I'm guessing here, but I think this may be the cheddar that Sid used to call Wildflower Cheddar. It tastes about the same, and the label matches the description: made with summer milk and floral notes. This is a bandaged yellow Cheddar and is dipped in bright red wax.

Autumn Harvest Cheddar: I haven't been able to find this one at retail, but I'm wondering if it's similar to the company's Apple Smoked Cheddar, as the label says it's smoked lightly with apple wood. Either way, sounds good.

Winter Solstice Cheddar: This Cheddar, as implied by the name, is made in the winter months when Wisconsin cows eat preserved hay. This one is a bandaged white Cheddar and dipped in brilliant blue wax. Hmmm ... can you say Christmas gift??

As I was perusing Carr Valley's website to check out more info about the cheeses, I stumbled upon another little brilliant marketing move: dipping Carr Valley cheeses in ivory wax and selling them as wedding cakes. They even provide several different ideas with "cheese" cakes topped with fruit, flowers and white lace. Almost makes me wish I was getting married again. Maybe my husband and I will have to renew our vows?

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