It’s almost time for the annual Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown, the largest Wisconsin cheese promotion of the year. Backed by six weeks of marketing and public relations support including digital ads, celebrity judges and more prize money, this year’s promotion will be more successful than ever. Last year’s participating retailers saw up to a 15 percent increase in Wisconsin cheese sales.
This spring, the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown will help create excitement to increase cheese sales for participating retailers. Coverage in national publications including Rachael Ray Every Day and digital media support from Wisconsin cheese provides participating retailers with a menu of tools for custom in-store and online merchandising of the promotion to create a fully integrated omni-channel shopper experience. These customizable assets are designed for retailers to generate impulse sales, cross-merchandise and be promoted on social media. A panel of celebrity judges from national publications and the foodie world will taste and select winners. The event will be covered and winners announced on Facebook Live.
Additionally, regional marketing managers at Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board are working with Wisconsin cheese manufacturers and retailers to create in-store promotions, special branded point of sale displays and live events that encourage sampling and purchase while building awareness for the grilled cheese competition.
Consumers can enter their grilled cheese creations featuring Wisconsin cheese from April 2 through May 15. New to the competition this year, consumers can enter into one of four categories for more ways to win. One grand prize winner will receive $15,000 and be crowned the 2018 grilled cheese champion. More than $25,000 in additional cash and bonus prizes will also be awarded throughout the competition.
For more information about bringing the promotion to a retail store, contact your Wisconsin cheese regional marketing manager. Visit GrilledCheeseAcademy.com for information on how to enter the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown.
Green Dirt Farm, an artisan cheese maker from Weston, Missouri, just northwest of Kansas City, has won a 2018 Good Food Award for cheese with Prairie Tomme, a rustic, mountain-style, sheep’s milk cheese.
The Good Food Awards celebrate food that is made by producers who are driven by standards and ideals beyond the profit motive. This year’s awards were celebrated on January 19 at an awards ceremony and marketplace in San Francisco to honor Good Food Award recipients.
In its eighth year, Good Food Awards were presented to winners in 15 categories: beer, cider, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, preserved fish, honey, oils pantry, pickles, preserves, spirits and elixirs. Awards were presented to producers from each of five regions of the U.S. Winning products are entitled to use the Good Food Awards Seal on packaging and marketing materials.
“We are thrilled to have won a Good Food Award for Prairie Tomme,” says Green Dirt Founder and Manager Sarah Hoffmann. “This award validates our commitment to making fantastic cheese while also being the very best stewards of our land, our animals and our people. We know that a project like this requires not just a dedicated team and lofty goals, but also a whole community of supporters to make the dream a reality, and we are incredibly thankful for this support!”
Green Dirt Farm has been making award winning cheeses on an Animal Welfare Approved dairy farm northwest of Kansas City since 2008. The company’s cheeses have won numerous accolades, including seven awards at last year’s American Cheese Society Judging & Competition In 2012, the creamery expanded its production to include milk from other nearby dairies that share Green Dirt Farm’s passion for humane animal treatment and environmentally sustainable farm practices.
The 14th annual Oregon Cheese Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday March 17 and 18 at Rogue Creamery, 311 North Front Street in Central Point Oregon. Held under two large tents, 15,000 square feet of space, at the creamery’s Central Point facility, the annual festival invites guests to shake hands with cheesemakers and other artisans.
There will be baby cows on site to showcase the beginnings of great milk producers, and Sarah “The Cheese Lady” will be sculpting cheese into artistic creations! Activities will also be provided for children including games, activity sheets, coloring, face painting and more.
Oregon-inspired culinary events, including a farmer’s market-style artisan food, beer, cider and wine festival, will kick off with the Meet the Cheesemakers and Winemakers Dinner. At the festival, thousands of visitors will sample cow, goat and sheep cheese from Oregon as well as other Northwest creameries, including:
Ancient Heritage Dairy, Briar Rose Creamery, By George Farm, Face Rock Creamery, La Mariposa Creamery, Ochoa’s Queseria, Gia’s Cheesorizo, Portland Creamery, Rogue Creamery, Tillamook Creamery, TMK Creamery, Umapine Creamery, Walla Walla Cheese Company, Helvetia Creamery, Beehive Cheese, Ferndale Farmstead, Cypress Grove, Skamokawa Farmstead Creamery, Nicolau Farms, Orland Farmstead Creamery, Pedrozo Dairy and Cascadia Creamery.
Oregon and other Northwest culinary artisans and beverage providers who are expected to participate include:
Lillie Belle Farms, Branson’s Chocolates, Buttercloud Bakery & Café, Coquette Bakery, English Lavender Farm, Gary West Meats, Olympia Provisions, Oregon Olive Mill, San Carlos Quince, Siskiyou Honeybees, The Original Shrub, Umpqua Sweets & Treats, USA Pears, Vintner’s Kitchen, Wagon Trail Foods, Weed Coffee Roasting, Agrarian Ales Brewing Company, Atlas Cider, Awen Winecraft, Belle Fiore Winery, Cathedral Ridge Winery, Common Block Brewing Company, Crater Lake Spirits, Crescendo Spirits, Deluxe Brewing/Sinister Distilling, Dion Vineyard, Ledger David Cellars, Naked Winery, Noble Estate Winery, Oran Mor Artisan Mead, Portland Cider Company, Rogue Ales, South Stage Cellars, Spiritopia, Troon Vineyard, Vivacity Fine Spirits, Wild Roots Spirits, WildCraft Cider Works and more.
The Oregon Cheese Festival will be open to the public Saturday, March 17, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A $15 entry fee includes tastings and demonstrations; tickets purchased at the door will be $20. Entry tickets can be purchased in advance at http://www.oregoncheesefestival.com now! In addition, a $10 wine, cider, beer and spirit tasting ticket is available and includes a commemorative glass with the Oregon Cheese Guild logo.