One of the most successful new products in the dairy aisle is something that’s probably familiar to all of us: sliced cheese. But this isn’t your typical cellophane-wrapped singles. Sargento’s Ultra Thin Slices are causing a stir because of their inclusion in the Nielsen Report as one of the top 14 product innovations, meaning they generated at least $50 million in sales during their first year on the market, according to the New York Times. Bloomberg cites that this surprisingly popular product “has earned more than $130 million in two years from 2012 through 2013.”
Sargento’s slices are only 1 millimeter thick, as opposed to the standard 2 mm for most other brands. The slimness of the cheese means each slice is 40 calories, compared to 70 calories in a regular slice. This change wasn’t as simple as adjusting the thickness on the slicing equipment though; The company tinkered for 18 months to figure out the best way to package the cheese.
What does all of this mean for you, the cheese consumer? According to Taddy Hall, Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Innovation Practice,
People felt some tension around cheese. They love cheese, but cheese came with unwanted calories and fat. People were having a struggle with their sandwich making.
The lower calorie count for these slices means if you’re making a Simple Melted Cheese sandwich for lunch, you won’t have to settle for a product that is “light,” but can instead enjoy the real thing–just less of it! With options such as Baby Swiss and Provolone, Sargento hopes to fill all of your cheese needs, whether or not you are counting calories.
Photo Credit: Sargento via Bloomberg BusinessWeek