Dairy Crest is aiming to raise the profile of single-serve cheese as a snacking option with the launch of its Cathedral City Snack Bar, which comes in Mature and a 99-calorie Lighter Mature variant in 30g single packs and four-bar mutlipacks.

Cathedral City snacking brand manager Anca Lazar says that snacking cheese aimed at adults is a significant growth opportunity for stores, with a Mintel report in 2016 suggesting that 44% of all adults snack on cheese between meals and that 47% buy it as a planned purchase for snacking.

"Around 90% of cheese snacking behaviour is performed by adults, yet the vast majority of retailer cheese snacking ranges talk to kids," Lazar notes.

"Our snack bar offers the opportunity to drive relevance and consideration of cheese as a savoury snacking alternative at on-the-go snacking occasions when merchandised alongside other grab-and-go food items."

She adds that the Lighter Mature bar "makes it a very credible alternative to a small bag of crisps or a cereal bar".

Dairy Crest category manager Allison Deluca adds that 54% of cheese snacks are consumed at lunchtime. "Cross-merchandising single-serve cheese snacks with chilled food-to-go products such as sandwiches, salads, wraps and drinks will drive lunchtime meal relevance and prompt purchase.

"With around half of snacks being consumed with a drink, retailers should consider bundle deals or snacking meal deals offering a drink and a snack at a competitive price point."

The market for kids cheese snacks is dominated by Mondelz International and its Dairylea Lunchables snacking kits. The company extended its kids’ cheese offering with Dunkers Nachos in 2017, which comprises tomato salsa-flavoured mini tortilla chips with Dairylea cheese.

Trade communications manager Susan Nash says: "The snacking kits sub-category is the key driver of growth within processed cheese, growing at 10% [Kantar, year to June 2017], with Dairylea having 71% share and 4% annual growth. Innovation in snacking kits is a clear growth opportunity in 2018."