Cheese Board Challenge Lifts Sales and Improves Distribution in a Disorderly Deli


Castello cheeses are beloved in Europe, but largely unknown in the U.S., where they compete against big food brands with big budgets. And, with 825 licensed artisan cheese producers providing over 300 varieties, it’s hard to stand out in the deli case. Our challenge: generate awareness and drive Castello sales in a $1.8 billion market.


Interest in cheese boards is steadily increasing in the U.S. The "Cheese Board Challenge" campaign educated consumers on pairing specialty cheeses for any occasion. For the awards season timed launch, we created several inspirational cheese boards based on the top Oscar-nominated films and promoted them across digital platforms, along with award-themed recipes, and pitched entertaining at home tips from Celebrity Chef Michael Symon.

We brought a key group of influential bloggers to Napa Valley to learn about cheese and wine pairings, and invited consumers to enter the #CheeseChallenge sweepstakes to win a trip to a winery on the same topic. Finally, we created and drove web traffic to The Cheese Board Builder, a first-of-it-kind digital experience enabling users to create and socially share their own customized cheese board out of millions of pairing combinations.


Results included 175 million impressions; 8,300 Oscar-themed home sampling parties in one day; 10,000 sweepstakes entries and an average of 4.5 minutes per visit to The Cheese Board Builder. The bloggers shared learnings and beautiful cheese board photography across their blogs and social channels. During the "Cheese Board Challenge" promotional period, sales of Castello Havarti cheeses increased by 5 percent and distribution also increased by 10 BPS.


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