Strategies to strengthen Swedish cheese

According to the Swedish Board of Agriculture, about 60 percent of the cheese consumed in Sweden is imported. It’s a significant increase over a decade, but two cheese producers offer a strategy to change the development. has interviewed Marcus Jansson, CEO of Gäsene Dairy, and Anders Segerström, CEO of Falköping Dairy, because each shows a way to strengthen Swedish cheese.

– The meat and dairy industry have managed to reverse a downward trend, where Swedish products have gained new strength compared to imports. However, that wind hasn’t reached cheese yet, which still has a long way to go, according to Marcus Jansson, CEO of Gäsene Dairy.

A couple of months ago, Gäsene Dairy released an imitation of the popular imported cheese gouda under the name ”Goda.”

– It’s the same type of bacterial culture, but we’ve done it our way. When I started at the dairy in 2007, it was really just about prices. Now, more consumers care and are interested in the origin. The world situation has strengthened that. That’s why we developed this cheese, which is one of the most imported types of cheese, he says to

At Falköping Dairy, they’ve also taken an initiative that has reduced cheese imports, as Falköping – and other dairies – started manufacturing a counterpart to the Cypriot cheese haloumi in Sweden about three years ago.

– We started making a grilling cheese from 100 percent Swedish raw materials. It’s a way to develop products to take shares from imports. In that case, I think we succeeded well, says the dairy’s CEO Anders Segerström.

However, the two dairy directors agree that they must work long-term on communication with consumers to assert themselves against the enormous import. They state that the industry needs to be clearer. In all communication and marketing, we need to explain that it is Swedish-made and from Swedish raw materials.

Additionally, they acknowledge the challenge of competing with the low prices of imported cheeses, which are produced on a scale that makes it difficult for Swedish producers to match in terms of pricing.

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Foto: Gäsene Dairy