The Fribourg cooperative of producers of alpine cheese in Charmey now offers monthly subscriptions to two different fondue mixes.
Customers can sign up for a 3, 6, 9 or 12 month subscription for either the classic moitié-moitié fondue mix – half Gruyère d’alpage, half Vacherin fribourgeois d’alpage – or pure Vacherin fribourgeois.
Both cheeses are made by farmers on the alpine pastures of the Fribourg prealps in the summer months in a traditional method that gives a different flavour from cheese produced in valley farms.
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Speaking to newspaper Le Matin, René Kolly, president of the cooperative, said it produced too little to be able to penetrate the market to the same extent as other cheesemakers and that it didn’t have the means to pay for a full time sales person.
“We felt it was necessary to approach consumers directly. When we do a promotion in Geneva, for example, people ask us where they can find our products. We tell them about our points of sale but of course there isn’t one everywhere. Then the idea came to us for home delivery, on subscription,” he said.
Swiss cheesemakers are increasingly coming up with new ways to reach customers.
It is not uncommon for farms to sell cheeses and fondue mix in vending machines, allowing customers to access their produce even when the farm shop is closed.
The Swiss munched their way through 22.06 kilos of cheese per person in 2016, according to figures from industry promoter Switzerland Cheese Marketing.
That’s far more than the EU average but still behind the French, who are the biggest cheese eaters in the world.
Nearly 70 percent of Swiss consumed in Switzerland was Swiss made.