Nothing can beat the taste of a rich texture of oven-baked pizza topped with a layer of cheese. Reports say the Indian cheese market grew at a CAGR of 26% from 2014 to 2019 and will continue to grow to Rs 12,540 crore (approximately US$ 1.7 billion) by 2024. Affluent and increasing disposable incomes, urbanization and changing lifestyles, dietary habits, and modern trade have contributed to growth. Besides, in the current Covid-19 pandemic situation, cooking has become a recreational activity. Inclined to cook other than local cuisines, experimentation with fresh cheese to recreate restaurant-style food at home has surged.
Mumbai-based gourmet Italian cheese producer, Crèmeitalia started its journey in 2018 to offer fresh and authentic cheese to Indian consumers. “Using generations-old techniques and modern machinery with the highest standards of local production and technology, our cheeses are synonymous with those of traditional Italian farms. Our focus is to produce fresh, distinct quality and ready to consume gourmet cheese,” states managing partner Prateek Mittal.
Started with just a handful of products, Crèmeitalia has ten cheese variants and is continually looking to innovate and expand into new products. Its product portfolio includes Fiordilatte Pizza Cheese, Fiordilatte Bocconcini Cherry Mozzarella, Burrata, Stracciatella, Buffalo Mozzarella, Ricotta, Mascarpone, Scamorza Cheese, and Sour Cream. The products are now available at Foodhall and Nature’s Basket across various cities in India.
Mittal adds, “We have launched exclusive products such as Truffle Burrata, Pesto Burrata, Pickled baby Mozzarella, Truffle Scamorza, and Green Peppercorn Ricotta available at select stores. We are also introducing a few more products such as Mix Herb Mozzarella, Paprika Mozzarella, Black Truffle Mozzarella, and Black Truffe Scamorza.”
No added preservatives & chemicals
Speaking of Crèmeitalia cheese quality, Mittal says, “Milk plays a major role in the consistency and quality of the cheese. Since we use premium quality milk for processing, it helps us achieve the rich and creamy texture of the final product.”
Processed cheese contains additional ingredients such as vegetable oils, salt, food coloring, emulsifiers, or sugar, which may concern the population seeking healthy options. Mittal explains, “Our products are freshly made with no added preservatives or chemicals, thus making it a healthier option. As millennials lead a fast and hectic lifestyle, fresh and healthy food is very important for them today. Ricotta cheese is a good source of nutrients, and our flavored exclusive, Green Peppercorn Ricotta available at Foodhall is surely not worth a miss!”
Expansion to the retail sector
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Crèmeitalia mainly supplied its products to restaurants and hotels. With the hospitality business’s partial shutdown, the company expanded to retail and eCommerce. “The pandemic was truly a shock for everyone. However, these times were truly survival of the fittest. With the right decision at the right time, we shifted our focus and moved into the retail space.”
According to Mittal, the company received an overwhelming response from retail customers. Crèmeitalia is now available across all the major cities and wishes to continue expansion to many more in the future.
R&D and innovation
Mittal mentions that Crèmeitalia has international consultants on board who are always looking to explore something new in the Indian market. “With changing times, we are constantly researching our target markets and with increased localization. We have had an overwhelming response to our products, and the best-sellers are sold out quickly. On customers’ requests, we have also tied up with premium modern and general trade stores and are focusing on expanding in new cities.”
Crèmeitalia believes in testing the waters before launching any new product into the market. He says, “Whenever we launch a new product, we aim to come up with products which are there as a category but are not there as a variant. We are constantly innovating. Globally, there are four thousand varieties of cheese, and India has only around forty-five varieties available.” According to Mittal, the company plans to launch multiple SKUs of natural and unprocessed cheese in the coming years. Being a premium brand, he believes that there is a lot of scope in this sector, as most natural and unprocessed cheeses are currently imported.