Mars Cheese Company unveiled its long-term vision for the future of dairy that extends decades beyond its current 35-year history of providing Iowa’s favorite cheese snack.
Reduced waste, responsible farming and sustainability at the center of the five-point “Passport to Cheese” program, which kicks off July 14 with an inaugural World’s Best Cheese award for Mars Cheese’s mouthwatering selection of 38 different cheeses.
Competition begins in earnest with a program of weekly competitions at Mars Cheese Country stores across Iowa featuring cheese molds, wooden cases, a belt with a handle and curling mold that illustrates the precise and thorough evaluation of the innovative selection of tastebuds.
The 1,000 most prestigious entries selected by the voting public will be submitted to the category “Where the World’s Best Cheese Is Made.” The category’s category winners and runners-up will be announced in June 2021.
When they win the award, the distinguished participants of the Passport to Cheese will be rewarded with five-year access to year-round van and truck travel to showcase and distribute their wares, celebrating their creativity in all aspects of their businesses from making, to marketing, to packaging and retailing.
“The Classiest Place for Cheese will be a world-class destination for all things cheese in 2021,” said Mars Cheese Country Chairman Sam Hale, emphasizing the importance of reaching Iowans through their out-of-state neighbors. “Our goal is to gain new customers through an expanded trade presence in the Midwest, and through hosting and celebrating five years of innovative cheese, we’ll do it in grand style.”
The Passport to Cheese is an open book, so all interested parties — retailers, wholesalers, chefs, restaurateurs, agribusinesses, educators, interested but limited individuals — are welcome to join the program.
“Our aim is to fill an emotional gap in the retail cheese market for consumers. Today, the cheese category is very homogenous, allowing consumers to get cheese if they love it and not if they just know it’s good,” said Chuck Miller, Mars Cheese Country Brand Manager. “Each week, the World’s Best Cheese program will be inviting customers who aren’t very familiar with cheese to learn the fine art of cheese tasting and excitement — an important ‘experience.’ It’s an investment we believe will pay off in the long run.”