In 1979, BelGioioso Cheese began crafting sharp provolone using traditional artisan methods and fresh, local milk, said the company’s Sofia Auricchio Krans.

In the decades since, BelGioioso’s line of Italian cheeses has expanded to include more than 30 varieties.

“Our core philosophy remains constant,” Krans said. “Start with fresh, quality ingredients, use traditional artisan methods, create flavorful cheeses.”

Another thing that makes BelGioioso’s Italian cheeses stand out, she added, is the company does its own packaging, so it’s able to cut, slice and wrap cheeses to specific customer requests.

One of the newcomers to the BelGioioso lineup is Stracciatella Burrata Filling.

“Chefs and consumers are really loving the ease of use and it’s fresh, creamy flavor,” Krans said.

Another new cheese, Crescenza-Stracchino, recently won multiple first place awards in cheese contests. The variety is soft and spreadable and boasts a distinct creamy flavor with a “hint of tangy goodness,” Krans said.

Crescenza-Stracchino is delicious melted on a pizza or piadina, or spread on breakfast bagels and fresh focaccia, she added.

Bel Gioioso has also created a Fresh Mozzarella sliced log for baking. It’s a lower moisture version specially formulated for cooking, Krans said, with the same fresh flavor the company’s customers love. 

“Melt into a sandwich, pizza or into a baked pasta dish. It’s the next best addition to any retailer’s deli cheese case and currently available to order.”

Consumers and chefs are also increasingly recognizing and loving the quality of BelGioioso’s Blue and Gorgonzola cheeses, Krans said.

“They’re really perfect for those indulgent moments, on cheeseboards and for sauces in pasta or on grilled meats and vegetables.”

The blue-veined cheeses are carefully crafted to deliver an earthy flavor that, Krans said, will “leave you with a delicious memory of a good blue cheese.”

One trend BelGioioso is closely tracking is the demand for smaller-sized packaging, which is being driven, Krans said, by both higher food costs and smaller households.

Current offerings from the company that meet this need are 4-ounce thermoform packages of Fresh Mozzarella and a four-once Burrata ball.

“You can consume the whole package at once, no waste,” Krans said.

 BelGioioso is the No. 1 retail brand of Fresh Mozzarella and Burrata, in terms of both share and annual growth, according to the company.

And while household penetration for the entire category has been declining over the last year, BelGioioso’s Fresh Mozzarella household penetration is growing.

BelGioioso is also the No. 1 retail brand of Blue Cheese/Gorgonzola, with growth far outpacing the category.

“Imported Italian cheese is down 13.4% in volume in 2023 – giving lots of opportunity for BelGioioso’s domestically made alternative,” according to the company.

This article is an excerpt from the January 2024 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire Italian Cheese feature and more in the digital edition here.