Despite having a distinct flavor, feta cheese is an extremely versatile ingredient for salads, charcuterie boards, entrées and more.
Feta also typically has lower amounts of lactose than other dairy products and can be a safer option for a lactose-intolerant consumer, especially when the cheese is made from sheep or goat milk.
Quentin Wright-McDuffie, brand manager at Fairfield, N.J.-based Schuman Cheese, said that most feta cheese made in the United States is from cow’s milk and has a milder taste.
Schuman’s DODONI brand makes its feta cheese in the Epirus region of Greece, where the same methods have been used since as far back as the eighth century B.C., according to the company.
“DODONI Feta is made exclusively from goat and sheep’s milk from herds grazing on this lush landscape, where over 2,500 herbs grow wild in an industry-free oasis untouched by pollution,” Wright-McDuffie said.
According to Wright-McDuffie, DODONI adheres to strict rules in the milk type and production methods of its feta cheese in order to maintain its Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) label that assures consumers the cheese was made directly in mainland of Greece’s geographical area.
“Products with PDO status are regulated, meaning you can be sure of the authenticity and quality of our cheese, centered on our time-honored production methods,” Wright-McDuffie said.
This regulation also helps the company build trust with its retailers and gives them another selling point to highlight in stores.
“We’ve invested in building a foundational understanding of the benefits of a PDO-style feta,” Wright-McDuffie said. “The goal is to work with our retailers to consistently influence purchasing decisions by creating pre- and in-store moments. In addition, we’ve built a consistent in-store presence with education/usage tips to drive equity.”
Part of that in-store education can be focused on nutrition, as health remains a big trend in 2023.
“Feta is a cheese of high nutritional value and relatively low in fat and calories,” Wright-McDuffie said. “In addition, feta contains B-complex vitamins and calcium.”
Feta cheese can also add a ton of flavor to an otherwise boring salad and be helpful for consumers who are wanting to increase their vegetable intake.
Wright-McDuffie suggests for consumers to try a simple snack of baby spinach and DODONI Feta with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. He also said that feta cheese pairs well with many fruits, especially watermelon.
“The combination might seem surprising, the pairing of juicy sweet melon with salty, crumbly Greek feta,” he explained.
Retailers can easily create cross-promotion by demoing combinations of produce items and feta cheese that consumers may not think to try on their own.
“Our team utilizes both in-store and digital activities,” Wright-McDuffie said. “Demos are the best tool to drive trial among current/new feta consumers.”
DODONI uses social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook (@DODONI.USA) to share the benefits of feta with consumers, and Wright-McDuffie said the company’s updated website features newly developed recipes and a ‘Where to Buy’ Destini Product Finder that makes it easy for consumers to find a retail store selling DODONI products near them.
As for packaging, Wright-McDuffie highlighted that DODONI’s tubs have resealable lids that make it easy for consumers to keep the cheese fresh longer.
DODONI’s available feta product SKUs are the following:
- DOD1045 - Dodoni Greek Feta - 400G In Brine-Ew Tubs
- DOD1193 - Dodoni Greek Feta 200G Vacuum Pack-Exact Weight
- DOD1393 - PDO Crumbled Greek Feta
- 881534 - PDO Crumbled Barrel Aged Feta - 5oz Cup
Feta finds at Wegmans
Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans is one of many supermarket retailers carrying DODONI Feta products, among many other feta choices for consumers.
In fact, Wegmans offers so many feta cheese options that Wegmans stores have refrigerated cases in their cheese sections completely dedicated to feta products.
Those cases are primarily filled with Wegmans’ private label cheeses, including the following 10 products:
- Crumbled, Plain, Family Pack
- Crumbled, Plain
- In Brine, Plain
- Crumbled, Plain, Fat Free
- Crumbled, Mediterranean Herb
- Organic Crumbled, Plain
- Crumbled, Tomato & Basil
- Organic in Brine, Plain
- French Feta in Brine (Avg. 0.5lb)
- French Feta, Crumbled (Avg. 0.5lb)
Other feta cheese options at Wegmans are Schuman Cheese’s Pastures of Eden Israeli Feta Cheese and Malone, Wis.-based LaClare Family Creamery Feta Cheese.