With annual exports approaching 2,500 tons, Jarlsberg is the most imported cheese in Australia. Half of the cheese that ends up on the dinner tables in Australia comes from Jæren, Elnesvågen and Verdal.
Each Australian consume on average about 100 grams Jarlsberg each year. It makes Australians to the second largest consumer of Jarlsberg per capita - behind Norway.
- Sales and marketing work done in Australia is a good example of how to build a profitable sales and a strong brand abroad, says Executive Vice President for International TINE, Bjørn Moldskred.
TINE's partner in Australia, Cantarella Bros Pty Ltd, has invested a lot of time both in branding and customer relations since Jarlsberg became part of the company’s product range back in the 1960s. During the 90s imports of Jarlsberg surpassed 1,000 tons. In 2010, imports passed 2,000 tons - and now imports are as high as 2,500 tons.
Performance has been good, concludes Moldskred.
1250 tonnes from Norway
This year, over half of the Jarlsberg in Australia comes from Norwegian dairies (the rest comes from the US and Ireland). And most of the exports are from Rogaland and Jæren, in the west of Norway. At the end of 2015, 900 tons of Jarlsberg has been exported from that area.
-It is very exciting to contribute to a global export success - and that we have such a well-known brand in the international market, says dairy manager at TINE dairy Jæren, Espen Schefte.
Around 1300 local cows produce 9 million liters Jæren milk, which reaches the tables in Australia in the shape of Jarlsberg.
Now TINE looks at new opportunities in the country with 24 million inhabitants - and with a standard of living and purchasing power on a par with Norway. As part of these efforts Moldskred visited Australia earlier this year to gain firsthand knowledge of both customers and market.
-More options should be considered. Drinks and products to enhance restitution for athletes (YT), ice coffee and nutrient dense products aimed at seniors are possibilities we have discussed with our business partner, says Moldskred.
12,000 tons in USA
Even though the Australia market is huge, the largest export market is the US, where the cheese is to be found in 90 percent of supermarkets. As much as 12 000 tonnes of Jarlsberg cheese is annually exported to hungry Americans.