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    Dierbergs 'Signature Selections' Feature 18 Premium Wisconsin Cheeses

    The upscale grocer's new premium private label cheese program is a 'masterstroke' in the deli case.

    Dierbergs Markets and Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) have launched a new private label program -- Dierbergs Signature Selections -- that brands a collection of 18 premium, handcrafted cheeses from Wisconsin. Dierbergs, the 23-store St. Louis-area grocer, recently rolled out the program with promotional support from WMMB.

    The exclusive line includes 12 cheeses from Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers, a designation that requires 10 years of cheesemaking experience, an apprenticeship and academic study. For easy identification, each of these cheeses displays the Master's Mark seal in the deli case. Wisconsin is the only location outside of Europe that offers such a master's designation.

    "Dierbergs was eager to offer an exclusive selection of our own cheeses and conducted an exhaustive search to find the right partnership," said David Calandro, Dierbergs' director of foodservice. "We found it in Wisconsin with its award-winning cheeses and support programs from WMMB. This fresh cut deli collection sets us apart in the very important specialty cheese category."

    The selected cheeses are Muenster, Swiss, Baby Swiss, Mild Cheddar, Mild Brick, Farmers, Pepper Jack, Provolone, Colby, Colby Jack, Smokey Cheddar/Swiss, American, Havarti, Whole Milk Mozzarella, Smoked Cheddar, Hot Pepper, Reduced Fat Cheddar, and Reduced Fat Pepper Jack.

    The program is supported with advertising, deli signage, recipe cards, demos and Master Cheesemaker appearances.

    Dierbergs' fresh new focus on premium, freshly sliced deli cheeses is also intended to take advantage of potential gains due to the return of a onetime staple: the brown-bag lunch.  As fuel and food costs rise, and with worsening economic conditions, many workers are now trading in restaurant luncheons for homemade sandwiches and a spot at the work-room lunch table.

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