For many of us, a good way to enjoy the weekend is to grab an oven-baked pizza topped with a layer of cheese. India has a rapidly growing exotic cheese market owing to the wide Western influence and inflating disposable incomes. Moreover, cheese manufacturers introduce several flavored cheese products to cater to the evolving tastes and consumers' preferences, such as pepper, garlic, red chili flakes, and oregano pickle. According to IMARC Group's estimates, the Indian cheese market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.80% during 2021-2026.
Mumbai-based Cremeitalia, a gourmet Italian cheese producer, started its journey in 2018 to bring the goodness of fresh and authentic cheese right to the consumers' table. Co-founders Prateek Mittal and Rajas Dhote spent over a year researching cheese and its processes before establishing their brainchild Cremeitalia and have created an ingredient (cheese) for people to cook exquisite dishes such as lasagne and ravioli within the comfort of their homes. According to founders, Cremeitalia is a bold, authentic, premium cheese brand that believes in using the best quality ingredients to provide you with a rich, creamy textured cheese.
Sharing about the brand's journey and its USP, Mittal says, "Cremeitalia started with HoReCa and later entered into the retail business. Being made from premium quality milk sets our products apart from the rest of the dairy market. Cremeitalia has carved its niche in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Gujarat, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Goa by being available in local chain stores in just over two years."
Started with just a handful of products, Cremeitalia now has a huge product portfolio comprising fresh cheese like Burrata, Bocconcini, Cherry Mozzarella, Sour cream, Natural cream cheese, Mascarpone. It also has a range of smoked, Black Truffle Scamorza and flavored cheese blocks. Mittal adds, "People have shown love and welcomed us with open arms, and that's why we were able to launch and deliver in multiple cities even during the pandemic as well. We have introduced products like Natural cream cheese, which does not have emulsifying salt or preservatives."
Natural, preservative-free cheese
Speaking of the quality, Mittal claims, "Our cheese is free from any external chemicals, preservatives, flavor, and coloring. The brand presents customers with consistently natural, fresh, healthy, and delicious cheese. We use premium quality milk that makes our product creamier. Moreover, we use the latest technology combined with age-old recipes to get the best quality. We don't have any processed cheese in our portfolio."
Cremeitalia very well understands consumers' preferences and evolving tastes. Therefore, the brand focuses on innovation with new combinations and flavors. Dhote explains, "Well, as people are more open to trying new products, we can easily adapt flavors to our range of products. We have fresh products; therefore, it gives us the freedom to try new things and, if they don't work well, we remove them from our portfolio. We use traditional cheese-making techniques to get the best taste for our products."
Work and adapt better
Like many other businesses, during the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cremeitalia also faced many disruptions. Speaking of which Mittal shares, "We faced many disruptions, but along with this, we had new learnings. This pandemic has helped us to explore better opportunities with limited resources. We were majorly into HORECA supplies, and the pandemic forced us to pivot into retail and online. We feel this has made us think, work and adapt better."
Cremeitalia started in Mumbai initially and now it has 150 retail stores in 14 cities across India. "We are now focusing on eCommerce business and want to deliver fresh products directly to its customers' doorsteps. Our eCommerce business is also growing strong each passing day. We will soon launch cheeses and more that our customers will truly enjoy as we aim to become the one-stop Cheese Shop in India for gourmet cheese,” Mittal concludes.