Switzerland’s Cheese Purists Are Not Impressed By Microwave Fondue

Come, dear readers, and gather round for a tale of a land far away where the the people eat seven times more cheese than the rest of the world on average. In that magical-sounding, yet very real place, getting people to eat more cheese — when the country is already at peak cheese — is a very real problem for the industry.

Stagnant sales in the country’s home market are pushing Switzerland’s biggest dairy company to pull out some new tricks in the cheese aisle, Bloomberg reports: Emmi AG is trying to get the Swiss to eat microwaveable fondue, and dairy purists are up in arms.

The Swiss know their cheese, consuming 28 pounds of cheese per person each year. But with such a high cheese intake, it’s increasingly difficult to see any growth in the industry.

So, the company is planning to debut its All-in-One Fondü kit in Switzlerland next year, Chief Executive Officer Urs Riedener said. You may be familiar with the product, as the $15 set has been on sale in the U.S. since last year.

Cheap foreign cheese is also in the mix, vying for consumers’ dollars, either with imports coming into the country or the Swiss hopping across borders to visit cheesy neighbors like France and Germany.

Emmi thinks this microwave cheese could be the trick, considering promising sales in the U.S.

“We have to move away from that Swiss mountain chalet atmosphere, because it’s a bit old-fashioned,” Riedener said. “The trend was that fondue had become very boring and you had to have the equipment.”

The Swiss, however, are a bit suspicious.

“I wouldn’t buy it and think it’s blasphemy,” said one cheese-eater. “Cozily sitting together around the fondue pot is just as much the experience as the cheese.”

The Swiss Are Outraged Over a New Microwave Fondue [Bloomberg]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.