Wal-Mart stores across southern Idaho have begun carrying cheeses from a Rexburg creamery this week, according to the state agriculture department.
Nelson-Ricks Creamery will provide cheddar, mozzarella and other varieties.
“The brand is “Idaho Cheese,” says Idaho Preferred program manager Leah Clark. “When you look at it in the case, it’s got a big State of Idaho and “Idaho Cheese” and then the variety. It’s a big, white, plain, not pretty label.”
Idaho is the third-largest cheese producer in the U.S., but much of the cheese produced in the state is sold elsewhere, with no designation that says where it came from. “Our goal was to help Idaho consumers support Idaho’s dairy industry by being able to buy local cheese,” Clark explains.
The first order to stock 16 southern Idaho stores was for 40,000 pounds, and Clark anticipates that orders may total about 10,000 pounds weekly. There’s also a possibility that other stores will start carrying the product.
“There’s seven additional Wal-Mart stores in the northern part of the state that are anxious to get it into their stores, but we haven’t quite got the distribution figured out,” Clark says. “That will be the next step. And then there could be some interest from other retailers if this is a successful effort in one retail chain.”
The agriculture department’s press release is available here.