A group of Kraft brands has risen to the top of a peer group of fine international cheeses at the recent biannual World Championship Cheese Contest, the largest competition in the world of its kind. Kraft took home three medals, including two gold and one bronze. The international panel of expert judges awarded Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar the gold medal in the Medium Cheddar category, defined as three to six months of aging. Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese scored a gold medal in the Spreadable Cheese category, while Polly-O took home a bronze in the Fresh Mozzarella category.
Among thousands of entries from 22 countries, Cracker Barrel’s Sharp Cheddar also placed in the judges’ overall Top 16 selection, alongside small-batch artisanal entries from France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Portugal, as well as the U.S.’s own capitals of small-batch cheese-making, Wisconsin and Vermont.
According to George Zoghbi, president of Kraft’s cheese and dairy business, “Kraft has a rich heritage of making cheese dating back 100 years, and we’re thrilled a panel of international judges has formally confirmed what our fans already know—that we consistently deliver distinctive, high-quality, world-class cheese, even when compared to artisanal counterparts from around the world.”
Cracker Barrel’s cheddar cheese varieties have been awarded in top cheese competitions around the world for years, also winning a gold medal in the Sharp Cheddar category at the last World Championship Cheese Contest in 2012. Cracker Barrel has taken home more than 250 awards at the regional, national and international levels for its distinctive quality.
Kraft notes this year’s award for Cracker Barrel affirms the quality and consistency behind the brand’s 2014 campaign, which celebrates the creamy and bold qualities that give Cracker Barrel its taste: Cracker Barrel sharp as well as Cracker Barrel extra sharp are renowned for combining cream for extra smoothness with a unique aging process for bold sharpness.
For its part, Philadelphia received a gold medal for its Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese just before the brand announced it was adding even more real fruits such as whole, juicy blueberries, vine-ripened strawberries and crisp vegetables, such as diced carrots, red peppers and onions to its leading cream cheese spreads—of which 22 varieties contain no artificial flavors.
Polly-O Mozzarella placed as the top finishing classic fresh mozzarella log in the competition overall. Kraft says the awards for Polly-O speak to the tradition of quality, fresh mozzarella brought to the U.S. more than a century ago by founder Giuseppe Pollio.