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07/21

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Cheese From Around the World Makes Sam’s Club Home
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Bentonville, AR—July 21, 2010— Cheese is one of the world’s favorite foods and Sam’s Club is adding more than a dozen internationally acclaimed varieties to its fresh department. Some of the finest artisan cheese products from England, France, Ireland, Italy and Spain will begin to arrive in select Sam’s Club locations in August, and in the coming months.

Sam’s Club expects to offer the new imported cheeses in more than 150 clubs late this fall. The additional product will include both regular and special seasonal items to complement Sam’s Club domestic cheese offering, which includes sliced deli cheese as well as hard and soft cheeses.

“Consumers are hungry for new food products because they are experimenting more with food at home and see it as form of entertainment,” said Shawn Baldwin, vice president, Fresh and Deli, Sam’s Club. “We have identified some of the highest quality European brands and will be bringing them to the U.S. for the first time. These family owned operations are thrilled to serve Sam’s Club members.”

Some of the most notable imports include Parmiagiano Reggiano, a prestigious Italian Cheese that is aged for a minimum of two years and the Irish Dairy Board’s  Ballyshannon Cheddar.

Many of the imported cheeses at Sam’s Club are D.O.P certified (Product Denominazione of Origin) to ensure the quality and production methods meet exact standards, and that the product is developed only in the region specified. In addition to verifying authenticity, by working with its suppliers, Sam’s Club can identify the exact production of many of the imported cheeses, bringing greater visibility from the farm, to the manufacturer, to the club, which is another step in ensuring superior quality and consistency.

In an effort to source the best product for its members, Sam’s Club buyers visit supplier facilities to inspect the production process. In addition, Sam’s Club uses a test kitchen and sensory lab at its home office to sample products, and give suppliers feedback about how to improve them.

According to a study in 2009, Sam’s Club was found to save its Members on average 30.4 percent on frequently purchased product categories for home and personal use versus grocery and specialty retailers.  Sam’s Club expects to pass on similar savings of 30 to 50 percent on the new imported cheeses when compared to like product sold at other grocery or specialty stores.

For a list of the new imported cheeses, click here.

Read Lori Lange’s blog at www.recipegirl.com about her experience touring Italy with Sam’s Club during the cheese selection process.