The company is on course to grow sales to £3M in 2017, following the signing of a three-year deal to make the Guinness-branded product at its facility in Wincanton, Somerset, md Melvin Glynn claimed.
Glynn, who played a lead role in the creation of Guinness-branded crisps when md at Burts Chips, said the cheese would contain real Guinness in a concentrated form.
“Blending Guinness in its liquid state makes the cheese too soft, so we worked with flavourings firm Symrise to create a concentrated version, which is like a syrup,” he said.
‘Deliver the taste’
“We then add in some of the powder used to make the crisps, and together they deliver the taste while keeping the cheddar firm.”
Production of the Guinness Mature Cheddar brand will begin in September, and Glynn said the product would also be available in bite-sized chunks, aimed at the snacking market.
“Ilchester makes a beer-flavoured cheese, and there are some whisky variants out there. But, apart from that, there’s nothing I know of that is branded,” he said.
“This isn’t any sort of gimmick, it’s truly a Guinness cheese made that delivers a real Guinness flavour.”
‘Delivers a real Guinness flavour’
Glynn bought Windyridge in 2012, and relocated the business to a 1,500m2 site last October. It sources all of its cheese from Wyke Farms, which has a packing operation across the road.
Windyridge-branded cheese is primarily sold through wholesalers, while Wyke Farms handles export sales. Glynn said the Guinness deal, together with a British Retail Consortium accreditation – which he hoped would be secured by September – would enable the business to attack the retail market.
“It was my idea to tie-up with Guinness while at Burts, and that deal nearly doubled their turnover in the first year. Our deal could double or even possibly treble our turnover,” he said.
“Linking with such a big company was quite a big coup. Diageo could have worked with any of the big cheddar producers, but they chose us. They certainly have high hopes for the product, and so do we.”
Meanwhile, read more about Windyridge Cheese in the July edition of Food Manufacture's flagship series Me and My Factory.