SAY CHEESE: Ashgrove Cheese’s Anne Bennett launching AmazeBalls at the Melbourne Trade Show. Picture: Supplied
If you like cheese with a crunch, then AmazeBalls might be just what your taste buds ordered.
The latest product from Ashgrove Cheese, AmazeBalls is a natural dehydrated snack created from two of Tasmania’s favourite cheeses.
Communications manager Anne Bennett started investigating product ideas that would add value to Ashgrove Cheese’s core dairy product in 2012.
After researching global trends, looking at the market for such a product and plotting how the Tasmanian market would respond to a cheese snack, Ashgrove “went for it”.
“This innovative technology from Canada has allowed us to pop the Ashgrove farm cheese through a dehydration process creating the crunchiest, munchiest balls of cheese you have ever tasted,” Ms Bennett said.
The business likens the popularity of the AmazeBalls product to the rise in other natural snacks, like popcorn, nuts and beef jerky.
Such snacks can now be found at delicatessens and supermarkets, but also petrol stations.
“Every week you might have bought five chocolate bars when you got petrol, but now you might buy three chocolates, a packet of jerky and some nuts,” she said.
AmazeBalls have launched in Tasmania and they are making their way to mainland consumers along the Eastern Seaboard via IGA stores, some major supermarkets, independent retailers and Ashgrove’s online store.
“The interest has been phenomenal. The response has been really good and sales are good.”
“We expect it will take six to 12 months to get to a national level, but we want to see this product throughout Australia,” Ms Bennett said.
Other retailers are coming on board after seeing and sampling AmazeBalls snack at trade shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
“Ashgrove is the only company in Australia that can produce this,” she said.
“It’s exciting not just for Ashgrove, but also for Tasmania.”
AmazeBalls are available in tasty cheddar and havarti flavours and retail for $3.99 per 50-gram packet.