Quality cheese products for South Africa

For over a decade, Lancewood has been producing quality, healthy cheese products to the South African market. With free range cows that roam freely amongst pastures, the company makes their award winning cheeses. When Lancewood started it concentrated on soft cheeses such as cream cheeses and cottage cheeses but has expanded to a wide variety of cheese products in recent years. In 2008, the company was bought by a larger company and switched from Lancewood Cheese Pty Ltd. to Lancewood Holdings Pty Ltd.

Products

Lancewood produces and sells a variety of cheese products from cream cheeses to hard cheeses in a variety of flavours. For the company, cream cheese is the flagship for the Lancewood range. Leon Conradie, COO of Lancewood says, “Our cream cheese has won several awards for quality over the years.”

Lancewood cream cheese comes in a variety of flavours including plain, smoked salmon, sweet chilli, smoked ham and spring onion and chives. The company website states, “This is what makes a real American cheesecake, and can be used in a multitude of other applications, including making delicious sauces for pasta, vegetable dishes or in pâtés. Our cream cheese contains no preservatives and is available in low fat.”

The company also has a variety of cottage cheese flavours and textures. Its Creamed Smooth Cottage Cheese contains 15 per cent fat and is a softer texture than their cream cheeses while its Chunky Cottage Cheese has a larger curd and is available in low and fat-free varieties. Its Smooth Cottage Cheese has five per cent fat and is also available fat-free.

Lancewood also offers a variety of dips in flavours such as sour cream and chive and sweet red pepper as well as cream products such as Crème Fraiche and mascarpone. Its hard cheese offerings include options such as cheddar, mozzarella and gouda.

Lancewood sells its products through different markets and big-name stores. “We are differentiating ourselves by growing the Lancewood brand in the retail industry. We sell through a number of stores including Pick and Pay and Shoprite Checkers,” says Conradie. “We also sell into the food services industry and the food manufacturing industry where our products are used as components.”

Free range cows and quality

Lancewood puts high emphasis on the quality of its products and uses the finest ingredients for its cheeses. The milk it uses is from free-range cows. The Jersey herds are treated humanely and graze the farms of the Garden Route. Conradie says, “Our cattle are not housed in-doors or in pens.” The result of this is healthy, creamy milk that is used in Lancewood’s products.

Lancewood’s factory in George is situated close to Garden Route Farms where the milk is attained so there is virtually no travel time, assuring milk stays fresh.

“The farms are located within 300 kilometers from the factory. Because we produce a concentrated product it’s important for us to be near the source of milk.” Once the company gets the milk from the farms, the cheese products are produced in its factory in George and then transported to the market.

Goals and standouts

Being the second largest hard cheese manufacturer in South Africa, the company always has goals of improvement. It is on top of trends in the market and watches costs internationally. “Cheese prices are very competitive and we have to watch the international market at all times,” says Conradie.

The company has already won several Qualité Awards for its soft cheeses. The awards are given to the best in South African Dairy and is a symbol of outstanding quality.

The company also takes its social responsibility very seriously and Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment is high on the priority list. “Lancewood complies with this and we are always looking to improve our score and work towards our goals of high BBBEE standards.”

Since 2008, the company has been making enormous progress and has continued to grow throughout the years. “We’ve grown in every aspect of the company and we look forward to growing significantly in the future.” Conradie notes that Lancewood is hoping to double the company’s growth in the next five years. With standout cheeses and a number of awards under its belt, Lancewood has built a respectable reputation as one of South Africa’s top cheese producers.