Amidst cries that the dairy industry in the US in “in crisis,” Vermont Farmstead Cheese company has begun shipping in milk from surrounding dairy farms because the approximately 2400 pounds of milk its herds produce each day is not enough to supply its expanding operations. Part of this success can be attributed to its quality cheeses like Lillé Coulommiers and WindsorDale, but part of it comes from the brand cachet of the state of Vermont. Associated with pastoral images of “pristine” farms, Vermont is a growing market force among organic-loving, Whole Foods-shopping consumers.
The state even goes so far as to sponsor meet-and-greets where Whole Foods’ New England “forager”, Lee Kane, can discover new Vermont products. According to Kane, the “enduring success of the Vermont brand” is as much a product of its backstory as of the quality and taste of what it produces.
Even overseas audiences recognize the brand value. When the Irish beverage giant C&C Group purchased the Vermont-grown brand Woodchuck Cider, one of the reasons they were interested was because “Vermont represents a very peaceful life, a green attitude, sustainability.”
Fortunately for those of us who are not Vermonters, the state is hard at work ensuring its artisanal cheeses, meats, wines and spirits make it to our tables.