The dairy section in a US grocery store is usually packed with different brands of yogurts, cheeses, and milk, but is there room for a new product that does not fall under any of these categories? Quark is a cultured dairy hybrid with a spoonable consistency that is well known in Europe and Asia. However, in America, this product is relatively unheard of, making it a challenge for quark brand, Misha, to find its place in the crowded dairy aisle.
New York-based entrepreneur and founder of Misha, Kamilya Abilova, plans on introducing her grass-fed quark product line to the US under a new name, Wünder Creamery. Although quark is being sold by US companies such as Vermont Creamery in larger tubs, Misha LLC and Elli Quark are the only two players in the US market selling grab-and-go quark products. This positions Wünder Creamery at an advantage when it comes to product competition.
According to Abilova, the biggest challenge she is facing is introducing this new product to US consumers as a dairy snack. Many consumers believe yogurts, cheeses and milk products are the only products under the dairy category, which makes it hard to describe quark to them. Quark being similar to yogurt and cottage cheese, is neither product because it is fermented using different cultures. The product is high in protein (15 grams per serving) and low in fat, which Abilova can use to her marketing advantage.
Through product testing, Abilova found that consumers really enjoy quark, although they commonly compare it to yogurt. This serves as motivation and a challenge for the entrepreneur who is trying to make quark a household name. She is currently using the confusion to her advantage by positioning her product as “Weird & Wünderful Quark.”
Her product packaging reads: “Quark is a dairy anomaly – it refuses to be put in a box. It’s a celebration of the unique. The real. The delicious. Think non-tart yogurt meets rich creme fraîche. A natural creamy, good-for-your-guts snack like no other.”
Wünder Creamery was introduced at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco between Jan. 21 – 23. If Abilova’s marketing finds success, quark may become the next big product in the US dairy industry. Wünder Creamery’s new product advantage might not last long though, as many manufacturers are looking for new and innovative products that appeal to the growing number of health-focused consumers.