US – A new snack range that features cheese is coming to the US market thanks to a partnership between American Cheese Company Sargento Foods and global snack and food company Mondelēz International.

The new snack range pairs Sargento cheeses with Ritz, Triscuit and Wheat Thins crackers and comes in four combinations, each containing 7-9g of protein and up to 170 calories per serving.

In the new range, Sargento will combine Pepper Jack and Colby Jack natural cheeses with Ritz Mini Crackers while Gouda and sharp cheddar natural cheeses will be combined with Triscuit Mini Original Crackers.

Monterey Jack and mild cheddar natural cheeses will be paired with Wheat Thins Mini Original Snacks while low-moisture mozzarella and fontina natural cheeses will go with Wheat Thins Mini Sundried Tomato & Basil Flavored Snacks.

“We want to provide snackers with even more variety and convenience, and we know that fans of both Sargento and our partnership brands will have their taste buds ‘wowed’ by these new flavour combinations,” said Nikki Mamuric, director of marketing at Sargento Foods.

“For more than 65 years Sargento has led innovation in the cheese category and we’re excited to add these products alongside existing favourites in our Balanced Breaks product line.”

Sargento Balanced Breaks Cheese & Crackers Snacks come in packs of three single-serve snack trays and can be found online and at major retailers in the US.

“We want to provide snackers with even more variety and convenience, and we know that fans of both Sargento and our partner brands will have their taste buds ‘wowed’ by these new flavour combinations.”

Nikki Mamuric, director of marketing at Sargento Foods

Last year, Sargento Foods expanded its Reserve Series product line with the introduction of a range of cheese slices.

Founded in 1953 in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sargento is a leading cheese maker with over 2,000 employees and net sales of $1.5 billion.

The company prides itself to be the one that successfully introduced America to pre-packaged sliced and shredded natural cheeses and cheese blends.

Today, it manufactures and market amazing shredded, sliced, and snack natural cheese products, as well as ingredients and sauces.

The new line joins the brand’s portfolio of products, including Balanced Breaks® and Sweet Balanced Breaks® snacks

Law suit on “no antibiotics” claims

The line comes at a time when the cheese producer is facing two lawsuits which assert that “no antibiotics” claims on Sargento’s cheese products mislead consumers into thinking that the cows that produced the milk used in the cheeses are never treated with antibiotics.

Sargento’s labels include a disclaimer that “no antibiotics” means that “our cheese is made from milk that does not contain antibiotics.”

The claims in the litigation alleging false advertising rely on a 2018 publication from Consumer Reports that says a majority of consumers believe a “no antibiotics” statement on a food label means that animals producing the food never received antibiotics.

As such, a reasonable consumer would be misled by Sargento’s “no antibiotics” claim, despite the disclaimer.

The suits also allege that one Sargento cheese product did present detectable levels of sulfamethazine, an antibiotic that is prohibited from use in lactating dairy cattle.

Sargento has not yet responded to either lawsuit.

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