A cheese advent calendar, that sparked a global frenzy three years ago, is back with 24 flavours – including Wensleydale with gingerbread.
Food blogger Annem Hobson, 30, from London, who runs food blog So Wrong It’s Nom, created the UK’s first ever advent calendar with slithers of different cheeses behind every window in 2016, after getting frustrated at the lack of festive cheese offerings at the supermarkets.
However when she posted a blog showing how anyone can make one at home she wasn’t expecting that her idea and #CheeseNotChoc to go viral – with 11,000 signing up to support her in just 4 days.
She officially launched the calendar two years ago and ASDA revealed that it was a bestseller year. This year the calendar has 24 doors seven different types of cheese.
Food blogger Annem Hobson, 30, from London, who runs food blog So Wrong It’s Nom, created the UK’s first ever advent calendar with slithers of different cheeses behind every window in 2016, after getting frustrated at the lack of festive cheese offerings at the supermarkets
The Food blogger told Femail: ‘I’m an independent food blogger, and came up with the idea for a Cheese Advent Calendar a few years ago. I wrote instructions on how people could DIY make their own after identifying a gap in the market.’
After trending on Facebook for more than two days and garnering celebrity support from the likes of Emma Bunton and Zooey Deschanel, over 11,000 people signed up to give the campaign their support in four days alone.
It was there that the trend of the Cheese Calendar was born, taking her idea from a small prototype and turning it into a global sensation that’s melted everyone’s hearts.
The power of storytelling was ever real as people all over the world were eating up her how-to-create a cheese advent calendar post.
After trending on Facebook for more than two days and garnering celebrity support from the likes of Emma Bunton and Zooey Deschanel, over 11,000 people signed up to give the campaign their support in four days alone. The finished product and her new Advent calendar for the year
This year the calendar, which has 24 doors and pieces of cheese behind it, will be available at national supermarkets and costs from £8
An insightful video also shows how Annem’s calendar was made – showing the big lumps off cheese coming off the conveyor belt and her trying them.
She went on to say: ‘With zero background in the cheese industry, I spent a year figuring out how to pitch dairies, retailers, find packaging companies, understand contracts and more.
‘I’m proud to say the Cheesemas dream came true, and last year Asda reported it was the number one best selling advent calendar across all categories, even outselling chocolate ones.
Annem also went on to say: ‘Thousands of people have supported my #CheeseNotChoc campaign, and I’m so proud of how far the Cheese Advent Calendar has come.
‘Not only are we adding more cheeses this year, but I’m finally unveiling my latest invention: The Cheese Cracker!’
The new calendar (pictured centre) is a far cry from her homemade one (right) which she used a Dairy Milk advent calendar as a base
‘I shared a prototype of this last year, and nearly 4,000 people sent in their feedback on how to bring the idea to life. I’m so proud of what we’ve created and couldn’t have done it without the support of the cheese lovin’ fanbase!’
It’s a far cry from her homemade one which she used a Dairy Milk advent calendar as a base – she removed all the chocolates and found cookie cutters that fitted the small moulds.
Before she started cutting out cheese shapes, she made sure to check that the cheeses she was using had a long use-by date that expired after December 24.
She also wrapped her cheese shapes once they were been cut out in clingfilm to keep them fresh enough to last until Christmas Eve.
Once the cheese shapes wee wrapped in clingfilm, Annem popped them into the plastic tray from the old chocolate container.
The advent calendar, which must be kept refrigerated, also has 7 varieties of cheese including Jarlsberg and Applewood
For the box she drew around the Dairy Milk box onto a bright yellow sheet of card, before cutting out 24 flaps.
To decorate, she drew giant cheese holes onto her advent calendar so the whole box looked like a giant slab of cheese.
The final stage was for her to draw numbers on the flaps before folding and glueing together.
Annem officially launched the calendar (pictured) last year and ASDA revealed that it was a bestseller
The Cheese Advent Calendar this year will be available to buy in ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Ocado, Waitrose, Lidl and Booths nationwide from November and cost £8-£10 for 24 pieces of individually wrapped cheese.
The advent calendar, which must be kept refrigerated, also has 7 varieties of cheese which includes Jarlsberg, Applewood, Ilchester Mature Cheddar, Ilchester Red Leicester Cheese, Ilchester® Wensleydale with cranberries, Ilchester Edam, Limited Edition Ilchester Wensleydale with Gingerbread, Mexicana and Double Gloucester.