President Range

Parmalat kills Simonsberg brand: now becoming Président

The Simonsberg cheese brand will soon be no more. Parmalat South Africa has decided to scrap the brand and market the range under its global Président name.

Says the press release:

Président, one of the world’s leading cheese brands, was founded in 1968 in France, by a family committed to crafting the most delectable cheeses for all.

The brand is enjoyed and respected worldwide, which is a testament to Président’s passion for cheese-making, its roots in tradition, and its expertise handed down from one generation to another for over 80 years.

Now, Président looks forward to sharing its passion and know-how as it pairs with a local brand also rich in heritage and tradition.

President Feta CheesePrésident and Simonsberg are both masters of cheese and have experience going back for many years, but apart from the experience they most importantly share the same values and traditions.

Moreover, Président brings a wealth of expertise, not only in cheese-making, but also in the development of cheese categories through consumer education and investment in local markets.

Over the next three years Président will commit to increasing total category spend of cheese in South Africa by approximately 25% in order to further expand consumers’ repertoire of cheeses. Président has succeeded in doing so in more than 147 countries and is now locally produced in over 100 factories, globally.

As Simonsberg becomes part of the Président stable, be assured that President will uphold the quality of this range of award-winning cheeses, as they will continue to be manufactured locally in the Cape, making use of the same quality ingredients and age old cheese-making processes – It’s the same great taste, just a new name.

The new packaging, featuring both Simonsberg and Président logos, will be in-store by the end of September.

The range will continue to consist of the following SKU’s:
(Product, Pack size,  RRSP)
Feta 200g R 31.99, 400g R 44.99
Cream Cheese 230g R 33.99
Camembert/Brie 125g R 29.99
Blue Cheese 100g R 26.99
Cheddar/Gouda/Edam 300g R 44.99

Visit for more information about Président.


Some questions FOODStuff SA put to Andre Mahoney, director of marketing at Parmalat…


How long will the dual branding on the packaging be on shelf?

The purpose of the dual branding is to demonstrate to the consumer that, other than the name change, the product will remain the same. Simonsberg cheese is transferring in name only to Président. 

As from the end of September, the dual branding will feature on packaging across the range. This will be the case for the next 12 months until the transition period is over. Although this period could be longer or shorter depending on consumer reaction, their understanding of the transition and their familiarity with the new branding.  

Why is this happening? Simonsberg has a very strong brand equity in the local specialist cheese market, in fact, Simonsberg, when in the Unilever stable, was instrumental in building interest and demand around speciality cheese, what is the rationale in killing it?

Président is the expert global leader in specialty cheese and has over 50 years of experience in cheese markets across Europe and around the world.

We believe that Simonsberg and Président are a perfect fit as they share the same quality and specialty standards of cheese production.

The opportunity is for the Simonsberg product range to be part of a global product portfolio that allows it to obtain world-wide standards in cheese and gives the brand the opportunity to innovate faster and develop products that have been proven to be world class. 

This will ultimately benefit the consumer who is always looking for great things in the fast moving food industry. At the same time we can continue the local provenance inputs that Simonsberg has always done and combine it with global and regional food trends.

The range of cheeses will still be made locally in the Cape region of South Africa. Taste, quality and prices will remain the same.

Your press release says that “Over the next 3 years Président will commit to increasing total category spend of cheese in South Africa by approximately 25%….” Spend of what?

We will increase overall cheese category spend (media, promotions, communication) by a significant amount from the current base (2016) to a new and increased level of about 25%.

This is measured by AMPS and will, we believe, bring awareness and an opportunity for growth within the cheese category.

What’s happening to the other SKUs in the Simonsberg range not mentioned here? Mozzarella, Cambrieni etc?

The full Simonsberg range is migrating to the Président brand and we believe that will grow the specialty cheese segment in South Africa.

Further to this we believe that an opportunity exists to grow the Italian cheese segment and we are therefore moving Mozzarella to Galbani, the No 1 Italian Cheese brand in the world.

Again as per the Simonsberg migration to Président, it will still be produced in the same way, locally in the Cape.