Does cheese in Hong Kong need to be so expensive?
Hong Kong is cool and all, but where’s the cheese at? We might be exaggerating, there is cheese in this great city, but it’s expensive and hard to get the really good stuff.
The lack of access to cheese in Hong Kong is particularly grating if you’ve migrated here from Europe. After a lifetime of some of the world’s best cheese, you enter into the realms of expensive, mediocre cheese. What you’d have paid a few pounds or euro for in your home country is now hundreds of Hong Kong dollars and barely worth it.
We’re not here to traumatize you with fanciful dreams of delicious cheese. Instead, we want to tell you some insider knowledge, namely:
- Why you pay so much for cheese in Hong Kong
- How to find top quality cheese in the city
- The savvy way to get the cheese you want
- Why cheese is fantastic in general
So you can get the cheesy goodness in your life, or even try out great European cheese for the first time.
Why is cheese so expensive in Hong Kong?
The main reason cheese is so expensive in Hong Kong is that it has to be imported across long distances. Like with most Western foods in the city, cheese has to fly a long way to get here and needs to be refrigerated en route. This makes importing cheese expensive.
You and your friends might be craving a nice chunk of cheddar or a smooth bite of brie, but that doesn’t mean there’s a huge cheese market in Hong Kong. With around 7.5 million people here, only about 690,000 are expats. There are locals who love cheese, too, but the numbers really aren’t on the side of cheese.
When demand is low, supplies aren’t plentiful, and prices are high. Less than half a kilo of cheese is eaten per person per year in Hong Kong, compared to 14.5kg per person per year in France. Without a huge section of the population eating cheese, importers can’t take advantage of economies of scale.
Now we’re done with Cheese Economics 101, let’s talk about where to get hold of the good stuff.
Where can I find good quality cheese in Hong Kong?
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that good cheese ain’t cheap in Hong Kong. But even the good stuff isn’t always easy to come by, no matter how fat your wallet and how huge your camembert cravings are.
Even standard cheese isn’t cheap here. Here at Savvy in Hong Kong, we hate overpaying, and we especially hate paying too much for products that aren’t of good quality. You can expect to pay around $243 for 1kg of Perfect Italiano Parmesan cheese if you go to a lower-priced supermarket, but that’s nearly double what you’d pay in Coles supermarket in Australia for the same product.
You can find gourmet shops and high-end supermarkets stocking cheese, but you can expect to have to pay through the nose for it.
We’re all about being savvy with money in Hong Kong, getting the best quality goods at the right prices. We love cheese, and we’re not going to compromise, so we’ve found a better way to get it.
Where can I buy good value cheese in Hong Kong?
European cheese is available in Hong Kong when you know where to look. After a few years of spending big money on tiny pieces of mediocre tasting cheese, we came across The Cheese Club.
The Cheese Club isn’t a place where we gather each week to gorge on charcuterie. Although wouldn’t that be something? Instead, the Cheese Club utilizes an interesting purchasing model that will allow you to buy cheese at the best prices we’ve found in Hong Kong.
Prices at the Cheese Club are up to half the price of elsewhere in Hong Kong. Check out this comparison table, and you’ll see the value straight away.
|Cheese||Cheese Club Price||Competitor Pricing||Savings|
|Comté 24 months||$30.90/100g||$60.00/100g||48.5%|
|Racelette raw milk||$18.9/100g||$27.30/100g||31%|
Why is Cheese Club so cheap?
The business model that they’ve developed at Cheese Club assures you great quality cheeses without the massive price tags. Basically, they take your order online; you have a week to choose what you want. The Club puts in one bulk order and has it imported to Hong Kong and then delivers your items directly to your door.
With big quantities in bulk, they can purchase directly to producers (from local small farmers but also renowned cheesemongers), saving about 30% on the products’ cost.
Since they’re only bringing in what has been ordered, the company doesn’t have to account for wasted stock. When everything that’s brought in is already purchased, costs are lower and that saving is passed directly on to you, their customer.
Can you imagine a month’s worth of cheese sitting in your fridge? What does a month’s worth of delicious, imported cheese even look like? You might need to experiment.
How do I order with Cheese Club?
You need to head over to their website with this link and join the Cheese Club. It’s completely free to join; you just need to pay for the cheese!
Orders open every month for one week. After orders close, the cheese lands in Hong Kong around ten days later and then gets delivered to everyone who ordered. It’s simple, elegant, and effective, and best of all is a savvy answer to one of your most painful foodie problems in the city.
Placing your initial order gets you free cheese as well. Yup, free cheese. That’s never a bad thing. Use the discount code FIRST ORDER, and you’ll get a free Saint Marcellin, a soft French cheese.
New cheeses become available regularly, and you get emailed before the ordering opens. For a cheese addict, you’re not going to get this standard of cheese at better prices anywhere else in Hong Kong. A lot of the rest of Asia would be jealous of these prices.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Cheese is a great food. The choices are astounding, with seeming every town and village across Great Britain and France producing their own versions. If you’re not feeling convinced, here’s five reasons you should be eating more cheese:
- It can prevent osteoporosis due to its calcium content
- You might get fewer dental cavities because it can prevent erosion
- There’s loads of protein in cheese
- Around 40% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 in a 28-gram chunk
- Your blood pressure can decrease from eating cheese
Did we mention it’s super tasty and an absolute joy to discover? It also goes really well with wine, and we’ve got some great tips for super value wine in Hong Kong.
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