The dairy aisle is getting a shakeup with the launch of RifRaf Ricotta Cups, a ricotta cheese snack. Combining spoonable, lightly cultured whole milk ricotta and a sidecar of adventurously flavored jams and honeys, RifRaf is positioned to upset an otherwise uniform yogurt category.
The concept for RifRaf Ricotta Cups came to David Eisenman, CEO of Brooklyn-based creative agency Madwell, by accident.
“Believe it or not, RifRaf came to me as I was making lasagna in my kitchen, eating spoonfuls of ricotta cheese and thinking how well this would pair with honey,” said Eisenman.
Eisenman immediately shared the idea with longtime friend and business partner Chris Sojka. “He talked me into buying a pint of ricotta to see what’s out there, and I instantly thought it would be something exceptional to snack on,” said Sojka.
Confident there was an opportunity to give consumers a new take on a snackable dairy product, the two tapped chef Will Hickox to help bring that vision to life. With his background in recipe development and years of experience in the restaurant industry, including a notable position at Blue Hill, Hickox too recognized that the category was ripe for something refreshing.
“One of the reasons RifRaf is such an innovative idea is because if you look at CPG trends over the last few years, they tend to mimic the restaurant industry,” says Hickox. “That industry can obviously move much quicker, so you see this trickle-down effect of things starting out at a fine- dining level—premium ricotta being served as appetizers or desserts with different garnishes—and then moving to conventional dining. Once they’re accepted in conventional dining, they can launch into the CPG world.”
The team spent months perfecting the texture and flavor of the ricotta. The result: a fresh, fine-curd texture with a subtly salty-sweet ricotta base that can easily pair with a whole range of curated jams and honeys, including some of the savory flavors consumers might experience in a restaurant.
RifRaf Ricotta Cups will launch with five inaugural flavors: Serrano Pepper Honey, Wildflower Honey, Sun-Dried Tomato, Strawberry Balsamic, and Meyer Lemon, in 4.6-ounce cups. The ricotta cups will be available for a suggested retail price of $3.39.