Leave it to a marketing team to turn an interesting study into a branded partnership. Cheez-It has teamed with Pandora to launch “Aged by Audio” crackers, which were purportedly made with 100% real cheese aged to hip-hop music. The limited run will launch on May 26th alongside a mixtape of songs curated by “sonic experts” at Pandora.
The entire campaign was inspired by a 2019 study conducted at the Bern University of the Arts in Switzerland, in which sound arts students teamed up with Burgdorf cheesemaker Käsehaus K3 to test the effect of music on maturing cheeses. A culinary jury assembled for the occasion determined cheese aged to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got)” displayed “a discernibly stronger smell and stronger, fruitier taste” than samples that were played songs like “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin or “The Magic Flute” by Mozart.
With the study in mind, the new Cheez-Its were created with cheese that was supposedly aged for six and a half months to music by “iconic” hip-hop artists. The press release doesn’t name any specific rappers, but considering pioneering radio personality Sway Calloway was involved, the songs likely come from a similar era as A Tribe Called Quest.
As part of the launch, Calloway will host a new YouTube series called Living Legendz in which he will interview “hip-hop icons who’ve changed the industry, providing their thoughts on how hip-hop music has impacted the world — not just our cheese.” In a statement, he added, “Hip-hop has influenced many lives, so I’m looking forward to seeing if fans can taste the effect of the most beloved genre of music in the world on these crackers.”
You can pick up the Aged by Audio crackers — along with Cheez-It branded swag like headphones, bucket hats, and t-shirts — on May 26th at 12:00 p.m. ET here. The mixtape will be directly available on the Pandora website or in the app.