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Cheese Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Source (Animal-based and Plant-based), Product Type (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Feta, and Others), Type (Processed, Natural, Block, Spreadable, and Hard & Soft Cheese), Distribution Channel (Supermarkets/Hypermarkets, Specialty Stores, Convenience Stores, and Online Retail), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI104293



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The global cheese market size was USD 120.63 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 123.87 billion in 2021 to USD 161.23 billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.84% during the forecast period (2021-2028). There has been a negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global market, ultimately decreasing the global supply. According to our analysis, the global market exhibited a decrease of 1.38% in 2020. The rise in CAGR during the forecast period is due to the demand for the product across foodservice channels.

This market is witnessing progressive growth due to the rising demand for assorted types of cheese in various food products. The rise in consumption of fast foods, such as pizza, pasta, and burgers, has contributed to the growing demand for mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar. The rapidly evolving foodservice industry and novel food preparations may fuel demand for these items in the coming years.

Supply & Demand Imbalance Globally amid COVID-19 to Hamper Industry Growth

The industry experienced severe disruptions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak due to fluctuating demand. The worldwide lockdowns led to the shutdown of the foodservice industry, significantly reducing the demand for all processed food products. Furthermore, the declining adoption of high-quality products is expected to lower prices. However, increasing adoption of low-cost varieties at wholesale prices from retail outlets for home cooking is expected to balance the supply chain. The re-establishment of the foodservice sector and renewed cheese processing capabilities after the pandemic is expected to flourish in the global market in the upcoming period.

Overnight, wholesale orders for the product from a New York-based company Saxelby Cheesemongers dropped by 70% due to restrictions imposed on food services.


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Emerging Trend of Vegan and Functional Cheese Varieties to Flourish Industry

Healthy eating has increased the demand for functional cheese that adds nutritional value to the product. Cheese is high in proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals. The emerging trend of healthy snacking has fueled demand for snacks, including the product in the retail sector. Furthermore, clean-label milk products gain popularity among consumers attributable to their nutritional and safer counterparts. Organic milk products are becoming mainstream as conventional milk is now associated with harmful chemicals to health. This factor boosts demand for organic cheese varieties. Increasing popularity of vegan diets has significantly boosted the demand for plant-based cheeses made from almond, cashew, or soya milk. For instance, according to a survey conducted by the Good Food Institute Inc., in 2019, the U.S. dollar sales of plant-based cheese have increased by 18% while it only increased by 1% for dairy variant.


Growing Popularity of Flavor Combinations to Propel Market Growth

In recent years, consumer preference for trying new exotic flavors and cuisines has increased considerably. The growing popularity of cheese flavor combinations in various cuisines, such as Italian and Mexican, has accelerated the utilization of different varieties in these cuisines. The rapidly expanding food service sector has necessitated leading product processors for the development of innovative products, such as powder and creamers, which acts as a driving factor. Flavored cheese is one of the emerging categories, fulfilling the modern consumer demand for innovative flavors such as herbal, spiced, and fruit. The industry is flourishing globally with developments and innovations bringing novel products to the retail platform. For example, in June 2019, the Chuckling Cheese Company in the U.K. launched a gin-flavored product to capitalize on the country's growing demand for flavored cheese.

Rising Demand for Specialty Cheese Products to Fuel the Market Growth

The emerging trend of fresh, natural, handmade, specialty, and artisan cheese varieties is gaining popularity among consumers. These varieties are considered to be safer and premium, owing to their natural processing techniques. The growing trend of healthy snacks also positively drives the demand for specialty and artisan cheeses attributed to clean-label and natural ingredients. Advancements and innovations to develop novel flavors and tastes across assorted artisan cheese varieties are further expected to fuel the demand for products. For example, in July 2020, Aldi, a supermarket chain in the U.K., launched a new artisan cheese brand to meet the rising demand for specialty cheese. Lastly, the growing popularity of premium product varieties is anticipated to accelerate market growth during the forecast period.


Growing Awareness Regarding Health Risks Associated with Fat Consumption to Impede Market Growth

The increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related health conditions, such as obesity and diabetes, associated with excessive fat consumption significantly impacts the industry. According to the Global Diabetes Community, U.K., it is estimated that 415 million people had diabetes in 2018 across the world, and the number is expected to rise to 642 million people living with the disease worldwide by 2040. Consumers are inclined toward low-fat diets to prevent these conditions and maintain overall health. Thus, the increasing number of people suffering from health conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, is expected to dampen the overall market growth during the forecast period.


By Source Analysis

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Animal-based Cheese to Dominate Market Share Owing to its Extensive Availability

Animal sources are further segmented into camel, goat, sheep, and cattle. Strong availability of animal-based cheese in comparison with other sources may fuel the segmental growth. Rising acceptance of organoleptic properties of animal-based products is also a major factor contributing to market growth. Further, the milk production capacity by animals is higher compared to plant ingredients, thereby fueling the animal-based segment growth.

The rising trend of consuming vegan foods is expected to create a demand for plant-based cheese. The increasing popularity of plant-based foods, owing to their healthier and safer counterparts further drives the market growth.

By Product Type Analysis

Cheddar Segment to Exhibit Promising Growth Backed by Extensive Product Applications

By product type, the market is segmented into mozzarella, feta, parmesan, cheddar, and others.

Among all types of products, cheddar exhibits strong sales performance, owing to its extensive applications and adoption in a slew of cuisines and food products. Robust demand for exotic cuisines, such as pizza and pasta, across the foodservice sector may propel the segmental growth. Moreover, the rapidly expanding food industries globally contributes to the increased adoption of cheese in several food products such as beverages, deserts, and bakery. Growing popularity of on-the-go snacks and food products may fuel the utilization of cheddar in the coming years.

The rising consumption of various Italian cuisines, such as pasta, has encouraged the utilization of parmesan and mozzarella. Countries, such as the Canada and U.S. encounter the consumption of various fast foods such as burgers and pizza. This factor encourages the growth of the mozzarella segment. Feta targets the health-conscious consumers, because of its lower calories compared to other product types.

By Type Analysis

Processed Cheese Grow Rapidly Owing to its Adoption in Processed Foods Segment

The strong growth of the processed segment is mainly attributed to its increasing utilization in various processed foods. Snacks, such as chips and pretzels, are gaining popularity among millennials due to the growing trend of healthy snacking. Furthermore, the emerging trend of keto diets has increased the demand for protein-rich snacks containing cheese. Manufacturers' increasing focus and investments in developing novel snacks, such as cheese cubes, sticks, on-the-go slices, and crisps, are expected to fuel the cheese market growth. The rising trend of clean-label products is anticipated to increase the demand for natural cheese in the foreseeable years. The food service industries are the primary users of blocks and spreadable cheese. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HoReCa sector has been suffering from a significant loss. This has shown a direct impact on the sales of products.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Extensive Product Availability & Huge Product Choices  to Fuel Sales Growth through Supermarkets/ Hypermarkets

The supermarket/ hypermarket industry is rapidly changing attributable to which, investors capitalize on buyers’ comforts to provide convenient shopping experience. According to the information by the Food Industry Association 2018, nearly 43% grocery sales were achieved through supermarkets/hypermarkets in 2017, representing a major product sale annually. Supermarkets focus on quality assurance, refrigerant leaks, and satisfaction of new regulatory requirements to tackle penalties through Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and provision of excellent products to customers. Online retail segment may grow positively in recent years because of easy accessibility. Specialty and convenience stores will experience slow growth due to low discount offers.


Europe Cheese Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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Europe may be the dominating region because of the presence of major milk-producing countries. The region's flourishing food and foodservice industry fuels the growing demand for various product varieties across these sectors. Leading brands adopt strategic promotional activities to boost processed cheese sales. The market growth in the region is also attributed to the entry of small players. Rising awareness of health benefits of the product among consumers has necessitated key players to strengthen processing capabilities and fulfill ever-increasing product demand.

North America is expected to grow at a significant CAGR, because of the strong demand for sustainable and clean-label dairy foods. Consumer preferences for buying natural, safe, and healthier products are expected to fuel segmental growth. Rising demand for non-GMO, lactose-free, organic, lactose-free, and plant-based cheese products is expected to propel the market growth during the forthcoming years.

Asia Pacific is expected to showcase a dramatic shift in the consumption preferences of dairy products. The rising discretionary income levels of consumers in the region and relatively stable milk prices have considerably contributed to the growing sales of cheese varieties. The increasing utilization of cheese in various processed foods has increased the demand across the food service industry in the region.

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South America and the Middle East & Africa are expected to exhibit slow growth due to less spending on dairy products when compared to other regions. Moreover, Brazil is expected to hold the largest share. Packaged food manufacturers in the Middle East have incorporated the product in various snack products. This makes it more convenient for consumers and offers various opportunities for manufacturers across the region.


Lactalis Group Focused on Acquisition of Established Players to Strengthen Business Capabilities

Lactalis, a leading player in this market focuses on the acquisition of established players to strengthen its presence in the market. For example, in September 2020, the company entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Kraft Heinz’s natural, grated, cultured, and specialty cheese businesses in the U.S. The presence of several minor and major players and their extended distribution and production capabilities resulted in the fragmentation of global market. Other companies such as Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., Saputo, Inc., and Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., focus on innovations, partnerships, and new product developments to fortify their business capabilities.


  • Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (Auckland, New Zealand)

  • Royal FrieslandCampina N.V. (Amersfoort, Netherlands)

  • Saputo, Inc. (Montreal, Canada)

  • Winsleydale Creamery (Yokshire, U.K.)

  • Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (Kansas, U.S.)

  • Lactalis International (Laval, France)

  • Arla Foods Group (Viby, Denmark)

  • The Kraft Heinz Company (Illinois, U.S.)

  • The Ilchester Cheese Company (Ilchester, U.K.)

  • Glanbia Plc (Kilkenny, Ireland)

  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange (Illinois, U.S.)


  • July 2020 – Brownes Dairy, the Australian dairy giant, announced the launch of traditional cheddar cheese on the retail platform to capitalize on the growing demand for product in households.

  • October 2019 – Winsleydale Creamery launched a new brand of cheese, the Yokshire Creamery, along with the new range of products, including extra mature cheddar, red Yokshire, and double Yokshire.


An Infographic Representation of Cheese Market

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The report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading product distribution channels. Besides, it also offers insights into the global cheese Industry trends and highlights key industry developments. Further, it encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation:



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)

By Source

  • Animal-based

    • Cattle

    • Sheep

    • Goat

    • Camel

  • Plant-based

    • Cashew

    • Almonds

    • Soya

    • Others

By Product Type

  • Cheddar

  • Mozzarella

  • Parmesan

  • Feta

  • Others

By Type

  • Processed

  • Natural

  • Block

  • Spreadable

  • Hard & Soft Cheese

By Distribution Channel

  • Supermarkets/Hypermarkets

  • Convenience Stores

  • Specialty Stores

  • Online Retail

By Geography

  • North America (By Source, By Product Type, By Type, By Distribution Channel & By Country)

      • U.S. (By Type)

      • Canada (By Type)

      • Mexico (By Type)

  • Europe (By Source, By Product Type, By Type, By Distribution Channel & By Country)

      • U.K. (By Type)

      • Germany (By Type)

      • France (By Type)

      • Italy (By Type)

      • Spain (By Type)

      • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Source, By Product Type, By Type, By Distribution Channel & By Country)

      • China (By Type)

      • India (By Type)

      • Australia (By Type)

      • Japan (By Type)

      • Rest of Asia- Pacific (By Type)

  • South America (By Source, By Product Type, By Type, By Distribution Channel & By Country)

      • Brazil (By Type)

      • Argentina (By Type)

      • Rest of South America (By Type)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Source, By Product Type, By Type, By Distribution Channel & By Country)

      • UAE (By Type)

      • South Africa (By Type)

      • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 120.63 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 161.23 billion by 2028.

In 2020, the Europe market value stood at USD 51.34 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 3.84%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).

The cheddar segment is expected to be the leading product type segment in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing demand for plant-based food products is a key driver.

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited, Kraft Heinz, and Glanbia Plc are the major players in the market.

Europe dominated the market share in 2020.

The rising vegan population is expected to drive product adoption in the global market.

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