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The global cheese market size was valued at USD 183.79 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 187.42 billion in 2023 to USD 256.99 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.61% during the forecast period.
Cheese consumption among consumers is rising owing to its versatility and availability of varieties. Furthermore, acceptance of ethnic cuisines such as Italian and Mexican that substantially use more cheese further propels the cheese market growth.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2020, U.S. per person cheese consumption was 40.2 pounds, a slight increase from the previous year. Cheddar and mozzarella remained the most popular varieties.
Supply & Demand Imbalance Globally Amid COVID-19 to Hamper Industry Growth
The pandemic affected manufacturers in diverse ways in exporting, importing, and self-sufficient countries. In most exporting countries, such as New Zealand, Germany, the U.S., and others, the shock led to an oversupply of milk and, consequently, to a drop in producers' prices, which was highly significant in some cases. In importing countries, the effect was mainly related to the market channel in which producers participated.
France, country rich with dairy farmers known for their high-quality cheese production, faced issues with product sales during the pandemic.
According to a France Terre de Lait, in the French dairy industry, in 2021, cheese sales dropped nearly 60% during the pandemic due to shrinking international trade and people buying fewer top-dollar products.
Furthermore, high-end specialty cheesemakers found it challenging to sustain in the market. The closure of HoReCa sectors led to a dip in specialty cheese production and sales, and customers were not willing to pay a premium price for specialty products during the pandemic.
Thus, the aforementioned factors adversely affected cheese production during the pandemic.
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Growing Trend of Artisanal and Functional Varieties to Augment Market Growth
The evolving trend of fresh, homemade, and specialty product varieties is gaining popularity among consumers. These varieties are considered safer owing to their natural processing techniques. Consumer willingness to explore new flavors, an upward trend in eating out, and the growing consumption of foods in which processed cheese is the main ingredient fuel the demand for products.
Therefore, rise in artisanal cheesemakers and manufacturers’ focus on launching new products to favor the market growth positively.
High Consumption of Natural Cheese to Favor the Market Growth
Cheese consumption among consumers is rising owing to its versatility and availability of varieties. Furthermore, acceptance of ethnic cuisines such as Italian and Mexican that substantially use more cheese further propels the market growth.
Demand for natural cheese, such as cheddar, parmesan, and others, has increased in recent years owing to enhanced product shelf-life and an attractive flavor profile. The unique flavor profile has increased its usage in local cuisines apart from its regular use in fast food products. Furthermore, the rise in private labels in developing countries and the demand for Western cuisine have boosted the market.
Growing Demand for Plant-based Cheese to Boost the Global Market
Plant-based diets have become mainstream recently, with consumers globally interested in plant-based food. Plant-based cheese is a dairy alternative primarily made from soy, almond, cashew, and others. The growing trend of veganism and rising preference for plant-based food drive the demand for plant-based products. In addition, vegan form is sustainable and eco-friendly compared to dairy-based products and has gained high popularity.
The rise in veganism has led to an increase in plant-based food manufacturers offering various vegan portfolios. This has enabled manufacturers to increase their focus on launching plant-based products, thus propelling the market.
Hence, the rise in veganism and the launch of more plant-based products in the global market are expected to augment the market growth in the coming years.
Health Risk Associated with Excessive Cheese Consumption and Fluctuation in Raw Material Prices to Hinder Market Growth
Cheese is often regarded as a good source of calcium and protein. Still, it also contains higher amounts of saturated fats and sodium, which, when consumed in excess, can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Thus, the rising number of individuals suffering from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases is anticipated to hinder the overall market growth.
Various consumers are allergic to casein, a protein in cheese. An allergic reaction to casein can cause inflammation, rashes, acne, and headaches. In addition, sugar is naturally present in the product which can also cause adverse reactions in lactose-intolerant consumers, thus negatively hampering the market growth.
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Growing Demand for Natural Cheese Owing to its Longer Shelf Life and Uniformity in Shape & Size to Drive the Market
Based on type, the market is classified into natural and processed. Cheese made of natural ingredients containing less or no preservatives appeals to health-conscious consumers. Large-scale natural and artisan manufacturers place significant importance on the flavor, texture, and use of herbs, spices, fruits, and nuts instead of artificial ingredients for flavoring. The growing demand for natural cheese is prompting manufacturers to launch new consumer products.
Processed cheese has been highly adopted in developing Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa regions. The high adoption of processed form can be attributed to its several technical advantages, such as long shelf life, resistance to separation when cooked, and uniformity in shape and size. From the supply point of view, processed form requires a comparatively lower cost of production and distribution than natural form hence can be manufactured in less time.
Animal-based Cheese to Dominate the Market Share Owing to its Extensive Availability
On the basis of source, the market is segmented into animal-based and plant-based. The animal-based segment is further segmented into cattle, sheep, goat, and camel; while the plant-based segment is segmented into soya, almond, cashew, and others.
According to Smart Protein's consumer survey data, European countries often consume dairy-based cheese products, with an estimated 47% of the sample population consuming four times per week. In addition, dairy cheese is highly versatile and can be adapted to any dish, contributing to its popularity. The launch of unique flavored products with attractive packaging and longer shelf life are major factors contributing to the growth of the animal-based segment.
The plant-based segment is also gaining a foothold in the global market owing to adopting new dietary regimes, such as flexitarian and vegan diets, fueling the market growth. Among different varieties, almond cheese is widely prevalent among consumers. The rising concern related to animal farm-induced global warming and animal cruelty is forcing consumers to adopt cruelty-free, environmentally sustainable products, thus prompting the segment's growth.
Rising Application of Mozzarella in Various Cuisines and Food Products Drives Sales
Based on product type, the market is classified into cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, feta, and others. The type of milk used and the production process impact the cheese's texture and flavor.
Mozzarella accounted for a higher market share as it is widely used in preparing dishes such as home-cooked pasta, pizza, enchiladas, and risotto. Moreover, mozzarella is highly consumed across the world. The growing demand for Western food products in the Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern countries further fuels the adoption of mozzarella and cheddar.
Parmesan is also popular among cheese lovers due to its hard texture and fruity and nutty taste, which take 2-4 years to process. The product is obtained from cow's milk and can be added to various dishes and snacks.
Block Cheese Accounts for Major Share Owing to its Availability in Different Forms
Based on form, the market is segmented into the block, spreadable, and other.
Block cheese is available in hard and soft forms. Some popular hard cheeses included in the market study are parmesan and feta. These products are highly nutritious and require longer ripening periods. They have low water content and can be grated and applied on various dishes. Soft cheese includes ricotta, cheddar, mozzarella, and camembert.
The spreadable segment is expected to register higher growth during the forecast period.
The spreadable segment is gaining significant popularity in the market as it can be easily applied to food items such as sandwiches, cakes, and snacks. These products are available in a wide range of flavors and are readily available in various stores.
Extensive Product Availability & Product Choices Fuel Sales Growth through Supermarkets/Hypermarkets
On the basis of distribution channel, the market is segmented into supermarkets/hypermarkets, specialty stores, convenience stores, and online retail.
The supermarkets/hypermarkets segment dominates the distribution channel through which consumers prefer to purchase their products as they can choose from a wide variety of products and even try the free sample offered in some of these outlets. Consumers also adopt convenience stores for purchasing cheese products.
Specialty stores are becoming popular among consumers, providing local, imported, artisanal, and specialty cheese products. Some of these stores are also developing hybrid spaces that provide cheese, and limited food items such as sandwiches, and wine, improving consumer's purchase experience.
The consumer purchase pattern is changing significantly, and more consumers are purchasing products through online stores or adopting both offline and online stores. The COVID-19 pandemic shaped purchase behavior, with more consumers shifting toward online channels to search for and purchase products. Thus, various manufacturers are also advancing their presence in the online platform by introducing product offers and targeted marketing for consumers.
Europe Cheese Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The global market is analyzed across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa.
European consumers opt for healthy foods to maintain physical health and well-being with beneficial traits such as organic and non-GMO retail positioning, positively impacting the Europe cheese market share.
In Europe, key players such as Wensleydale Creamery, ELSA MIFROMA, Kingsoft Dairy, and Pilgrims Choice operating in the market are focusing on diversification of product portfolio, along with investing in partnerships and acquisition activities to maintain their regional prominence in the Europe market.
In North America, consumer demand increased for convenience and nutritious food products to promote market growth. Cheese is a primary ingredient in food products such as pizza, sandwiches, and similar products. In North America, the acceptance of such food products led to augmented sales of cheese products. Moreover, various manufacturers have introduced wide flavors of the product.
Moreover, North America is one of the major markets, primarily driven by the millennials' constantly changing snack and dessert consumption habits. The increasing popularity of on-the-go snacking consumption among American millennials has pushed demand for cheese pizza and sandwiches, which would help in the growth of the North American market.
Asia Pacific is an extensive and diversified region that has offered massive opportunities for dairy market manufacturers and exporters for the past few years. To achieve most of the opportunities, the market follows the key strategies which ensure food quality and safety along with the functional benefits of the products. Demand for functional products with "natural claims" and other health-imparting benefits, such as non-GMO or probiotic-enriched products, is rapidly growing. Furthermore, the growing number of new and innovative products increases awareness of different product types in developing economies such as India, Japan, Singapore, and China.
Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay are some of the significant dairy-producing nations in the region, which creates an opportunity for dairy producers to develop indigenously made cheese for the local market. As the cost of imported cheese from Europe and North America is high, developing local products make the product affordable for consumers in the region.
The Middle East & Africa region has experienced good economic growth recently. The Middle East & Africa is home to a few of the fastest-growing economies globally such as Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, the UAE, Israel, and Cyprus. The market in the Middle East and Africa is witnessing substantial growth as it plays a key role in the daily diet, offering different flavors with several nutritional benefits. Millennials from the Middle East are inclined toward healthy snacking, as cheese-used snacks are more often considered a snack, and thus the demand is anticipated to grow during the next several years.
Key Players Focus on Product Launches to Stay Competitive
Key industry participants adopt various competitive strategies, such as new product launches, that assist market players in unlocking various business opportunities through diversified product reach with a wide distribution channel in the market owing to the presence of retailers and e-commerce globally. The companies are progressively focusing on new product launches and development in the plant-based category owing to the rising demand for sustainable and cruelty-free products in the dairy alternative industry. Consumers' rising inclination toward vegan products has contributed to growing investment in plant-based product development.
An Infographic Representation of Cheese Market
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The report provides a detailed analysis of the global market. It focuses on various aspects such as leading companies, the global dairy market, dairy products overview, the supply chain landscape, regulatory analysis, and key distribution channels. Besides, the report offers insights into the market trends and key industry developments. In addition, the report includes several factors that contributed to the market's growth in recent years.
CAGR of 4.61% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type
By Distribution Channel
North America (By Source, Type, Product Type, Form, Distribution Channel, and Country)
Europe (By Source, Type, Product Type, Form, Distribution Channel, and Country)
Asia Pacific (By Source, Type, Product Type, Form, Distribution Channel, and Country)
South America (By Source, Type, Product Type, Form, Distribution Channel, and Country)
Middle East & Africa (By Source, Type, Product Type, Form, Distribution Channel, and Country)
As per the Fortune Business Insights study, the market size was USD 183.79 billion in 2022.
The market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 4.61% over the forecast period (2023-2030).
The natural segment is expected to lead the market owing to its longer shelf life and uniformity in shape & size.
High consumption of natural cheese and growing demand for plant-based cheese are expected to drive market growth.
Some of the top market players are the Kraft Heinz Company, Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited, Arla Foods amba (Arla Foods Group), FrieslandCampina, and Saputo Inc.
Europe dominated the market in 2022.
Health risks associated with excessive consumption and fluctuation in raw material prices will restrain the market growth over the forecast period.
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