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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 and Soft Cheese), Distribution Channel (Supermarkets/ Hypermarkets, Specialty Stores, Convenience Stores, and Online Retail), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

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



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The global cheese market size was USD 118.36 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 155.49 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period.

This market is witnessing progressive growth due to the rising demand for assorted types of cheese in various food products. The rise in the consumption of fast foods such as pizza, pasta, and burgers has contributed to the growing demand for cheese varieties such as mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar. The rapid evolution of the foodservice industry with novel preparations is expected to further increase the demand for these items in the upcoming years.

Worldwide Demand & Supply Imbalance of Cheese Products amid COVID-19 to Hinder Growth

The cheese industry has experienced a sudden disruption amidst the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the major shift in demand dynamics. Lockdowns around the world have led to the shutdown of the foodservice industry, which has significantly reduced the demand for all processed food products. The weakening demand for higher-value products is expected to lower cheese prices. However, the increasing purchase of low-cost cheese varieties at wholesale prices from retail outlets for home cooking is expected to balance the supply chain. The re-establishment of the foodservice industry and renewed cheese processing capabilities after the pandemic are expected to flourish the global market in the upcoming years.

Over the night, the wholesale cheese orders from a New York-based company Saxelby Cheesemongers dropped by 70% due to the lockdown of all the food services.


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Emerging Trend of Vegan and Functional Cheese Varieties to Flourish the Industry

The trend of healthy eating has increased the demand for functional cheeses that add nutritional value to the product. Cheese is high in proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals. The emerging trend of healthy snacking has fuelled the demand for cheese snacks in the retail sector. Furthermore, clean-label milk products are gaining popularity among consumers on account of their healthier and safer counterparts. Organic milk products are moving mainstream as conventional milk is now associated with chemicals & pesticides that are harmful to health, increasing the demand for organic cheese varieties. The growing popularity of vegan diets has significantly increased 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 has increased by 18%, while it only increased by 1% for dairy cheese.


Growing Popularity of Flavor Combinations to Propel Growth of the Market      

In recent years, consumer preference towards 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 cheese varieties in these cuisines. The rapid expansion of the foodservice industry has necessitated leading cheese processors to develop innovative products such as cheese powder and creamers, which acts as a driver. Flavored cheese is one of the emerging categories, fulfilling the modern consumer demand for innovative flavors such as herbal, spiced, and fruit flavor. The cheese industry is flourishing across the globe with developments and innovations bringing novel cheese products on the retail platform. For example, in June 2019, The Chuckling Cheese Company in the U.K. launched a gin flavored cheese to capitalize on the growing demand for flavored cheese in the country.

Rising Demand for Specialty Cheese Products to Fuel Cheese Market Growth

The emerging trend of fresh from the farm, 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 snacking 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 specialty cheeses. For example, In July 2020, Aldi, a supermarket chain in the U.K. has launched a new brand of artisan cheese to meet the rising demand for specialty cheese. Lastly, the growing popularity of premium cheese varieties is anticipated to accelerate the growth of the market during the forecast years.


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 has a significant impact on the cheese 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 towards 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 Holds the Major Market Share Attributed to its Wider Availability

On the basis of source, this segment includes animal and plant-based cheese. Animal sources are further segmented into cattle, sheep, goats, and camels. The ample availability of animal-based cheese as compared to other sources primarily drives the segmental growth. Greater acceptance of the organoleptic properties of animal-based varieties by consumers also contributes to market growth. Furthermore, the quantity of milk produced by animals is higher as compared to plant ingredients, which fuels the growth of the animal-based segment.

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

By Product Type

Cheddar Exhibits Promising Growth Backed by Its Extensive Application in a Range of Products

By product type, the segment is further sub-segmented to cheddar, parmesan, feta, mozzarella, and others. Among these, cheddar exhibits strong sales performance owing to its extensive utilization and application in a range of cuisines and food products. The growing demand for exotic cuisines such as pizza and pasta across the foodservice sector propels the growth of the segment. The expansion of the food industry across the globe has contributed to the increased utilization of cheese in various food products such as bakery, beverages & desserts. The growing popularity of on-the-go food products and snacks is expected to fuel the utilization of cheddar in the upcoming years.

The rising consumption of various Italian cuisines such as pasta has encouraged the growth of parmesan and mozzarella cheese types. Countries such as the U.S. and Canada encounter the consumption of various fast foods such as pizza and burgers. This encourages the growth of the mozzarella cheese type. Feta cheese targets health-conscious consumers, as it has fewer calories when compared to the other types.

By Type

Processed Cheese to Exhibit Robust Growth as Its Utilization in Processed Foods Grows

The strong growth of the processed segment is mainly attributed to its increasing utilization in various processed foods. Cheese snacks such as chips and pretzels are gaining popularity among millennials due to the growing trend of healthy snacking. The emerging trend of keto diets has increased the demand for protein-rich snacks containing cheese. Increasing focus and investments by manufacturers to develop and introduce novel snacks such as cheese cubes, sticks, on-the-go slices, and crisps is expected to fuel 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 major user of blocks and spreadable cheese. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HoReCa sector has been suffering from a major loss. This has shown a direct impact on the sales of cheese products.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Wider Availability of Products & Freedom to Purchase to Promote Sales Growth through Supermarkets/ Hypermarkets

The supermarket/ hypermarket industry is continuously changing and investors are capitalizing on buyers’ comforts to offer an easy shopping experience. According to the Food Industry Association 2018, 43% of total grocery in 2017 was sold through supermarkets/ hypermarkets, which represents a major share of cheese sales every year. Supermarkets are also emphasizing meeting new regulatory requirements such as refrigerant leaks and quality assurance to avoid penalties through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and to offer quality products to their customers. Online retail is expected to gain popularity throughout the forecast period, due to easy accessibility. The specialty and convenience stores will encounter slow growth, due to low discount offers.


North America Cheese Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)

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Europe remains the dominant region in the cheese market share owing to the presence of the major milk-producing countries in the region. The flourishing food and foodservice industry in the region has contributed to the growing demand for various cheese varieties across these sectors. The leading cheese brands are using strategic promotional activities to increase the sale of processed cheese. The market growth in the region is also attributed to newly entering small players. The growing awareness of the health benefits of cheese proteins among consumers has necessitated key players to strengthen their processing capabilities and fulfill the growing demand.

North America is expected to grow at a significant CAGR owing to the growing demand for clean-label and sustainable dairy products. In the past few years, consumer preferences have shifted towards buying healthier, safer, and natural products. The increasing demand for organic, non-GMO, lactose-free, and plant-based cheese products is expected to propel the growth of the market in 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 along with relatively stable milk prices have considerably contributed to the growing sales of cheese varieties. The growing utilization of cheese in various processed foods has increased the demand across the foodservice industry in the region.

South America and the Middle East and Africa are expected to exhibit slow growth due to less spending on dairy products when compared to the other regions. Cheese, being the major ingredients in the American diet, Brazil is expected to hold the largest share. The packaged food manufacturers in the Middle East have incorporated cheese as an ingredient in various snack products. Increasing demand for cheese in snack products is projected to support the growth of the market in the region.

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Fonterra Co-operative Group is Focused on Production Expansion to Strengthen the Business Capabilities

Fonterra, a leading player in this market, is focused on investing in the expansion of its production and processing capabilities to strengthen its presence in the market. For instance, in January 2018, the company invested around USD 165 million to double the production capacity of its cheese plant in Australia. The presence of multiple small as well as major players and their extended production and distribution capabilities has resulted in the fragmentation of the global market.

Other key players and cheese producers such as Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., Saputo, Inc., and Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. are focusing on new product developments, innovations, and partnerships to strengthen their presence in the market.


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

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

  • Saputo, Inc. (Montreal, Canada)

  • Wensleydale Creamery (Yorkshire, U.K.)

  • Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (Kansas, United States)

  • Lactalis International (Laval, France)

  • Arla Foods Group (Viby, Denmark)

  • The Kraft Heinz Company (Chicago, Illinois)

  • The Ilchester Cheese Company (Ilchester, United Kingdom)

  • Glanbia Plc (Kilkenny, Ireland )

  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange (Illinois, United States)


  • In July 2021, Saputo Inc., a leading cheese manufacturer and fluid milk and cream processor in Canada announced that it has agreed to acquire the activities of Wensleydale Dairy Products Limited at a purchase price of $30.99 million. The business will join Saputo's Dairy Division (U.K.) under its Europe Sector, which operates two facilities located in North Yorkshire.

  • In June 2021, The Ilchester Cheese Company, a British cheese company, launched two new vegan products: Vegan Blue and Melting Mature cheese.

  • In May 2021, Saputo Inc. announced the strategic acquisition of Bute Island Foods Ltd., an innovative producer, marketer, and distributor of several dairy alternative cheese products for both the foodservice market and retail segment.

  • In September 2020, Fonterra Australia, the Australian division of New Zealand-based Fonterra Co-operative Group, signed an agreement to purchase Dairy Country. The acquisition will support Fonterra's strengths in the Australian retail cheese category, where it holds a 23% market share with key brands including Mainland™, Bega™, and Perfect Italiano™.


An Infographic Representation of Cheese Market

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The cheese market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading distribution channels of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation:



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD billion)


  By Source, Product Type, Type, Distribution Channel, and Geography

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

      • USA

        • By Type

      • Canada

        • By Type

      • Mexico

        • By Type

  • Europe

    • By Source

    • By Product Type

    • By Type

    • By Distribution Channel

    • By Country

      • Germany

        • By Type

      • France

        • By Type

      • Italy

        • By Type

      • Spain

        • By Type

      • U.K.

        • 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

      • Japan

        • By Type

      • Australia

        • 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

  • The Middle East & Africa

    • By Source

    • By Product Type

    • By Type

    • By Distribution Channel

    • By Country

      • South Africa

        • By Type

      • UAE

        • By Type

      • Rest of the Middle East & Africa

        • By Type

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 118.36 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 155.49 billion by 2027.

In 2019, the North America market value stood at USD 29.08 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 3.7%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

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 had the highest market share in 2019.

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

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Cheese Market  Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
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