Cheese: Natural and Specialty Cheese in the U.S. and Global Markets, 5th Edition

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Published Mar 31, 2014 | 224 Pages | Pub ID: LA5145305
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Cheese: Natural & Specialty Cheeses in the U.S. & Global Markets

Cheese eating is ubiquitous in the United States. At home or in restaurants, as part of a meal or as a snack, consumers young and old are almost universally in agreement that cheese is part of their diet.

But not all cheese is created equal. Consumption of natural cheese is on the rise, while the amount of processed cheese eaten is a declining. Indeed, the natural cheese segment is the bright spot in what has been an overall flat market for cheese in the U.S. – 3% CAGR since 2009, to reach $15.7 billion in 2013.

Cheese: Natural & Specialty Cheeses in the U.S. & Global Markets, from Packaged Facts, examines the drivers that are propelling this mature, but enduring market. Cheese is getting a new image from its marketers: yes, it’s high in fat, but it’s also a good source of calcium, protein, and other nutrients. Moreover, with snacks representing 50% of all eating occasions, natural cheese is perfectly positioned to grab more share of this market. Why eat an unhealthy chip or cookie when you can have a piece of nutritious cheese?

Producers are also addressing consumer health and diet concerns with better tasting reduced salt and fat cheeses, and cheeses made from milk considered by consumers to have a healthier edge. Cheese made from organic milk, milk from grass-fed cows, and milk free of artificial growth hormones have grown in popularity. Organic cheese has been a growth spot, with sales projected to increase by double digits to reach $750 million in 2018.

And one can’t overlook the artisan angle to cheese. As with many other foods and beverages, consumers are increasingly attracted to cheeses that are produced in the craft tradition. We can move beyond cheddar and mozzarella and enjoy aged and artisanal products, complete with robust flavor profiles and textures. Even mass brands are meeting consumer desire for bolder flavors with smoky, peppery, and gourmet varieties with savory spice, nut, and dried fruit inclusions.

Foodservice drives many of cheese product trends. Cheese is used liberally in many menu items, and one of the biggest opportunities for cheese is in the growing breakfast sandwich segment. Globally, the greatest growth potential for cheese is in emerging markets where millions if not billions of newly middle class consumers are adopting “Westernized” diets that include dairy products. Emerging market growth represents a significant opportunity for export, since these countries don’t produce enough milk to satisfy domestic demand for dairy and cheese products.

Scope of Report

The report presents a detailed analysis of the U.S. consumer market for natural and specialty cheese sold directly to consumers through retail outlets, including “bricks and mortar” stores as well as catalogues, Internet sites and others. It outlines key issues and trends affecting the overall market and analyzes all product categories and segments of natural and specialty cheeses. Cheese: Natural and Specialty Cheese in the U.S. and Global Markets, 5th Edition also discusses major players and brands and analyzes their key activities and performance. Market size data are provided for 2009–2013 and projections for 2013–2018. Retail channels that sell consumer natural and specialty cheese are covered and considered in arriving at market size and trends, and competitive analysis. Information and insight is provided for processed cheese, and non-dairy cheese products, as well as the foodservice and global cheese markets, to add context and perspective. Data from these markets is not included for market sizing/projections, marketer/brand and retail channel shares of the core U.S. consumer natural and specialty cheese market.


The information in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Primary research included consultation with industry sources and on-site examinations of the retail sector. Secondary research entailed gathering data from relevant trade, business and government sources, as well as company promotional literature and annual reports. Our estimates of market size and company performance are based on various sources including reported revenues of product manufacturers and retailers; IRI, which tracks data in mass retail outlets; publications and other market research sources. Our analysis of consumer trends relies on data from several sources including government reports, a national online consumer usage survey conducted in January/February 2014 by Packaged Facts, and Simmons National Consumer Surveys for Spring 2004 through Summer 2013, from Experian Marketing Services. On an ongoing basis, Experian Marketing Services conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.
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