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Cheese - Ireland - January 2013

“Cheese is a staple product in Irish households. However, the category is suffering from an unsustainable level of promotional activity, which is being used to boost sales amidst increased prices. Future growth within the category will be dependent on increased usage and purchase frequency. Value-added products in both the snacking and meal component categories present opportunities for cheese and will help the category to grow within a difficult market environment.”
– Clare McCall, Senior Food Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Has cheese become a commoditised product?
  • Is cheese a staple product within the Irish diet?
  • What type of cheese is most consumed among Irish consumers?
  • How are health trends impacting on the cheese market?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes within the report
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Figure 1: Segmentation of the cheese market, NI and RoI, 2012
              • Forecast
                • Figure 2: Estimated retail sales of cheese, IoI, RoI, NI, 2008-18
                • Figure 3: Indexed growth in grocery retailing vs cheese, all-Ireland, 2008-18
              • Market factors
                • Rising food prices drive discounting and promotions within the cheese category
                  • Branded cheese facing tough competition from own-label
                    • Figure 4: Top ten types of own-label products bought in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, February 2012
                  • Cheese lacks healthy image
                    • Companies, brands and innovations
                      • The consumer
                        • Cheese remains a staple food item within the Irish diet
                          • Figure 5: Usage of cheese in blocks vs packet cheese/cheese spread, NI and RoI, 2010-12
                        • Cheese typically consumed two or three times a week
                          • Block cheese dominates the family household
                            • Irish cheddar tops the cheeseboard
                              • What we think
                              • Trend Applications

                                • Premiumization and Indulgence
                                  • Men Shopping Badly
                                    • Mintel Futures: Old Gold
                                    • Market Overview

                                      • Key points
                                        • Cheese promotions unsustainable
                                          • Figure 6: Processor/wholesale prices for cheddar, UK, 2008-13
                                          • Figure 7: Agreement with the lifestyle statement ‘I enjoy eating foreign food’, by gender, NI and RoI, 2012
                                        • Own-label cheese taking a large bite of branded sales
                                          • Figure 8: Top ten types of own-label products bought in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, February 2012
                                        • Concerns over salt levels in cheese
                                          • Figure 9: Salt content in cheese products, November 2012
                                        • Positive news for advertising of cheese in RoI
                                          • Increased milk prices in 2013 will put increased pressure on cheese category
                                            • Figure 10: Farmgate milk prices, UK (including NI) and RoI, January 2008-October 2012
                                          • RoI government U-turn on raw milk could see the emergence of raw milk artisan cheeses
                                            • Figure 11: Agreement with the statement ‘I feel fresh/natural produce is important when shopping for groceries’, NI and RoI, 2008-12
                                          • Consumer budgets remain squeezed
                                            • Discounters benefiting from consumers’ stretched finances
                                              • Opportunities for cheese as a ‘snack’ product
                                                • Figure 12: Frequency of snacking in the home, NI and RoI, 2010-12
                                            • Competitive Context

                                              • Key points
                                                • Irish consumers view lactose-free as a ‘healthy’ choice
                                                  • Figure 13: Consumers who have purchased free-from products, by gender, age, Socio-economic group and area, RoI, November 2010
                                                  • Figure 14: Consumers who have bought free-from foods, by category, RoI, November 2010
                                                  • Figure 15: Agreement with the statement ‘I really look after my health’, by gender, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                • Dairy-free market nears £160 million mark in the UK in 2012
                                                  • Figure 16: Estimated UK retail sales of free-from dairy products including soya*, by value, 2010-12
                                                  • Figure 17: Lactose-free-cheese launched, by year and sub-category, Europe, January 2010-January 2013
                                                • Dairy can capitalise on consumers’ lack of education on lactose-free products
                                                • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                  • Strengths
                                                    • Weaknesses
                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • RoI market dominates the Irish cheese market
                                                          • Figure 18: Estimated retail sales of cheese, IoI, RoI, NI, 2008-18
                                                        • Cheese market shows stronger growth than that of grocery retailing sector
                                                          • Figure 19: Index growth in grocery retailing vs cheese, all-Ireland, 2008-18
                                                      • Market Segmentation

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Block cheese accounts for over a third of the IoI cheese market
                                                            • Figure 20: Segmentation of the cheese market, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                          • Speciality cheese more popular with RoI consumers
                                                            • Figure 21: Speciality food sales, by value, IoI, NI and RoI, 2007-16*
                                                        • Companies and Innovations

                                                            • Hard cheese and semi-hard cheese lead NPD
                                                              • Figure 22: Cheese NPD, by sub-categories, UK and Ireland, 2007-12
                                                            • Increase in cheeses suitable for vegetarians
                                                              • Figure 23: NPD in the cheese sub-category, by top ten claims, UK and Ireland, 2007-12
                                                            • Company profiles
                                                              • Arla Foods UK plc (Arla)
                                                                • Dale Farm Ltd
                                                                  • The Carbery Group
                                                                    • Dairygold Food Ingredients (DFI)
                                                                      • Fivemiletown Creamery
                                                                        • Glanbia plc
                                                                          • Kerry Group plc
                                                                            • Kraft Foods
                                                                              • Gubbeen
                                                                                • Cashel Blue
                                                                                  • Irish Dairy Board (IDB)
                                                                                  • The Consumer – Frequency and Users of Cheese

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Cheese consumption stronger in RoI
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Usage of cheese in blocks in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, 2007-12
                                                                                        • Drive to be healthy lowers consumption
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Agreement with the lifestyle statement ‘I am eating more healthy food than I have in the past’, by gender, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                        • Eight out of ten Irish consumers use block cheese
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Usage of cheese in blocks, by gender and socio-economic group, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                          • Figure 27: Usage of cheese in blocks, by size of household, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                        • Cheese consumption increases with age
                                                                                          • Figure 28: Usage of cheese in blocks, by age group. NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                        • Positioning block cheese as being indulgent to boost sales
                                                                                          • Figure 29: Agreement with the lifestyle statement ‘I like to treat myself to foods that are not good for me’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                        • Packet cheese consumption falling but still popular with over 70% of RoI consumers
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Usage of packet cheese/cheese spread in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, 2010-12
                                                                                          • Cheese a weekly choice for Irish consumers
                                                                                            • Figure 31: Frequency of consumption of cheese, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                            • Figure 32: Frequency of consumption of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks), NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                          • Households with children opt for block cheese
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Usage of block cheese and packet cheese, by presence and age of children in the household, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                            • Naturalness key to sales focused on children
                                                                                              • Women show higher usage of cheese
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Usage of cheese within the last 12 months, by gender, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                            • The Consumer – Type of Cheese Consumed

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Irish cheddar the preferred choice of cheese
                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Varieties of cheese used, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Agreement with the lifestyle statement ‘I always buy local food brands where available’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                                • Mature cheese appeals to over 40% of Irish consumers
                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Agreement with the statement ‘I often eat mature cheese (not including Parmesan)’, by gender, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                                  • Popularity of Italian cuisine boosts Parmesan cheese usage
                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Consumers’ usage of pasta in their household in the last 12 months, by gender and age, RoI and NI, 2012
                                                                                                  • Cheese slices popular with over a third of RoI consumers
                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Varieties of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks), NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Varieties of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks), by presence and age of children in the household, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                                    • Lower engagement with packet cheese compared to block cheese
                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Usage of cheddar cheese compared to cheese slices, by age group, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Usage of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks), by gender, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                                    • Appendix

                                                                                                      • NI TGI usage tables
                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Usage of cheese blocks in the last 12 months, by demographics, NI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Frequency of cheese blocks usage, by demographics, NI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Frequency of cheese blocks usage, by demographics, NI, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Varieties of cheese blocks used, by demographics, NI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Varieties of cheese blocks used, by demographics, NI, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Varieties of cheese blocks used, by demographics, NI, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Usage of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks) in the last 12 months, by demographics, NI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Frequency of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks) usage, by demographics, NI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Frequency of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks) usage, by demographics, NI, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Varieties of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks) used, by demographics, NI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Varieties of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks) used, by demographics, NI, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Agreement with lifestyle statements related to cheese, by demographics, NI, 2012
                                                                                                      • RoI TGI usage tables
                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Usage of cheese blocks in the last 12 months, by demographics, RoI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Frequency of cheese block usage, by demographics, RoI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Frequency of cheese block usage, by demographics, RoI, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Varieties of cheese blocks used, by demographics, RoI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Varieties of cheese blocks used, by demographics, RoI, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Varieties of cheese blocks used, by demographics, RoI, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Usage of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks), by demographics, RoI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Frequency of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks) usage, by demographics, RoI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Frequency of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks) usage, by demographics, RoI, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Varieties of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks) used, by demographics, RoI, 2012
                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Varieties of packet cheese, cheese spreads and other cheese (excluding cheese in blocks) used, by demographics, RoI, 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                        • Figure 66: Agreement with lifestyle statements related to cheese, by demographics, RoI, 2012

                                                                                                    Companies Covered

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                                                                                                    Cheese - Ireland - January 2013

                                                                                                    US $1,360.54 (Excl.Tax)