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Cheese: Spotlight on Natural - US - November 2015

The $23.2 billion cheese category continues to perform well, boosted by consumer preferences for natural foods and increased snacking occasions. The strong natural cheese segment remains key for overall growth, especially as processed cheese sales and consumption remain rather stagnant.

- Amanda Topper, Food Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Cheese category continues to perform well
  • Natural cheese strongest growth, processed cheese flat
  • Consumers want more local, authentic cheeses

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Cheese category continues to perform well
            • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of cheese, at current prices, 2010-20
          • Natural cheese strongest growth, processed cheese flat
            • Figure 2: Total US retail sales of cheese ($ billions), by segment, 2010-15
          • Consumers want more local, authentic cheeses
            • Figure 3: Select attitudes toward cheese – Any agree, by Millennials and non-Millennials, August 2015
          • The opportunities
            • Consumers want natural, BFY (better-for-you) options
              • Figure 4: Ideal natural cheese claims, by Millennials and non-Millennials, August 2015
            • Reach parents with health-focused messaging, and organic, non-dairy cheeses
              • Figure 5: Select attitudes toward cheese – Any agree, by parental status, August 2015
            • In-store experiences can help educate consumers
              • Figure 6: Select attitudes toward cheese – Any agree, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Cheese sales reach $23.2 billion in 2015
                • Natural cheese continues to drive category growth
                  • Other retail channels, natural channels perform well
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Cheese category to reach $27.7 billion in 2020
                      • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of cheese, at current prices, 2010-20
                      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of market, at current prices, 2010-20
                      • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of market, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • Natural cheese dominates
                      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales of cheese, by segment share, 2015
                      • Figure 11: Total US retail sales of cheese ($ billions), by segment, 2010-15
                    • Cheese sales in other retail channels growing rapidly
                      • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of cheese ($ billions), by channel, at current prices, 2010-15
                      • Figure 13: Natural supermarket sales of cheese, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks September 2013-September 2015
                      • Figure 14: Natural supermarket sales of cheese, by brand positioning, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending 9/8/13 and 9/6/15
                      • Figure 15: Natural supermarket sales of cheese, by organic ingredients, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending 9/8/13 and 9/6/15
                  • Market Factors

                    • Obesity and health concerns
                      • Figure 16: Percent of people aged 20 or older who are healthy weight, overweight, or obese, 2009-12
                      • Figure 17: Percent of children* who are obese, 2001-02 to 2011-12, by age
                    • Impact of snacking
                      • Figure 18: Daily snacking frequency, January 2015
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Kraft Foods represents largest individual market share
                      • Private label launches increase
                        • Raw, non-dairy, and organic cheeses piquing consumer interests
                        • Manufacturer Sales of Cheese

                          • Kraft retains single company market share lead
                            • Figure 19: “Consider The Source,” featuring Tillamook Cheese
                          • Manufacturer sales of cheese
                            • Figure 20: MULO sales of cheese, by leading companies, rolling 52-weeks 2014 and 2015
                        • What’s Working?

                          • Private label continues to perform well
                            • Figure 21: MULO sales of private label natural cheese
                            • Figure 22: Natural cheese product launches, by branded vs. private label, 2010-14
                          • Emphasizing “natural”
                            • Figure 23: MULO sales of Kraft Foods Inc. natural cheese
                            • Figure 24: Sargento, “We’re Real Cheese People,” February 2015
                            • Figure 25: MULO sales of Sargento Food Company natural cheese
                            • Figure 26: “Un-American Cheese,” June 2015
                            • Figure 27: MULO sales of Tillamook County Creamery natural cheese
                            • Figure 28: MULO sales of Cabot Creamery natural cheese
                        • What’s Struggling?

                          • Galbani, Precious, Athenos brands decline
                            • Figure 29: MULO sales of Galbani (Sorrento) natural cheese
                            • Figure 30: MULO sales of Athenos natural cheese
                          • Processed cheese declines
                            • Figure 31: MULO sales of Boursin processed cheese
                            • Figure 32: MULO sales of Borden processed cheese
                        • What’s Next?

                          • High-quality non-dairy options
                            • Continued growth of organic claims
                              • Figure 33: Growth of select cheese product claims, August 2010-July 2015
                            • Raw cheeses
                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                              • Processed cheese consumption declines
                                • Consumers prefer more traditional cheeses
                                  • Product trial, information can inform purchase decisions
                                  • Cheese Consumption

                                    • Cheese consumption, frequency rises slightly
                                      • Figure 34: Natural cheese consumption, 2014-15
                                      • Figure 35: Household consumption of American/pasteurized processed cheese, 2010-15
                                      • Figure 36: Processed cheese consumption, 2014-15
                                    • Parents significantly more likely to eat cheese
                                      • Figure 37: Cheese consumption, by parental status, August 2015
                                    • Whites, Hispanics slightly more likely to eat both cheese types
                                      • Figure 38: Cheese consumption, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2015
                                  • Reasons for Purchasing Cheese by Store Section

                                    • Convenience, affordability strongly associated with dairy section
                                      • Key demographics
                                        • Dairy section
                                          • Deli section
                                            • Specialty cheese section/shop
                                              • Figure 39: Correspondence Analysis – Reasons for purchasing cheese by store section, August 2015
                                              • Figure 40: Reasons for purchasing cheese by store section, August 2015
                                          • Perceptions of Cheese Store Sections

                                            • Specialty cheese section perceived as sophisticated, expensive
                                              • Key demographics
                                                • Dairy section
                                                  • Deli section
                                                    • Specialty cheese section/shop
                                                      • Figure 41: Correspondence Analysis – Perceptions of cheese by store section, August 2015
                                                      • Figure 42: Perceptions of cheese by store section, August 2015
                                                  • Consumers’ Ideal Natural Cheese

                                                      • Ideal natural cheese is savory, preservative-free cow’s milk cheese
                                                        • Figure 43: Ideal natural cheese, August 2015
                                                      • Flavor
                                                        • Figure 44: Ideal natural cheese flavor, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2015
                                                      • Protein base
                                                          • Figure 45: Ideal natural cheese protein base, August 2015
                                                          • Figure 46: Natural supermarket sales of cheese, by milk source, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending 9/8/13 and 9/6/15
                                                        • Claims
                                                            • Figure 47: Ideal natural cheese claims, by Millennials and non-Millennials, August 2015
                                                          • Format
                                                            • Figure 48: Ideal natural cheese format, August 2015
                                                          • Packaging
                                                            • Figure 49: Ideal natural cheese packaging, August 2015
                                                        • Attitudes toward Cheese

                                                          • Authenticity, local cheeses valued
                                                            • Figure 50: Select attitudes toward cheese – Any agree, by Millennials and non-Millennials, August 2015
                                                          • Parents more health conscious
                                                            • Figure 51: Select attitudes toward cheese – Any agree, by parental status, August 2015
                                                          • In-store experience impactful on cheese purchases
                                                            • Figure 52: Select attitudes toward cheese – Any agree, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2015
                                                        • Consumer Segmentation

                                                              • Figure 53: Cheese clusters, August 2015
                                                            • Group one: Cheese Apathetic
                                                              • Group two: Cheese Connoisseurs
                                                                • Group three: Cheese Curious
                                                                  • Cluster methodology
                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                      • Sales data
                                                                        • Fan chart forecast
                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                              • Appendix – Market

                                                                                  • Figure 54: Total US retail sales and forecast of cheese, by segment, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                  • Figure 55: Total US retail sales of cheese, by segment, at current prices, 2013 and 2015
                                                                                  • Figure 56: Total US retail sales and forecast of natural cheese, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                  • Figure 57: Total US retail sales and forecast of processed cheese, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                  • Figure 58: Total US retail sales and forecast of cream cheese/cream cheese spreads, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                  • Figure 59: Total US retail sales of cheese, by channel, at current prices, 2010-15
                                                                                  • Figure 60: Total US retail sales of cheese, by channel, at current prices, 2013 and 2015
                                                                                  • Figure 61: US supermarket sales of cheese, at current prices, 2010-15
                                                                                  • Figure 62: US sales of cheese through other retail channels, at current prices, 2010-15
                                                                                • Natural channel sales
                                                                                  • Figure 63: Natural supermarket sales of cheese, by subcategory, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending 9/8/13 and 9/6/15
                                                                                  • Figure 64: Organic share of natural supermarket sales of cheese, by segment, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending 9/8/13 and 9/6/15
                                                                                  • Figure 65: Natural supermarket sales of cheese*, by lactose-free labeling, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending 9/8/13 and 9/6/15
                                                                                  • Figure 66: Lactose-free-labeled share of natural supermarket sales of cheese*, by segment, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending 9/8/13 and 9/6/15
                                                                                  • Figure 67: Natural supermarket sales of cheese, by type of cheese and milk source, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending 9/8/13 and 9/6/15
                                                                                  • Figure 68: Naturally positioned brands' share of natural supermarket sales of cheese, by segment, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending 9/8/13 and 9/6/15
                                                                              • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                  • Figure 69: MULO sales of natural cheese, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52-weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                  • Figure 70: MULO sales of processed cheese, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52-weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                  • Figure 71: MULO sales of cream cheese/cheese spreads, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52-weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                              • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                                  • Figure 72: Household consumption of cream cheese, 2010-15
                                                                              • Appendix – Correspondence Analysis

                                                                                • Methodology

                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                Cheese: Spotlight on Natural - US - November 2015

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