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Cheese - Ireland - May 2018

“Cheese remains a key diet component of Irish consumers, though their eating habits are influenced by European food cultures. Free-from cheeses, cheese-based meat alternatives options and nutrient-rich product ranges are growing in popularity as consumers become more concerned about environment, animal welfare as well as their own health and wellbeing.”
– Joanna Kempiak, Market Research Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Estimated retail sales of cheese, NI and RoI, 2013-18
            • Forecast
              • Figure 2: Estimated retail sales of cheese, NI and RoI, 2013-23
            • Market factors
              • Economic situation and personal finances affecting Irish consumers
                • Cheese prices continue to fluctuate
                  • Consumers eat cheese as snacks and value its nutritional content
                    • Consumers seek free-from cheese options
                      • Cheese commonly used as product replacement and cooking ingredient
                        • High quality of artisan products appeals to consumers
                          • Flavoured cheese encourages sales
                            • Companies, brands and innovations
                              • The consumer
                                • Cheddar the most frequently purchased cheese by Irish consumers
                                  • Figure 3: Types of cheese bought by consumers in the last three months, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                • Irish consumers show strong preferences towards cheese in blocks
                                  • Figure 4: Formats of cheese bought by consumers in the last three months, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                • Cheese predominately used in a sandwich
                                  • Figure 5: Ways in which consumers have eaten or used cheese in the last three months, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                • Irish consumers drawn to cheese due to its nutritional values
                                  • Figure 6: Agreement with statements related to buying and eating cheese, NI and RoI, January 2018
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • Cheese market in Ireland set to grow
                                  • NI consumers worry about the economy and financial situation
                                    • Cheese prices rising in NI, yet falling in RoI
                                      • Cheese eaten as a snack and believed to be a good source of protein
                                        • Interest in free-from cheese products continues
                                          • Cheese used in cooking and as a meat alternative
                                            • Consumers interested in authenticity and provenance
                                              • Flavour helps to drive cheese sales
                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                  • Cheese sales continue to rise
                                                    • Figure 7: Estimated retail sales of cheese, IoI, RoI and NI, 2013-23
                                                    • Figure 8: Estimated retail sales of cheese, RoI and NI, 2019-23
                                                • Market Drivers

                                                  • NI consumers concerned about the economy, while RoI consumers remain confident
                                                    • Figure 9: How consumers think the general economic condition of Northern Ireland/Ireland will change over the next 12 months, NI and RoI, April 2017 and March 2018
                                                    • Figure 10: How consumers think their personal financial situation of Northern Ireland/Ireland will change over the next 12 months, NI and RoI, April 2017 and March 2018
                                                  • Brexit affecting businesses and personal finances
                                                    • Figure 11: Agreement with statement ‘I have noticed the price of cheese has increased since the UK’s EU referendum, by gender, age and socio-economic group, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                  • Cheese prices on the rise in NI, while continue to fall in RoI
                                                    • Figure 12: Consumer price indices of cheese and curd, UK (including NI), Q1 2015-Q1 2018
                                                    • Figure 13: Consumer price indices of cheese and curd, RoI, Jan 2015-March 2018
                                                  • Irish consumers willing to support farmers
                                                    • Figure 14: Agreement with a statement ‘I would be willing to pay more for a cheese if I knew the farmer was being paid a fair price’, NI and RoI, February 2017 and January 2018
                                                    • Figure 15: New product development in farm cheese claim category, Europe, 2013-March 2018
                                                  • Cheese perceived as a snack and source of protein
                                                    • Figure 16: How often consumers snack between meals in a typical day, NI and RoI, November 2015
                                                  • Growing popularity of free-from cheeses
                                                    • The use of cheese as a meat alternative and in cooking
                                                      • Craft and artisan movement
                                                        • Flavour influencing consumers’ choice
                                                          • Figure 17: Top 10 flavour components (excluding unflavoured/plain) in cheese innovation in the UK/Ireland Jan 2013-April 2018
                                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Carrigbyrne and Carbery both scoop awards at international cheese events
                                                          • Glanbia re-open Wexford plant following a €35 million investment
                                                            • Irish farmers facing a grass shortage, imported feed needed to feed cattle
                                                              • Supermarkets dominate new product launches in the cheese market
                                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                  • Figure 18: New product development in cheese category, UK and Ireland, January 2014-March 2018
                                                                  • Figure 19: Claims analysis in the cheese category, UK and Ireland, January 2014-March 2018
                                                                • Vegetarian tops the claims in new product development
                                                                  • Convenient packaging also popular with consumers to increase portionability
                                                                    • Own-label brands accounting for most of the new cheese products launched
                                                                      • Figure 20: Company/parent analysis of new products launched in the cheese market, UK and Ireland, January 2014-March 2018
                                                                    • More cheeses for grilling and baking
                                                                    • Companies and Brands

                                                                        • Arla Foods
                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                            • Product portfolio
                                                                              • Brand NPD
                                                                                • Recent developments
                                                                                  • Dale Farm
                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                      • Product portfolio
                                                                                        • Recent developments
                                                                                          • The Carbery Group
                                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                                              • Product portfolio
                                                                                                • Brand NPD
                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                    • Dairygold
                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                                            • Fivemiletown Creamery
                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                  • Glanbia
                                                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                                                      • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                        • Recent developments
                                                                                                                          • Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers
                                                                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                                                                              • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                • Kerry Group
                                                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                                                    • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                      • Brand NPD
                                                                                                                                        • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                          • Mondelez International
                                                                                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                                                                                              • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                                • Brand NPD
                                                                                                                                                  • Dairy Crest (Cathedral City)
                                                                                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                      • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                                        • Brand NPD
                                                                                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                            • Carrigbyrne Farmhouse Cheese
                                                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                                    • Ornua Foods
                                                                                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand NPD
                                                                                                                                                                            • Lactalis
                                                                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand NPD
                                                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cheddar the most sought-after cheese on the Irish market
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Blocks and wedges the most popular format of cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cheese most commonly eaten with bread
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Irish consumers associate cheese with being a good source of protein
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Types of Cheese Purchased

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cheddar the most popular cheese amongst Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Types of cheese bought by consumers in the last three months, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Irish women and Gen-Xers most frequent cheddar purchasers
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Consumers who have bought cheddar for themselves or others in the last three months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Flavoured cheese attracting Irish 45-54-year-olds
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Consumers who have bought flavoured cheese for themselves or others in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Low/reduced fat cheese bought by Irish women and Millennials
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Consumers who have bought low/reduced fat cheese for themselves or others in the last three months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Blue cheese appealing mainly to Irish men
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Consumers who have bought blue cheese for themselves or others in the last three months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Irish men support local produce
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Consumers who have bought regional UK/Irish cheese for themselves or others in the last three months, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Consumers who have bought regional UK/Irish cheese for themselves or others in the last three months, by gross annual household income, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cream cheese purchased mainly by Irish women
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Consumers who have bought cream cheese/soft white for themselves or others in the last three months, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Format of Cheese Bought

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Irish consumers prefer to buy cheese in blocks
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Formats of cheese bought by consumers in the last three months, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Block cheese attracts older consumers, while sliced and grated cheese appeals younger generations
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: consumers who have bought blocks/wedges/whole cheese in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Consumers who have bought sliced or grated cheese bought in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Irish men primary buyers of sliced cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Consumers who have bought sliced cheese in the last three months, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Older Millennials and Gen-Xers opt for combination snack packs and mini/bite size formats
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Consumers who have bought mini/bite size formats and combination snack packs in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Usage of Cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cheese most likely to be eaten in a sandwich
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Ways in which consumers have eaten or used cheese in the last three months, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Irish consumers eat cheese in a sandwich, while NI consumers prefer cheese on toast
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Consumers who have eaten cheese in a sandwich/wrap or on toast in the last three months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Affluent consumers opt for cheeseboards and eat cheese with savoury biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Consumers who have eaten cheese with savoury biscuits or after dinner in the last three months, by socio-economic group, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Consumers who have eaten cheese with savoury biscuits or after dinner in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cheese as a part of a snack appealing to Irish Millennials
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Consumers who have eaten cheese as part of a snack (eg with nachos or other snack) in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cheese on pizza and pasta attracts younger consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Consumers who have eaten cheese on pizza in the last three months, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Consumers who have eaten cheese with pasta in the last three months, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Irish women primary users of cheese in cooking
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Consumers who have used cheese in cooking in the last three months, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cheese perceived as a good source of protein
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Agreement with statements related to buying and eating cheese, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Older consumers seek out protein-rich food
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Agreement with statement ‘Eating cheese is a good way to get protein in my diet’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Irish consumers less likely to check the fat content when buying cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Agreement with statement ‘I am more likely to check the fat content when buying cheese compared to 12 months ago’, by year, NI and RoI, February 2017 and January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Irish men more likely to think that cheese from NI/RoI (Ireland) is better than cheese from the UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Agreement with statement ‘I think cheese from NI/RoI (Ireland) is better than cheese from the UK’, by gender and socio-economic group, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Irish men interested in new cheeses from around the world
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Agreement with statements ‘I would like to see more continental style cheeses made with Irish dairy and ‘I am interested in trying new cheeses from around the world’, by gender, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Women and younger consumers prefer milder tasting cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Agreement with statement ‘I prefer the flavour of milder tasting cheese to stronger tasting cheese’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Women and Millennials willing to pay premium for cheese sourced from animals with high welfare standards
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Agreement with statement ‘I am willing to pay more for cheese that has been sourced from animals with high welfare standards, by gender and age, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer research
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Market size rationale
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cheese - Ireland - May 2018

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