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Cheese - Ireland - May 2019

Covered in this report

This report examines the retail market for cheese by evaluating the main drivers and trends affecting the market and influencing consumer behaviour. This Report draws on consumer research and examines types of cheese used and formats of cheese bought. Moreover, it investigates the usage of cheese and examines attitudes towards cheese.

For the purposes of this report cheese includes:

  • Fresh cheese and cream cheese
  • Hard cheese and semi-hard cheese
  • Processed cheese
  • Soft cheese and semi-soft cheese

Block cheese is used to describe cheese such as cheddar, Brie and blue cheeses and any other type that comes in a block format.

Packet cheese and cheese spreads are processed cheeses that are not classified as natural cheese such as Dairylea Singles.

Speciality cheese refers to cheeses such as artisan cheese and also includes lactose-free cheese products.

While excluded from the definition of this report, the market size includes sales of cottage cheese (which falls under the curd and quark category). Sales via catering or foodservice establishments are excluded.

“Cheese remains a staple in Irish households with value sales in IoI set for growth in 2019, however, Brexit casts an uncertainty for long-term growth, particularly as both the UK and Ireland rely heavily on each other for cheese trading. Diversifying from cheddar could create future growth opportunities for Irish dairy farmers going forward while expanding into the snacking category as a healthy alternative would likely result in greater consumption.”
– Emma McGeown, Research Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • Market sizes
            • Figure 1: Estimated value of the total cheese market, NI and RoI, 2014-18
          • Forecast
            • Figure 2: Estimated value of the total cheese market, NI and RoI, 2019-24
          • Market factors
            • NI cheese prices turbulent while RoI witnesses four-year low
              • 2018 witnesses a boast in cheese exports
                • Own-label cheese preferred by Irish consumers
                  • Opportunities exist for an ageing population
                    • Companies and innovations
                      • The consumer
                        • Cheddar cheese is the most popular cheese in IoI
                          • Figure 3: Types of cheese bought by consumers in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2019
                        • Supermarkets are the most popular retailer to buy cheese from
                          • Figure 4: Locations consumers have bought cheese in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2019
                        • Environmental packaging interests consumers
                          • Figure 5: Consumer interest in buying cheese with specific factors, NI and RoI, March 2019
                        • Mounting interest in cheese from around the world
                          • Figure 6: Agreement with statements related to cheese, NI and RoI, March 2019
                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                        • Cheese sales expected to witness growth in 2019
                          • NI cheese prices start to rise while RoI sees four-year low
                            • Exports reach an all-time high in 2018
                              • Own-label vs branded cheese
                                • Opportunities exist for an ageing population
                                • Market Sizes and Forecast

                                    • Cheese sales growth estimated at 1.7% in 2018
                                      • Figure 7: Estimated retail sales of cheese, by value, IoI, NI and RoI, 2014-24
                                    • Cheese set for almost 7% growth in the next five years
                                      • Figure 8: Forecast indexed retail sales of cheese, NI and RoI, 2019-24
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • Cheese prices falling in RoI while NI sees a rise
                                      • Figure 9: Consumer price indices of cheese and curd, RoI, January 2015-February 2019
                                      • Figure 10: Consumer price indices of cheese and curd, UK (including NI), January 2015-February 2019
                                    • UK and Ireland cheese exports witness record year in 2018
                                      • Figure 11: RoI’s top five destinations for agri-food sector exports, 2017
                                      • Figure 12: UK cheese exports, by EU and non-EU countries, in tonnes, 2017 and 2018
                                    • Own-label dairy preferred in Ireland
                                      • Figure 13: Consumer preferences for branded or own-label dairy products, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                    • Ageing population creates opportunities
                                      • Figure 14: Actual and projected population (%) for NI, by age, 2017 and 2041
                                      • Figure 15: Actual and projected population (%) for RoI, by age, 2017 and 2046
                                      • Figure 16: Consumers who rated their current personal financial situation as ‘healthy’ (I have money left at the end of the month for a few luxuries or to add to my savings), by age, NI and RoI, December 2018
                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                    • Lifestyle changes contribute to new product development
                                      • Arla and Dale Farm looking to green energy
                                        • Companies invest in greater snacking
                                          • Cashel Blue and Ornua scoop awards
                                            • Eco lifestyles continue to encourage more brands to take action
                                            • Who’s Innovating?

                                              • Hard and semi-hard cheese leads innovation
                                                • Figure 17: New product development in cheese, UK and Ireland, 2014-19
                                              • Innovation in convenience-driven cheese format
                                                • Figure 18: New product development in cheese, by format/size, UK and Ireland, 2014-19
                                              • Private-label cheese launches falter
                                                • Figure 19: New product development in cheese, by branded vs own-label, UK and Ireland, 2014-18
                                                • Figure 20: New products launched in the cheese market, by company, UK and Ireland, 2014-19
                                              • Ethical and vegan claims witnessed significant growth
                                                • Figure 21: New products launched in cheese, by top claims, UK and Ireland, 2014-19
                                            • Companies and Brands

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

                                                                                                                                                                  • Cheddar is an Irish staple
                                                                                                                                                                    • Cheese bought most in supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                      • Interest in spicy cheese and more ethical packaging
                                                                                                                                                                        • Cheese widely accepted as being important as part of a healthy diet
                                                                                                                                                                        • Types of Cheese Bought

                                                                                                                                                                            • Cheddar is the top cheese bought in Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Types of cheese bought by consumers in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                            • Cheddar well positioned to tap into convenience drivers
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Consumers who have bought cheddar cheese in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Top five formats of cheese bought by consumers in the last three months, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                            • Opportunities exist for cream cheese in snacking
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Consumers who have bought cream cheese (eg Philadelphia) in the last three months, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                            • Regional cheese growing in Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Consumers who have bought regional cheese (UK/Irish cheese from a specific region eg Double Gloucester) in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                          • Locations Cheese is Bought

                                                                                                                                                                              • Most buy cheese at a supermarket
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Locations consumers have bought cheese in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                              • Discounter cheese proves popular among younger consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Consumers who have bought cheese from a discounter (eg Lidl) in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                              • A third buy cheese from convenience stores
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Consumers who have bought cheese from a convenience store (eg Spar) in the last three months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Frequency of creating a dish that is a combination of prepared food and uncooked ingredients 3-4 times a week, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                            • Interest in Cheese Innovations

                                                                                                                                                                                • Environmental packaging leads innovation
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Consumer interest in buying cheese with specific factors, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                • Environmentally friendly packaging reflects a wider eco movement
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Consumers who would be interested in buying cheese that is in environmentally friendly packaging, by social class, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                • Spices and fruit in cheese interest consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Consumer interest in trying cheese that is made with spices and/or infused with fruit (eg apricot, blackberry), NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                • Dietary trends prompt cheese brands to innovate
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Consumers interested in trying the following free-from types of cheese, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes towards Cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cheese seen as important as part of a healthy diet
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Agreement with statements related to cheese, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Animal welfare important to Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I am willing to pay more for cheese that has been sourced from animals with high welfare standards’, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Worldly cheese demanded as Ireland diversifies from cheddar
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Consumer agreement with the statements ‘I am interested in trying new cheeses from around the world’ and ‘I would like to see more continental-style cheeses made with Irish dairy (eg Brie made with Irish milk)’, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Interest in smaller portions bodes well for snacking occasion
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more single-serve portions of cheese (eg 30g snack portions)’, by age, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Top savoury snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                                      Cheese - Ireland - May 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                      £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)