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Cheese - US - October 2016

"Despite a slight downtick in dollar sales in 2016, the cheese category has performed well in recent years, boosted by consumer interest in natural foods, increased snacking occasions, and the perception that natural cheese can be part of a healthy diet. Natural cheese continues to set the pace for the category. Further innovation in more convenient forms and packaging could help cheese brands capture more eating occasions while sampling and education on pairing could encourage consumers to trade up to a wider range of premium cheeses."
- John Owen, Senior Food & Drink Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Solid growth slows temporarily on dairy price fluctuations 
  • Cheese consumption near universal
  • Beyond sandwiches, a wide array of uses for natural cheese

This Report covers three main segments of cheese:

  • Natural cheese: includes all forms (slices, blocks, chunks, cubes, crumbles, shredded), string cheese, and ricotta cheese. Cheeses in this segment are produced directly from milk or whey that has been coagulated, heated, drained, and pressed. It can include the addition of salt and/or flavorings.
  • Processed cheese: includes cheese spreads in aerosol cans, squeezable tubes, cheese balls, cheese loafs, and other forms, and imitation cheese. Cheeses in this segment are typically a blend of cheeses that have been mixed and cooked and include additional ingredients such as cream, milk, water, or cheese whey.
  • Cream cheese/cream cheese spreads: includes brick, soft, whipped, balls, and other forms; may be plain or flavored.

While most cheese is made from cow’s milk, cheeses made from goat’s milk and other dairy products, as well as non-dairy sources, such as soy milk, also are included.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Solid growth slows temporarily on dairy price fluctuations
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of cheese, at current prices, 2011-21
          • Cheese consumption near universal
            • Figure 2: Frequency of cheese consumption, by type, July 2016
          • Beyond sandwiches, a wide array of uses for natural cheese
            • Figure 3: Natural cheese use occasions, July 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Opportunity to promote use occasions among young adults
              • Figure 4: Natural cheese use occasions, by age, July 2016
            • Young adults more likely to focus on organic, protein content
              • Figure 5: Natural cheese purchase considerations, by age, July 2016
            • Creating a more engaging cheese shopping experience
              • Figure 6: Attitudes toward cheese, interest in flavors and information – Agree strongly, by age, July 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Solid growth slows temporarily on dairy price fluctuations
                • Natural cheese dominates sales, drives growth
                  • Slow, steady growth for cream cheese
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Solid growth slows temporarily on dairy price fluctuations
                      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of cheese, at current prices, 2011-21
                      • Figure 8: Total US sales of cheese, at current prices, 2011-21
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • Natural cheese dominates sales, drives growth
                      • Slow, steady growth for cream cheese
                        • Figure 9: Total US sales of cheese, by segment share, 2016
                        • Figure 10: Total US sales of cheese, by segment, 2011-16
                    • Market Factors

                      • Cheese well-positioned to take advantage of increase in snacking
                        • Figure 11: Daily snacking frequency, January 2015
                      • Cheese protein content in line with healthy eating priorities
                        • Figure 12: Seeking in better-for-you foods, June 2016
                      • Core user groups growing
                        • Figure 13: Households, by presence of own children, 2003-14
                        • Figure 14: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2011-21
                      • Fluctuation in dairy commodity prices impacts retail market
                        • Figure 15: Natural cheese MULO sales growth rate, dollars vs volume, 2012-16
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • Store brands and Kraft lead category but see share slip
                        • Sliced form a key growth platform for natural cheese
                        • Company Sales of Cheese

                          • Store brands and Kraft lead category but see share slip
                            • Company sales of cheese
                              • Figure 16: Company MULO sales of cheese, 2015 and 2016
                          • What’s Working

                            • Sliced form a key growth platform for natural cheese
                              • Mini Babybel rides wave of interest in healthy snacking
                                • Smaller competitors gain ground by promising quality, variety
                                  • Philadelphia cream cheese: Ongoing effort to keep an old brand relevant
                                  • What’s Struggling?

                                    • Processed cheese struggles as more consumers move to natural
                                    • What’s Next?

                                      • Cheese portioned and packed for snacking
                                        • Raw milk cheese
                                          • Free-from claims gain momentum
                                            • Figure 17: Cheese new product claims 2011-16*
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • Cheese consumption near universal
                                            • Beyond sandwiches, a wide array of uses for natural cheese
                                              • Supermarkets remain top location for natural cheese purchases
                                                • Taste and price most likely to guide purchase decisions
                                                  • More consumers report purchasing more cheese
                                                    • Overall positive health image boosts cheese
                                                    • Cheese Consumption

                                                      • Cheese consumption near universal
                                                        • Figure 18: Frequency of cheese consumption, by type, July 2016
                                                      • Young adults eat cheese more frequently
                                                        • Figure 19: Frequency of natural cheese consumption, by age, July 2016
                                                        • Figure 20: Frequency of processed cheese consumption, by age, July 2016
                                                      • Hispanics eat natural and processed cheese more frequently
                                                        • Figure 21: Frequency of natural cheese consumption, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2016
                                                        • Figure 22: Frequency of processed cheese consumption, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2016
                                                    • Cheese Use Occasions

                                                      • Beyond sandwiches, a wide array of uses for natural cheese
                                                        • Figure 23: Natural cheese use occasions, July 2016
                                                      • Opportunity to promote use occasions among young adults
                                                        • Figure 24: Natural cheese use occasions, by age, July 2016
                                                    • Purchase Locations

                                                      • Supermarkets remain top location for natural cheese purchases
                                                        • Specialty retail mindset expands beyond specialty
                                                          • Figure 25: Natural cheese purchase locations, July 2016
                                                        • Younger adults gravitate to specialty stores
                                                          • Figure 26: Natural cheese purchase locations, by age, July 2016
                                                      • Purchase Considerations

                                                        • Taste and price most likely to guide purchase decisions
                                                          • Figure 27: Natural cheese purchase considerations, July 2016
                                                        • Young adults more likely to focus on organic, protein content
                                                          • Figure 28: Natural cheese purchase considerations, by age, July 2016
                                                        • Country or region of origin important to higher-income shoppers
                                                          • Figure 29: Natural cheese purchase considerations, by household income, July 2016
                                                      • Purchase Behaviors

                                                        • More consumers report purchasing more cheese
                                                          • Figure 30: Natural cheese purchase behavior, July 2016
                                                        • Higher-income consumers gravitate to premium cheese, greater variety
                                                          • Figure 31: Natural cheese purchase behavior, by household income, July 2016
                                                      • Attitudes toward Cheese

                                                        • Overall positive health image boosts cheese
                                                          • Figure 32: Attitudes toward cheese, July 2016
                                                        • Creating a more engaging cheese shopping experience
                                                          • Figure 33: Attitudes toward cheese, interest in flavors and information – Agree strongly, by age, July 2016
                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

                                                                        • Figure 34: Total US sales and forecast of cheese, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 35: Total US sales and forecast of natural cheese, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 36: Total US sales and forecast of processed cheese, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 37: Total US sales and forecast of processed cheese, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 38: Total US retail sales of cheese, by channel, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                        • Figure 39: MULO natural cheese sales, by form share, 2011-2016
                                                                        • Figure 40: MULO processed cheese sales, by form share, 2011-2016
                                                                        • Figure 41: MULO cream cheese sales, by form share, 2011-2016
                                                                    • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                        • Figure 42: MULO sales of natural cheese, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                                                        • Figure 43: MULO sales of processed cheese, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                                                        • Figure 44: MULO sales of cream cheese/cheese spreads, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016

                                                                    Cheese - US - October 2016

                                                                    US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)