China Cheese Market Report 2022
“The cheese market has shown a slowed growth rate due to consumers’ conservative financial outlook with market offerings moving away from the price war of discounts that discouraged the total…

China Cheese Market Report 2022

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)


“The cheese market has shown a slowed growth rate due to consumers’ conservative financial outlook with market offerings moving away from the price war of discounts that discouraged the total sales volume. In the future, the growth will benefit from policies supporting cheese consumption and better awareness and acceptance of more cheese-containing dishes coming to family tables. The opportunities lie in innovative formats, alternative snacking occasions and more market education about cheeses’ integrated natural nutritional value (rich in calcium and vitamins) to attract consumers.”

–    Pepper Peng, Senior Research Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • The growth potential of the cheese market
  • Novel cheese products outlook
  • How and when consumers eat cheese
  • Consumers’ purchase interest in cheese nutrition and functional claims
  • Opportunities in the format of kids’ cheese and cheese targeting specialised consumer groups

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • The market
      • Figure 1: Total retail market value of cheese market, China, 2017-27
    • Companies and brands
      • Figure 2: Leading companies in cheese market, by value share*, China, 2020-21
    • The consumer
    • Normal cheese’s higher penetration shows potential as the second growth driver
      • Figure 3: Consumption frequency, 2022
    • Protein and calcium are hits while fat causes a panic
      • Figure 4: Nutrient content, 2022
    • Nighttime could be a new snacking occasion for cheese
      • Figure 5: Eating time, 2022
    • Consumers expect more formats of kids’ cheese
      • Figure 6: Interest in format of kids’ cheese, 2022
    • Brain/nervous health and energy-boosting combined claims can attract the majority
      • Figure 7: Interest in functions, 2022
    • Different nutrition according to age is urgently needed
      • Figure 8: Attitudes towards kids’ cheese, 2022
    • What we think
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Cheese snacks to pair with alcoholic drinks
      • Figure 9: Italian classic flavoured authentic mini salami, Hormel, China, 2022
      • Figure 10: KFC’s cream beer during the World Cup 2022, China
      • Figure 11: Examples of cheese to pair with alcohol
    • Specified bone health needs at critical lifespans can make cheese shine
      • Figure 12: Suggested intakes of calcium volume per day, by age
      • Figure 13: Milk Ground highlights vitamin D and how it works on front package
      • Figure 14: 55+ Creamy Chocolate Whey Based Complete Meal Replacement, Canada, 2019
    • More cheese products for the dinner table
      • Figure 15: Cheese hotpot set, KFC, China, 2022
      • Figure 16: Triple shredded cheese, Hema, China, 2022
      • Figure 17: Examples of innovative cheese products for ready meals or cooking, global
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Slowdown growth rate…
      • Figure 18: Total retail market value of cheese market, China, 2017-27
      • Figure 19: Total retail market volume of cheese market, China, 2017-27
    • …but still positive in the next five years
  5. Market Factors

    • New national standard of processed cheese and its products
    • Cheese industry in the 14th Five-Year Plan
    • Cheese slices were added to The Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents for the first time ever
    • Western style is more popular in cooking and baking
      • Figure 20: Hema guides consumers to have a bagel with cheese, 2022
    • Less eating out and travel have a negative impact on cultivating the cheese eating habit
      • Figure 21: Less spending – Eating out, China, 2022
  6. Key Players

    • lk Ground invests more on family table and foodservice
      • Figure 22: Leading companies in cheese market, by value share*, China, 2020-21
    • Yili gains market share swiftly with the advantage of distributions
    • Other market players
  7. Marketing Activities

    • Dr. Cheese upgrades its CSCS system to a high calcium nutrition bank
      • Figure 23: Cheese staging calcium system, Dr. Cheese, China
      • Figure 24: High calcium nutrition bank, Dr.Cheese, 2022
    • Mengniu Cheese, the official cheese of the World Cup 2022
      • Figure 25: Poster of Mengniu cheese during the world cup 2022
      • Figure 26: Recipes of milk tea which uses mengniu cheese
    • Kiri cooperated with bakery houses
      • Figure 27: Kiri cooperated with GLZ
      • Figure 28: City wandering project, Kiri, 2022
  8. New Product Trends

    • Claims
      • Figure 29: Top 10 claim categories of cheese market, China, 2018-22 (till October)
    • Vitamin and added calcium claims shrank
      • Figure 30: Plus claims of cheese market in China, 2018-22 (till October)
    • Minus claims focus on low-calorie
      • Figure 31: Minus claims of cheese market in China, 2018-22 (till October)
    • Format
    • Sliced and block are coming back
      • Figure 32: Format type of cheese in China, 2018-22 (till October)
    • Screw-thread stand-up pouch
      • Figure 33: Examples of screw-thread stand-up pouch, China, 2021-2022
    • Goat cheese
      • Figure 34: Goat or sheep cheese*, by market, 2018-22 (till October)
      • Figure 35: Goat cheese, Dr.Cheese, 2022
      • Figure 36: Perception of different type of milk source, 2022
    • The first occurrence of flavours in the last 12 months globally
    • Regional herbs or spice
      • Figure 37: Examples of cheese with regional herbs or vegetables
      • Figure 38: Chinese style herbal flavour ice cream, Bright Dairy, China, 2022
    • Wine-infused flavour
      • Figure 39: Examples of cheese in wine-infused flavour
      • Figure 40: Maotai-flavoured ice cream, China, 2022
      • Figure 41: Whiskey-flavoured gelato, China, 2022
  9. Consumption Frequency

    • Normal cheese keeps higher penetration than kids’ cheese
      • Figure 42: Consumption frequency, 2022
      • Figure 43: Penetration of different cheese products, by city tier, 2022
      • Figure 44: Consumption frequency, by cheese type, 2022
    • Cheese slices can be a good morning companion for everyday users
      • Figure 45: Eating time, by frequency and type of cheese
  10. Nutrient Content

    • Protein and calcium are priorities
      • Figure 46: Nutrient content, 2022
      • Figure 47: Dr. cheese’s guide about how many slices per day, 2022
      • Figure 48: Sodium content, by type of cheese and frequency, 2022
    • Bring more education to vitamin fortification
      • Figure 49: Selected nutrient content (%), by kids’ cheese and frequency, 2022
      • Figure 50: Selected nutrient content (%), by normal cheese and frequency, 2022
      • Figure 51: Nutrition content, by type of cheese and frequency of once a day or more, 2022
    • Polish rich and diverse nutrition value of cheese for pregnant women
      • Figure 52: Nutrition content, by consumers who agree cheese is a more nutritious food source for pregnant women than milk, 2022
  11. Eating Time

    • Cheesey nights in
      • Figure 53: Eating time, 2022
      • Figure 54: Eating time – between 17:00 and 22:00, by parents’ age*, 2022
      • Figure 55: Working mix, QBB Locabo, Japan, 2022
    • Morning cheese should pay more attention to protein and calcium
      • Figure 56: Nutrition table, by time to feed cheese with cheese, 2022
  12. Interest in Format of Kid’s Cheese

    • Stick is still the majority’s choice
      • Figure 57: Interest in format of kids’ cheese, 2022
    • What do high income families prefer?
      • Figure 58: Interest in format of kids’ cheese*, by families who have children under 18, by different household income level, 2022
    • Opportunities for different formats of kids’ cheese
      • Figure 59: Eating time, by formats of kids’ cheese, 2022
  13. Interest in Functions

    • Kid’s cheese consumers are more interested in brain/nervous health
      • Figure 60: Interest in functions, 2022
      • Figure 61: TURF analysis – Interest in functions
      • Figure 62: Interest in functions*, by type of cheese and frequency of once a day or more, 2022
    • Heavy users and consumers aged 25-29 expect energy-boost
      • Figure 63: Interest in replenishing energy, by consumption frequency of normal cheese consumers, 2022
      • Figure 64: Interest in functions, by age, 2022
    • Building muscle function needs to be more cautious about nutrition content
      • Figure 65: Nutrient content, by interest in functions, 2022
  14. Attitudes towards Cheese

    • Cheese’s nutrition value is dimmed
      • Figure 66: Attitudes towards nutrition value of cheese, compared to milk, 2020 and 2022
      • Figure 67: Attitudes towards nutrition value of cheese, compared to milk, by age, 2022
      • Figure 68: Attitude towards cheese for pregnant women, 2022
      • Figure 69: Attitudes towards cheese and milk, 2022
    • Attitudes towards kids’ cheese
    • Nutrients for different ages
      • Figure 70: Attitudes towards kids’ cheese, 2022
      • Figure 71: Key drivers of Attitudes towards kids’ cheese, 2022
    • Full-fat or low-fat?
    • Ambient cheese or chilled cheese?
  15. Food Persona

    • Who are they?
      • Figure 72: Food persona, 2022
      • Figure 73: Food persona, by gender, 2022
      • Figure 74: Food persona, by age, 2022
    • Critical shoppers pay more attention to all nutrition content
      • Figure 75: Nutrition content, by food persona, 2022
    • Energy-boosting is appealing to all food personas
      • Figure 76: Interest in functional claims, by food persona, 2022
  16. Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

      • Figure 77: Total retail value sales and forecast of cheese, China, 2017-27
      • Figure 78: Total retail volume sales and forecast of cheese, China, 2017-27
  17. Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

    • Methodology
    • TURF Analysis
    • Key Driver Analysis
    • Abbreviations

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


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