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Sector Trend Analysis – Cheese trends in the United States and Canada

August 2018

Executive summary

The top three supplying countries to the United States (U.S.) in 2017 were Italy (with 25.6% market share), France (with 14.0% market share), and Spain (with 8.2% market share). Of these countries, Spain is the only cheese supplier that experienced positive growth over the last five years, increasing 24.2% in value at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 5.6%.

The top three supplying countries to Canada in 2017 were the U.S., Italy, and France. The U.S. held 25.0% market share in 2017, while Italy represented 23.5% market share and France represented 16.0% market share.

Although there is an increasing trend in the U.S. to reduce dairy consumption, it has not noticeably affected the cheese market as overall cheese sales have continued to experience stable growth, increasing in value by 10.7% over the last five years at a CAGR of 2.6%, and increasing in volume by 3.7% at a CAGR of 0.9%.

Cheese sales in Canada have experienced similar growth to the U.S. cheese market, increasing in value by 11.6% from 2013 to 2017 at a CAGR of 2.8%, and 2.8% in volume at a CAGR of 0.7%.

In both in the U.S. and Canada, top claims for cheese products launched in 2017 included low/no/reduced allergen, fat and lactose. Other common claims included convenient packaging, Kosher, and no additives/preservatives.

Trade overview

The top three supplying countries to the United-States (U.S.) in 2017 were Italy (with 25.6% market share), France (with 14.0% market share), and Spain (with 8.2% market share). Of these countries, Spain is the only cheese supplier that experienced a positive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last five years, increasing 24.2% at a CAGR of 5.6%. Germany's cheese exports to the U.S. saw the most growth of the top ten supplying countries, increasing 100.6% from 2013 to 2017 at a CAGR of 19.0%. Canada was the 10th largest cheese supplier to the U.S. in 2017, worth US$35.3 million (2.9% market share).

In 2017, Canada imported US$253.4 million worth of cheese from the world. The top three cheese supplying countries to Canada were the U.S., Italy, and France. The U.S. held 25.0% market share in 2017, while Italy represented 23.5% market share, and France represented 16.0% market share. Of the top ten countries supplying cheese to Canada, only Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, and the United Kingdom (U.K.) registered positive compound annual growth rates from 2013 to 2017, with 1.1%, 3.9%, 0.7%, and 5.6% respectively. Germany's cheese exports to Canada saw the largest decline of the top ten supplying countries, decreasing 32.2% from 2013 to 2017 at a CAGR of −9.3%.

Top ten cheese[1] suppliers to the United States, from 2013 to 2017, in US$ millions
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017 Market share (%) in 2017
World 1,191.4 1,328.7 1,349.6 1,308.2 1,230.3 0.8 100.0
1. Italy 323.1 320.6 317.1 319.2 314.8 −0.6 25.6
2. France 201.0 205.9 172.3 176.5 171.9 −3.8 14.0
3. Spain 80.8 98.8 102.7 95.8 100.4 5.6 8.2
4. Netherlands 78.3 100.4 92.0 86.8 87.6 2.9 7.1
5. Switzerland 84.6 85.1 91.8 79.3 78.3 −1.9 6.4
6. Germany 24.5 37.4 45.8 42.5 49.0 19.0 4.0
7. United Kingdom 52.2 64.6 66.9 64.9 45.4 −3.4 3.7
8. Norway 40.1 45.4 42.7 46.0 42.2 1.3 3.4
9. Denmark 56.5 58.1 50.3 44.6 42.1 −7.1 3.4
10. Canada 31.6 33.4 27.6 28.5 35.3 2.7 2.9

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using Harmonized System (HS) Code 0406

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Top ten cheese[1] suppliers to Canada, from 2013 to 2017, in US$ millions
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017 Market share (%) in 2017
World 265.7 270.6 243.2 241.3 253.4 −1.2 100.0
1. United States 69.1 70.0 68.5 65.6 63.5 −2.1 25.0
2. Italy 56.9 52.2 44.1 48.8 59.5 1.1 23.5
3. France 51.1 47.6 41.4 40.3 40.5 −5.6 16.0
4. Switzerland 22.3 25.5 25.8 25.2 26.0 3.9 10.3
5. Denmark 12.8 14.2 12.9 12.8 13.2 0.7 5.2
6. Norway 13.7 15.7 12.2 11.3 12.1 −3.1 4.8
7. United Kingdom 9.2 11.5 11.1 10.1 11.5 5.6 4.5
8. Netherlands 13.6 14.8 12.2 9.2 9.9 −7.6 3.9
9. Greece 6.5 6.6 4.3 5.2 5.0 −6.3 2.0
10. Germany 4.6 4.8 3.1 3.1 3.1 −9.3 1.2

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using HS Code 0406

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

In terms of world cheese imports, Germany has maintained its position as the world's largest importer of cheese with US$4.2 billion worth of cheese imports in 2017, representing 15.4% of world cheese imports. German cheese imports have, however, declined 4.0% from 2013 to 2017. Its main suppliers were the Netherlands, France, and Italy.

Of the top ten cheese importers, the Netherlands, France, Japan, and the U.S. were the only countries to have a positive compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017, with 5.6%, 1.1%, 1.0%, and 0.8% respectively. Russia saw the quickest decrease in cheese imports during the same period, falling 57.3% from 2013 to 2017 at a compound annual growth rate of −19.2%. This was due to the Russian embargo from western countries that imposed sanctions on Russia.

Although not in the top ten world importers of cheese, it is worth noting that China's cheese imports have increased by an impressive 115.4% in value over the past five years. Nearly half of China's cheese imports in 2017 came from New Zealand, followed by Australia with 17.5% market share, and the U.S. with 12.1% market share.

Top ten cheese[1] importers in the world, from 2013 to 2017, in US$ millions
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017-November CAGR* (%) 2013-2017 Market share (%) in 2017
World 29,337.0 30,752.7 25,171.2 25,030.3 27,467.4 −1.6 100
1. Germany 4,398.6 4,646.7 3,753.3 3,839.2 4,223.6 −1.0 15.4
2. United Kingdom 2,267.5 2,400.8 1,990.1 1,823.7 2,031.0 −2.7 7.4
3. Italy 2,437.7 2,441.5 1,783.7 1,734.1 1,802.1 −7.3 6.6
4. France 1,662.9 1,797.5 1,487.3 1,504.2 1,734.3 1.1 6.3
5. Netherlands 1,041.6 1,224.3 1,092.8 1,024.2 1,293.0 5.6 4.7
6. Belgium 1,492.6 1,573.8 1,239.1 1,298.1 1,258.1 −4.2 4.6
7. United States 1,191.4 1,328.7 1,349.7 1,308.2 1,230.3 0.8 4.5
8. Japan 1,117.9 1,188.2 1,051.1 976.5 1,162.8 1.0 4.2
9. Spain 1,197.7 1,223.8 963.1 963.2 1,156.8 −0.9 4.2
10. Russia 2,177.0 1,582.0 742.5 732.5 929.0 −19.2 3.4
26. Canada 265.7 270.6 243.2 241.3 253.4 −1.2 0.9

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using HS Code 0406

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Top ten importers of cheese[1] in the world and their top suppliers, 2017 (January to November)
Country Top suppliers and market share (%) Canada's share (%)
1 2 3
1. Germany Netherlands 28.5 France 20.2 Italy 11.0 0.00
2. United Kingdom Ireland 24.9 France 14.5 Italy 12.6 0.04
3. Italy Germany 46.2 France 10.5 Netherlands 7.5 N/A
4. France Italy 30.5 Netherlands 20.6 Germany 15.8 0.00
5. Netherlands Germany 39.1 Belgium 20.6 Denmark 6.6 N/A
6. Belgium Netherlands 34.8 France 33.7 Germany 14.3 N/A
7. United States Italy 25.6 France 14.0 Spain 8.2 2.87
8. Japan Australia 27.3 New Zealand 21.1 United States 12.5 0.20
9. Spain France 24.9 Germany 22.1 Netherlands 18.7 N/A
10. Russia Belarus 83.3 Argentina 4.4 Serbia 3.3 N/A

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using HS Code 0406

N/A: Not applicable

Most of cheese products imported into both the U.S. and Canada in 2017 fell under the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System code (HS code) 040690, cheese (excluding fresh cheese, including whey cheese, curd, grated or powdered cheese). However, there has been an increasing demand for fresh cheese "unripened or uncured cheese", including whey cheese and curd in the U.S. with imports of this product increasing by a CAGR of 10.4% from 2013 to 2017, and grated or powdered cheese, of all kinds with imports increasing at a CAGR of 36.2% over the same period. In Canada, imports of grated or powdered cheese, of all kinds have been increasing at a CAGR of 5.0%, and those of fresh cheese "unripened or uncured cheese", including whey cheese and curd have increased at a CAGR of 17.1% over the same period (2013 to 2017).

Top cheese[1] products imported into the United States, from 2013 to 2017, in US$ millions
Product 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017 Market share (%) in 2017
Total cheese and curd 1,191.4 1,328.7 1,349.7 1,308.2 1,230.3 0.8 100
Cheese (excluding fresh cheese, including whey cheese, curd, grated or powdered cheese) 1,067.5 1,171.7 1,185.6 1,167.8 1,092.5 0.6 88.8
Fresh cheese "unripened or uncured cheese", including whey cheese and curd 47.0 70.6 85.3 70.0 69.9 10.4 5.7
Blue-veined cheese and other cheese containing veins produced by "penicillium roqueforti" 42.0 45.8 41.4 37.4 34.1 −5.1 2.8
Processed cheese, not grated or powdered 34.0 38.6 33.4 28.5 30.7 −2.5 2.5
Grated or powdered cheese, of all kinds 0.9 2.0 3.9 4.5 3.1 36.2 0.2

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using HS Code 0406

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Top cheese[1] products imported into Canada, from 2013 to 2017, in US$ millions
Product 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017 Market share (%) in 2017
Total cheese and curd 265.7 270.6 243.2 241.3 253.4 −1.2 100.0
Cheese (excluding fresh cheese, including whey cheese, curd, grated or powdered cheese) 224.5 227.4 203.4 200.6 209.2 −1.8 82.6
Grated or powdered cheese, of all kinds 15.8 16.4 18.6 18.4 19.2 5.0 7.6
Blue-veined cheese and other cheese containing veins produced by "penicillium roqueforti" 11.8 13.5 11.8 10.9 11.6 −0.5 4.6
Fresh cheese "unripened or uncured cheese", including whey cheese and curd 3.6 3.7 3.8 5.1 6.8 17.1 2.7
Processed cheese, not grated or powdered 9.9 9.6 5.6 6.3 6.6 −9.7 2.6

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using HS Code 0406

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

U.S. cheese exports grew at a compound annual growth rate of 1.7% since 2013, reaching US$1.5 billion in 2017. Canadian cheese exports increased at a compound annual growth rate of 0.4% during the same period, and were valued at US$62.3 million in 2017. Of the U.S.'s top ten export markets for cheese, cheese exports to Australia saw the most growth, increasing by an impressive 104% in value since 2013. Of Canada's top ten cheese export markets, exports to United Arab Emirates saw the most growth, increasing 137% in value during the same period (2013 to 2017).

Top ten United States cheese[1] export markets, from 2013 to 2017, in US$ millions
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017 Market share (%) in 2017
World 1,362.7 1,710.7 1,393.1 1,208.7 1,455.2 1.7% 100.0%
1. Mexico 348.7 398.8 380.2 362.6 391.8 3.0% 26.9%
2. South Korea 201.4 311.5 237.9 170.0 212.8 1.4% 14.6%
3. Japan 141.2 249.0 162.8 117.3 143.6 0.4% 9.9%
4. Australia 57.2 89.4 81.0 59.1 116.4 19.5% 8.0%
5. Canada 76.9 76.6 71.5 71.1 68.7 −2.8% 4.7%
6. China 46.8 55.2 53.5 43.3 63.0 7.7% 4.3%
7. Taiwan 31.9 38.6 35.5 33.7 36.7 3.6% 2.5%
8. Chile 23.9 30.8 33.0 33.6 36.0 10.9% 2.5%
9. Saudi Arabia 50.1 70.4 45.2 27.9 32.7 −10.3% 2.2%
10. Dominican Republic 22.3 22.0 22.4 27.0 29.3 7.1% 2.0%

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using HS Code 0406

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Top ten Canadian cheese[1] export markets, from 2013 to 2017, in US$ millions
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017 Market share (%) in 2017
World 61.3 66.8 53.1 52.9 62.3 0.4% 100.0%
1. United States 31.9 33.9 32.9 34.9 41.7 6.9% 66.9%
2. Saudi Arabia 10.5 10.5 6.8 6.9 7.6 −7.8% 12.2%
3. Japan 2.6 3.8 0.4 0.6 2.5 −0.4% 4.1%
4. Bahamas 0.6 0.5 1.6 0.9 1.3 21.5% 2.0%
5. United Arab Emirates 0.5 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.2 24.0% 2.0%
6. United Kingdom 5.1 8.8 3.7 1.1 0.8 −36.3% 1.4%
7. Jamaica 0.3 0.7 0.5 0.2 0.7 19.7% 1.1%
8. Kuwait 0.8 0.8 1.0 0.8 0.7 −2.9% 1.1%
9. Singapore 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.7 7.2% 1.1%
10. Australia 0.5 1.0 0.8 1.2 0.6 3.4% 1.0%

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using HS Code 0406

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Regional breakdown

In 2017, 60.9% of cheese imports going into the U.S., went to New Jersey, followed by New York (15.3%) and California (7.5%). Of the top 20 states, cheese imports to Delaware saw the most growth, increasing 404.8% from 2013 to 2017.

American cheese[1] imports from the world, by top 20 states in 2017, US$ millions
State 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
New Jersey 646.7 693.8 699.5 719.8 721.3 2.8
New York 241.1 258.3 239.5 189.5 181.3 −6.9
California 64.5 78.3 90.8 89.5 88.8 8.3
Illinois 62.9 94.9 113.7 100.4 61.7 −0.5
Florida 29.3 35.6 37.7 36.2 30.9 1.4
Pennsylvania 8.4 15.9 22.1 38.6 25.0 31.3
Wisconsin 39.5 32.0 11.4 12.8 17.1 −18.9
Puerto Rico 6.8 7.5 7.2 7.7 7.4 2.1
Michigan 8.9 4.0 4.4 8.5 7.0 −5.9
Virginia 4.7 6.4 6.9 4.1 6.8 9.6
Georgia 5.7 7.4 4.3 5.8 6.0 1.3
Texas 3.0 5.5 5.6 5.4 5.9 17.8
Oklahoma 3.5 1.6 1.5 5.3 4.7 7.7
Connecticut 2.1 4.6 6.7 3.1 2.7 6.9
Massachusetts 3.2 2.8 4.6 3.9 2.6 −4.4
Washington 1.6 5.0 17.8 9.1 2.3 9.0
Maryland 2.0 2.3 1.6 3.5 2.0 −0.9
Missouri 0.5 0.5 3.6 2.7 1.9 39.2
Delaware 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.5 1.7 49.9
Minnesota 0.4 0.6 0.4 2.3 1.4 33.7
Total 1,147.8 1,282.8 1,299.3 1,259.0 1,183.7 0.8%

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using HS Code 0406

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

In terms of cheese imports from Canada in 2017, 51.9% went to New Jersey, followed by Wisconsin (20.4%), and Michigan (10.4%). Washington's imports of Canadian cheese increased by an impressive 2997.2% from 2013 to 2017 at a CAGR of 135.9%.

American cheese[1] imports from Canada, by top 20 states in 2017, US$
State 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
New Jersey 14,509,603 16,254,000 15,863,154 15,288,854 18,105,740 5.7
Wisconsin 11,223,409 11,572,998 5,578,438 4,810,976 7,123,966 −10.7
Michigan 762,198 501,296 1,391,153 2,533,686 3,618,857 47.6
Washington 66,560 47,814 25,746 2,316,352 2,061,500 135.9
Pennsylvania 792,450 572,040 1,689,360 33,916 1,633,805 19.8
New York 503,160 190,515 168,385 200,702 726,375 9.6
Massachusetts 280,028 215,948 416,688 264,756 506,314 16.0
California 1,455,597 1,085,440 621,607 898,976 481,784 −24.2
Florida 595,711 447,252 479,235 267,409 253,231 −19.3
Maine 245,869 191,409 357,536 448,418 182,518 −7.2
Illinois 223,174 603,361 213,162 639,629 123,505 −13.7
Rhode Island 78,897 38,557 50,754 10,161 35,526 −18.1
Texas 86,864 66,149 81,694 128,128 15,518 −35.0
North Carolina 0 0 0 42,566 5,920
Minnesota 222,731 249,819 0 94,835 4,843 −61.6
Tennessee 0 0 16,481 39,074 3,420
Georgia 8,078 6,253 115,622 104,639 2,394 −26.2
Virginia 4,767 3,736 0 0 0
South Carolina 0 0 0 10,460 0
Puerto Rico 0 50,948 34,797 23,596 0
Total 31,239,621 33,012,065 27,331,676 28,361,304 34,885,216 2.8

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using HS Code 0406

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

The majority of Canada's cheese imports went to Québec (47.5%) and Ontario (46.5%) in 2017, followed by British Columbia (2.9%), and Alberta (2.5%). Albertan cheese imports from the world saw the most significant increase from 2013 to 2017, with 590.4% period growth. World cheese imports into Saskatchewan have also increased significantly, with a period growth of 345% during the same period.

Canadian cheese[1] imports from the world in 2017 by province, US$
Province 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
Québec 136,059,845 130,554,993 119,304,274 122,213,200 120,440,549 −3.0
Ontario 113,357,290 123,271,453 107,859,501 106,250,634 117,760,048 1.0
British Columbia 13,090,470 13,464,875 13,201,502 6,526,572 7,380,724 −13.3
Alberta 931,616 1,446,600 1,385,915 4,934,338 6,431,431 62.1
Manitoba 1,706,995 1,579,500 1,203,712 1,153,203 1,313,592 −6.3
Saskatchewan 18,851 716 90,782 68,129 83,891 45.2
New Brunswick 531,962 312,580 146,446 47,501 29,847 −51.3
Nova Scotia 20,665 15,077 5,740 137,869 7,312 −22.9
Total 265,717,694 270,645,794 243,197,872 241,331,446 253,447,394 −1.2

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

[1]: For the purpose of this report, "cheese" was defined using HS Code 0406

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Retail sales

Although there is an increasing trend in the U.S. toward reducing dairy consumption, it has not affected the cheese market, as overall cheese sales have continued to experience stable growth, increasing 10.7% in value at a CAGR of 2.6% over the last five years, and 3.7% in volume at a CAGR of 0.9% during the same period. With the increasing demand for more natural products, the main shift can be seen when comparing the performances of processed and unprocessed cheeses.

Unprocessed cheese sales in the U.S. have increased 13.8% in value and 10.9% in volume over the last five years, while those of processed cheese have increased 1.0% in value and have decreased 12.9% in volume. This is mainly due to the decrease in sales for the "other processed cheese" subcategory, which has fallen 6.0% in value and 16.9% in volume from 2013 to 2017.

According to Euromonitor International (2017), American consumers have not shown a disinterest in cheese, but rather a preference for unprocessed, natural cheese, particularly packaged and premium varieties. The unprocessed cheese category is mainly dominated by cheddar, with 31% value market share in 2017, and mozzarella, with 19% value market share.

It is expected that unprocessed cheese sales in the U.S. will reach a value of US$23.1 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 4.5%, and processed cheese sales will reach a value of US$5.4 billion, at a CAGR of 1.3% from 2018 to 2022.

Similar health trends can also be seen with Canadian consumers, valuing cheese for its calcium and protein content. As Canadians adopt busier lifestyles, there is also a trend toward replacing sit-down meals with on-the-go snacking which has created an opportunity for cheese in convenient portion packaging.

The unprocessed cheese category in Canada also performed slightly better than the processed cheese category over the review period (2013 to 2017). Although all cheese subcategories maintained positive growth in terms of value, the "other processed cheese" subcategory decreased 2.6% in volume at a CAGR of −0.7% over the last five years. Consequently, the Canadian processed cheese category had weaker growth, increasing 8.6% in value at a CAGR of 2.1% over the last five years, and decreasing in volume by 0.2% during the same period (2013 to 2017). Comparatively, the Canadian unprocessed cheese category increased 12.3% in value since 2013 at a CAGR of 3.0%, and increased 4.0% in volume at a CAGR of 1.0% from 2013 to 2017.

It is expected that unprocessed cheese sales in Canada will continue to increase at a value CAGR of 5.8% from 2018 to 2022, reaching US$3.3 billion in 2022, while those for processed cheese will increase at a CAGR of 4.9%, reaching US$801.0 million.

Historical cheese retail value sales in the United States, US$ millions
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
Processed cheese 5,178.8 5,352.4 5,367.1 5,280.4 5,232.6 0.3
Unprocessed cheese 15,986.8 16,882.5 17,603.4 17,916.6 18,197.8 3.3
Total U.S. cheese 21,165.6 22,234.9 22,970.5 23,197.0 23,430.4 2.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Historical cheese retail value sales in Canada, US$ millions
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
Processed cheese 580.2 578.8 581.6 603.2 629.9 2.1
Unprocessed cheese 2,274.4 2,293.0 2,373.8 2,478.1 2,554.9 3.0
Total Canadian cheese 2,854.5 2,871.8 2,955.4 3,081.3 3,184.8 2.8

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecasted cheese retail value sales in the United States, US$ millions
Category 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* (%) 2018-2022
Processed cheese 5,166.0 5,188.5 5,264.8 5,355.0 5,450.2 1.3
Unprocessed cheese 19,385.4 20,367.5 21,368.8 22,260.0 23,115.2 4.5
Total U.S. cheese 24,551.4 25,555.9 26,633.5 27,615.0 28,565.4 3.9

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecasted cheese retail value sales in Canada, US$ millions
Category 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* (%) 2018-2022
Processed cheese 662.6 697.6 732.8 767.1 801.0 4.9
Unprocessed cheese 2,699.6 2,870.3 3,043.1 3,213.8 3,378.3 5.8
Total Canadian cheese 3,362.2 3,567.9 3,776.0 3,980.8 4,179.3 5.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Historical cheese retail volume sales in the United States, '000 tonnes
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
Processed cheese 546.2 525.9 508.9 489.8 475.7 −3.4
Unprocessed cheese 1,257.7 1,245.3 1,312.3 1,368.7 1,394.8 2.6
Total U.S. cheese 1,803.9 1,771.1 1,821.2 1,858.5 1,870.5 0.9

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Historical cheese retail volume sales in Canada, '000 tonnes
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
Processed cheese 55.4 54.2 53.3 54.1 55.3 0.0
Unprocessed cheese 136.7 134.5 135.9 139.3 142.1 1.0
Total Canadian cheese 192.1 188.7 189.2 193.4 197.4 0.7

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecasted cheese retail volume sales in the United States, '000 tonnes
Category 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* (%) 2018-2022
Processed cheese 460.4 453.5 448.6 445.4 442.9 −1.0
Unprocessed cheese 1,429.4 1,455.0 1,476.6 1,496.6 1,517.1 1.5
Total U.S. cheese 1,889.8 1,908.5 1,925.2 1,942.0 1,960.0 0.9

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecasted cheese retail volume sales in Canada, '000 tonnes
Category 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* (%) 2018-2022
Processed cheese 56.6 58.0 59.2 60.3 61.4 2.1
Unprocessed cheese 145.8 149.6 153.3 156.5 159.1 2.2
Total Canadian cheese 202.4 207.6 212.6 216.9 220.4 2.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Key categories

Hard unprocessed cheese

The hard unprocessed cheese subcategory was the largest subcategory in terms of value and volume in both the U.S. and Canada in 2017. In the U.S., this subcategory was worth US$9.8 billion and 731.9 thousand tonnes in 2017. In Canada, hard unprocessed cheese was worth US$1.5 billion and 80 thousand tonnes. Increasing 17.5% with a CAGR of 4.1% from 2013 to 2017, hard unprocessed cheese was the most dynamic subcategory in Canada in terms of value growth. This subcategory may have performed better than others due to the shift away from heavily processed products in both the U.S. and Canada, and a growing preference for fewer ingredients.

Main brands

Forecast for 2018-2022

Historical sales of hard unprocessed cheese in the United States and Canada
Sub-sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
U.S. hard cheese sales value, US$ millions 8,722.8 9,164.2 9,653.5 9,731.7 9,878.5 3.2
U.S. hard cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 683.0 675.8 691.7 718.6 731.4 1.7
Canadian hard cheese sales value, US$ millions 1,299.3 1,340.1 1,386.3 1,452.7 1,526.5 4.1
Canadian hard cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 74.7 74.9 75.7 77.9 80.0 1.7

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecasted sales of hard unprocessed cheese in the United States and Canada
Sub-sector 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* (%) 2018-2022
U.S. hard cheese sales value, US$ millions 10,476.6 11,009.3 11,546.2 12,023.8 12,495.2 4.5
U.S. hard cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 754.6 770.8 785.1 798.5 812.5 1.9
Canadian hard cheese sales value, US$ millions 1,617.2 1,717.9 1,817.4 1,914.8 2,007.9 5.6
Canadian hard cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 82.2 84.4 86.3 87.9 89.1 2.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Soft unprocessed cheese

In 2017, the soft unprocessed cheese subcategory was the second-largest in value and volume, both in the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S., the subcategory reached sales worth US$8.3 billion (663.5 thousand tonnes) in 2017, and in Canada, it reached sales worth US$1 billion (62.2 thousand tonnes). Sales in the U.S. experiences a 14.5% value increase at a CAGR of 3.4% from 2013 to 2017, and a 15.5% volume increase with a CAGR of 3.7% during the same period. Sales of soft unprocessed cheese in Canada saw a 5.5% value increase at a CAGR of 1.3% since 2013, and a 0.3% increase in volume at a CAGR of 0.1% during the same period.

Main brands

Forecast for 2018-2022

Historical sales of soft unprocessed cheese in the United States and Canada
Sub-sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
U.S. soft cheese sales value, US$ millions 7,264.0 7,718.3 7,949.9 8,184.9 8,319.3 3.4
U.S. soft cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 574.7 569.5 620.6 650.1 663.5 3.7
Canadian soft cheese sales value, US$ millions 975.1 952.9 987.5 1,025.4 1,028.4 1.3
Canadian soft cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 62.0 59.6 60.2 61.4 62.2 0.1

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecasted sales of soft unprocessed cheese in the United States and Canada
Sub-sector 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* (%) 2018-2022
U.S. soft cheese sales value, US$ millions 8,908.7 9,358.2 9,822.5 10,236.3 10,620.0 4.5
U.S. soft cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 674.8 684.2 691.5 698.1 704.6 1.1
Canadian soft cheese sales value, US$ millions 1,082.5 1,152.4 1,225.7 1,298.9 1,370.4 6.1
Canadian soft cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 63.5 65.2 67.0 68.6 69.9 2.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

"Other" processed cheese

"Other" processed cheese was the third-largest subcategory in value and volume, both in the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. market for "other" processed cheese was worth US$2.7 billion and 278.8 thousand tonnes in 2017, and the Canadian market for this subcategory was worth US$331.9 million and 30.2 thousand tonnes that same year. Sales in the U.S. declined in value by 6% at a CAGR of −1.5% from 2013 to 2017, and 16.9% in volume at a CAGR of −4.5% during the same period. Sales in Canada increased at a moderate value CAGR of 0.6% and decreased in volume at a CAGR of −0.7% over the last five years.

Main brands

Forecast for 2018-2022

Historical sales of "other" processed cheese in the United States and Canada
Sub-sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
U.S. "other" processed cheese sales value, US$ millions 2,954.2 3,053.5 3,010.7 2,881.2 2,778.0 −1.5
U.S. "other" processed cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 335.6 322.5 303.5 289.2 278.8 −4.5
Canadian "other" processed cheese sales value, US$ millions 324.0 315.0 313.9 320.9 331.9 0.6
Canadian "other" processed cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 31.0 30.1 29.5 29.7 30.2 −0.7

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecasted sales of "other" processed cheese in the United States and Canada
Sub-sector 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* (%) 2018-2022
U.S. "other" processed cheese sales value, US$ millions 2,670.1 2,655.5 2,683.5 2,716.1 2,744.0 0.7
U.S. "other" processed cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 266.6 262.2 258.9 256.6 254.0 −1.2
Canadian "other" processed cheese sales value, US$ millions 347.6 366.0 384.8 402.9 421.0 4.9
Canadian "other" processed cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 31.0 31.7 32.4 33.0 33.5 2.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Spreadable processed cheese

The spreadable processed cheese subcategory, which includes squeeze cheese and cheese packaged in aerosol cans, declined in terms of volume over the past five years in the U.S. at CAGR of 1.7%, but increased in value at a CAGR of 2.5%. In Canada, the subcategory increased at a value CAGR of 3.9%, reaching US$298 million in 2017, and at a volume CAGR of 0.6%, reaching 25 thousand tonnes.

While consumers are developing distaste for many heavily processed products within this subcategory, cream cheese, particularly premium varieties that offer unique flavours, are remaining a staple for many Americans and Canadians alike. The shift away from less expensive heavily processed products toward premium cream cheese varieties within this subcategory may explain the decrease in volume in the U.S. and slow volume growth in Canada, compared to the faster value growth.

Main brands

Forecast for 2018-2022

Historical sales of spreadable processed cheese in the United States and Canada
Sub-sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
U.S. spreadable processed cheese sales value, US$ millions 2,224.5 2,299.0 2,356.4 2,399.1 2,454.6 2.5
U.S. spreadable processed cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 210.6 203.4 205.4 200.6 196.9 −1.7
Canadian spreadable processed cheese sales value, US$ millions 256.1 263.8 267.7 282.3 298.1 3.9
Canadian spreadable processed cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 24.4 24.1 23.8 24.5 25.0 0.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecasted sales of spreadable processed cheese in the United States and Canada
Sub-sector 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* (%) 2018-2022
U.S. spreadable processed cheese sales value, US$ millions 2,495.9 2,533.0 2,581.3 2,638.9 2,706.3 2.0
U.S. spreadable processed cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 193.8 191.4 189.7 188.8 188.9 −0.6
Canadian spreadable processed cheese sales value, US$ millions 315.0 331.6 348.0 364.1 380.0 4.8
Canadian spreadable processed cheese sales volume, 000' tonnes 25.7 26.3 26.8 27.4 27.8 2.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Health and wellness

Consumers in both Canada and the U.S. are increasingly seeking products that are healthy. Although many consumers are decreasing their consumption of dairy products in general, this trend has not affected the cheese market. Consumers value cheese as a good source of protein and calcium, and view it as a suitable snack to be paired with fresh fruit. There has been, however, a noticeable shift toward unprocessed cheeses, which are perceived to be healthier. The health and wellness cheese category includes the following three subcategories: fortified/functional cheese, organic cheese, and reduced fat cheese.

Main subcategories

Main brands

Forecast for 2018-2022

Historical sales of health and wellness cheese in the United States, US$ millions
Sub-sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
Fortified/functional cheese 430.5 442.4 298.5 272.2 252.9 −12.5
Organic cheese 352.1 421.1 508.3 580.3 643.6 16.3
Reduced fat cheese 3,170.7 3,105.9 2,981.7 2,814.0 2,745.2 −3.5
Total health and wellness cheese in the U.S. 3,953.3 3,969.5 3,788.5 3,666.5 3,641.7 −2.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Historical sales of health and wellness cheese in Canada, US$ millions
Sub-sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* (%) 2013-2017
Fortified/functional cheese 10.6 11.1 11.7 12.4 13.1 5.4
Organic cheese 5.2 5.4 5.9 6.5 7.0 7.7
Reduced fat cheese 98.5 103.7 109.0 114.5 119.9 5.0
Total health and wellness cheese in Canada 114.2 120.1 126.7 133.4 140.0 5.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecasted sales of health and wellness cheese in the United States, US$ millions
Sub-sector 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* (%) 2018-2022
Fortified/functional cheese 245.5 244.2 243.6 244.6 246.6 0.1
Organic cheese 712.6 777.9 837.2 889.4 936.8 7.1
Reduced fat cheese 2,699.7 2,683.2 2,669.0 2,660.2 2,658.5 −0.4
Total health and wellness cheese in the U.S. 3,657.8 3,705.3 3,749.8 3,794.2 3,841.9 1.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecasted sales of health and wellness cheese in Canada, US$ millions
Sub-sector 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* (%) 2018-2022
Fortified/functional cheese 14.1 15.1 16.2 17.3 18.5 7.0
Organic cheese 7.6 8.5 9.5 10.6 11.7 11.4
Reduced fat cheese 127.6 135.7 144.0 152.5 161.5 6.1
Total health and wellness cheese in Canada 149.4 159.3 169.7 180.4 191.6 6.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Top companies and distribution

The American cheese market is mainly dominated by Kraft Heinz Co. with many product offerings spread across multiple categories.

The Canadian market is mainly split between the top three companies, Saputo Inc., with 25.7% market share in 2017, followed by Kraft Canada Inc. (22.8%) and Agropur Cooperative Ltd. (21.4%).

Top cheese companies[1] in the United States, 2017
# Company Market share (%)
1 Kraft Heinz Co. 25.8
2 Sargento Foods Inc. 5.8
3 Walmart Inc. 3.5
4 Saputo Cheese USA Inc. 1.7
5 Tillamook County Creamery Association 1.7
6 Bel Brands USA Inc. 1.4
7 Michael Foods Inc. 1.3
8 Sorrento Lactalis 1.2
9 Dairy Farmers of America Inc. 1.1
10 BelGioso Cheese Inc. 1.0

Source: Euromonitor, 2018

[1]: National – Latest Owner

Top cheese companies[1] in Canada, 2017
# Company Market share (%)
1 Saputo Inc. 25.7
2 Kraft Canada Inc. 22.8
3 Agropur Cooperative Ltd. 21.4
4 Parmalat Canada Ltd. 13.9
5 Loblaw Cos Ltd. 2.4
6 Arla Foods Canada Inc. 1.7
7 Sobeys Inc. 1.5
8 Metro Inc. 0.8
9 Switzerland Cheese Marketing Inc. 0.7
10 Wal-Mart Canada Inc. 0.1

Source: Euromonitor, 2018

[1]: National – Latest Owner

With a combined market share of 83% in the U.S. and 79% in Canada, hypermarkets and supermarkets are the dominant channels through which cheese products are sold. This may be due to consumers' preference to purchase cheese during larger grocery shopping trips.

While independent small grocers are losing market share for cheese sales in the U.S., they are maintaining steady growth in Canada, increasing at a CAGR of 2.6% from 2013 to 2017.

Although American cheese sales via internet retailing still only held 0.9% market share in 2017, they have increased at an impressive CAGR of 17.1% over the last five years. Canadian cheese sales via internet retailing have also increased from 2013 to 2017, but at a more moderate CAGR of 5.8%.

Cheese distribution in the United States, by outlet (% share)
Outlet 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* 2013-2017
Grocery retailers 92.8 92.9 92.9 92.1 92.3 2.4
Convenience stores 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.4 1.4 7.4
Discounters 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.6 4.8
Forecourt retailers 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.0 7.1
Hypermarkets 38.1 38.2 38.3 38.8 39.2 3.3
Supermarkets 44.9 44.8 44.5 44.2 43.9 2.0
Food/drink/tobacco specialists
Independent small grocers 4.5 4.3 4.2 3.2 3.2 −6.0
Other grocery retailers
Non-grocery specialists 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 2.8
Health and beauty specialist retailers 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 2.8
Other foods non-grocery specialists 0.0 0.0
Mixed retailers 6.5 6.4 6.3 7.1 6.7 3.1
Internet retailing 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.9 17.1
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 0.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Cheese distribution in Canada, by outlet (% share)
Outlet 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* 2013-2017
Grocery retailers 97.0 96.9 96.9 96.9 96.9 2.7
Convenience stores 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0
Discounters 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 3.1
Forecourt retailers 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 2.9
Hypermarkets 19.3 19.5 19.7 19.9 20.0 3.7
Supermarkets 59.3 59.1 58.9 58.7 58.6 2.4
Food/drink/tobacco specialists 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 2.2
Independent small grocers 9.3 9.3 9.3 9.3 9.3 2.6
Other grocery retailers 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 1.6
Non-grocery specialists 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 11.0
Health and beauty specialist retailers 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 11.0
Other foods non-grocery specialists 0.0
Mixed retailers 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.9 3.3
Internet retailing 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 5.8
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 0.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

New product launch analysis

From 2008 to 2017, there were 5,396 cheese products launched in the U.S. and 1,705 cheese products launched in Canada. While 37% of product launches in the U.S. were new varieties/ranges; 29% were new products, 29% were new packaging, 4% were relaunches, and 1% were new formulations.

Canada saw a similar division amongst launch types with 36% of product launches being new varieties/ranges, 27% being new products, 30% being new packaging, 6% being relaunches, and 1% being new formulations.

In 2017, 697 cheese products were launched in the U.S., more than half of which were hard cheeses and semi-hard cheeses. In Canada, 187 cheese products were launched. 49% of these products were hard cheeses and semi-hard cheeses.

Number of cheese products launched in the U.S. and Canada, 2008 to 2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Number of cheese products launched in the United States and Canada, 2008 to 2017
Year United States Canada
2008 612 83
2009 298 69
2010 548 139
2011 547 120
2012 503 145
2013 505 181
2014 636 313
2015 427 238
2016 623 230
2017 697 187

Source: Mintel, 2018.

Number of cheese product launches in the United States and Canada in 2017, by sub-category
Sub-category Launches in the U.S. Launches in Canada
Hard cheese and semi-hard cheese 366 92
Soft cheese and semi-soft cheese 167 51
Fresh cheese and cream cheese 46 25
Processed cheese 93 17
Soft cheese desserts 25 2
Total sample 697 187

Source: Mintel, 2018.

Number of cheese products launched in 2017 in the United States, by feature and sub-category
Feature Hard and semi-hard cheese Soft and semi-soft cheese Fresh and cream cheese Processed cheese Curd and quark

Top claims

Low/no/reduced allergen 106 45 5 28 10
Gluten free 90 44 5 27 9
Convenient packaging 139 37 3 3 0
Hormone free 67 36 12 1 2
Low/no/reduced fat 31 53 6 11 10
Kosher 12 28 26 6 18
No additives/preservatives 25 17 9 17 5
Organic 31 19 5 7 6
GMO free 24 12 3 15 4
Social media 17 14 3 8 4
Top formats
Block 127 34 3 6 2
Shredded 110 29 0 6 0
Sliced 95 10 0 25 1
Spread 0 13 38 42 3
Whole 11 30 2 4 0
Other 4 30 0 7 0
Wedge 19 9 0 2 0
Ball 0 12 0 0 14
Top packaging
Flexible 142 34 5 27 2
Skinpack 97 62 2 8 0
Tub 20 31 29 28 20
Flexible stand-up pouch 66 23 0 4 0
Jar 16 5 0 8 0
Tray 17 3 0 6 0
Carton 0 1 8 1 0
Flexible sachet 4 1 0 3 0
Aerosol 0 0 0 5 0
Rigid box 0 4 0 0 0
Top flavours
Unflavoured/plain 292 121 24 53 18
Smoke 16 3 0 5 0
Chili/chilli pepper (jalapeno) 15 3 1 4 0
Garlic 3 9 3 2 1
Herb/herbal 1 9 2 3 0
Chili/chilli pepper (habanero) 9 0 0 0 0
Tomato 0 4 0 3 0
Bacon/lardon/pancetta/speck 2 0 0 4 0
Basil 1 5 0 0 0
Blueberry 2 1 0 0 0
Top ingredient preparation
Pasteurised 330 157 43 41 6
Cultured 100 37 14 33 13
Powdered 86 21 3 15 1
Partly skimmed 49 42 0 9 0
Skimmed 1 6 7 22 11
Concentrate 0 1 3 28 5
Modified 3 3 3 23 2
Extract 9 0 3 16 0
Reduced 13 7 0 8 0
Whole 5 9 0 2 5

Source: Mintel, 2018

Number of cheese products launched in 2017 in Canada, by feature and sub-category
Feature Hard and semi-hard cheese Soft and semi-soft cheese Fresh and cream cheese Processed cheese Curd and quark

Top claims

Kosher 6 9 18 0 9
Convenient packaging 25 10 0 0 0
Low/no/reduced fat 6 9 8 1 1
No additives/preservatives 9 4 1 8 1
Functional - slimming 6 6 8 0 1
Low/no/reduced allergen 13 4 0 1 1
High/added protein 8 2 0 1 0
Low/no/reduced lactose 13 2 0 1 0
Halal 3 6 1 0 1
Social media 3 6 0 0 0
Top formats
Block 44 12 1 3 0
Sliced 23 6 0 12 0
Spread 0 3 23 1 6
Shredded 16 9 1 0 0
Whole 1 15 0 0 0
Wedge 6 2 0 0 0
Ball 0 2 0 0 6
Other 2 1 0 1 0
Top packaging
Flexible 33 17 1 12 0
Skinpack 32 11 2 3 0
Tub 2 12 18 0 10
Tray 13 3 0 2 0
Flexible stand-up pouch 6 2 0 0 0
Carton 1 2 3 0 0
Flexible sachet 4 0 1 0 0
Jar 0 2 0 0 0
Clam-pack 0 1 0 0 0
Sleeve 0 1 0 0 0
Top flavours
Unflavoured/plain 74 41 14 12 10
Herb/herbal 3 5 1 1 0
Chili/chilli pepper (jalapeno) 4 3 1 1 0
Garlic 1 5 3 0 0
Smoke 3 0 1 0 0
Cranberry 2 1 0 0 0
Siracha (hot chili sauce) 0 1 1 1 0
Spice/spicy 0 2 0 1 0
Chili/chilli pepper (habanero) 2 0 0 0 0
Chocolate 0 0 1 0 0
Top ingredient preparation
Pasteurised 61 43 13 2 4
Modified 45 23 7 15 2
Powdered 4 7 6 1 0
Partly skimmed 5 9 1 0 1
Skimmed 0 2 12 0 2
Dry 3 3 5 1 0
Dehydrated 0 2 2 3 0
Smoked 4 1 1 0 0
Extract 0 3 0 3 0
Concentrate 1 1 0 0 1

Source: Mintel, 2018

New cheese products in the U.S., by launch type, 2008 to 2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
New cheese products in the United States, by launch type, 2008 to 2017
New variety/range New product New packaging Relaunch New formulation
37% 29% 29% 4% 1%

Source: Mintel, 2018.

New cheese products in Canada, by launch type, 2008 to 2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
New cheese products in Canada, by launch type, 2008 to 2017
New variety/range New product New packaging Relaunch New formulation
36% 27% 30% 6% 1%

Source: Mintel, 2018.

While the majority (71%) of cheese products launched in the U.S. in 2017 fell in the US$0.99 to US$5.18 price range, 49% of products launched in Canada fell in a slightly higher price range (US$4.40 to US$7.88).

Approximately 8% of products launched in the U.S. in 2017 were priced between US$9.39 and US$21.99, and approximately 15% of products launched in Canada were in the similar US$7.89 to US$18.32 range.

In both in the U.S. and Canada, top claims in 2017 included low/no/reduced allergen, and fat. Other common claims included convenient packaging, Kosher, no additives/preservatives, and social media.

Among the top ten claims for cheese products in the U.S. gluten-free, hormone-free, organic, and GMO-free. In Canada other claims among the top ten for cheese products launched in 2017 included slimming, high/added protein, and Halal.

New cheese launches in Canada, by price range, 2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
New cheese launches in Canada, by price range, 2017
0.91 - 4.39 US$ 4.40 - 7.88 US$ 7.89 - 11.37 US$ 11.38 - 14.86 US$ 14.87 - 18.32 US$
36% 49% 10% 4% 1%

Source: Mintel, 2018.

New cheese launches in the U.S., by price range, 2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
New cheese launches in the United States, by price range, 2017
0.99 - 5.18 US$ 5.19 - 9.38 US$ 9.39 - 13.58 US$ 13.59 - 17.78 US$ 17.79 - 21.99 US$
71% 21% 7% 1% 0%

Source: Mintel, 2018.

Examples of new products in the United States

Président Organic Rondelé
Company Lactalis American Group
Brand Président Organic Rondelé
Launch type new variety / range extension
Price in US dollars $3.99
Description Président Rondelé Salted Caramel Gourmet Spreadable Cheese is made with milk from cows not treated with the growth hormones and is ready to serve. It retails in a 6.5-ounce (oz.) pack featuring a QR code. The company is said to be Europe's leading cheese expert.
Positioning claims ease of use, hormone free, limited edition
Lifeway
Company Lifeway Foods
Brand Lifeway
Launch type new variety/range extension
Price in US dollars $1.89
Description Lifeway Apricot Farmer Cheese provides 14 grams (g) of protein and is made in small batches with milk that comes from grass fed cows that are not treated with antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones. This dry curd cheese is kosher certified, made with renewable energy, contains probiotics and is free from gluten. It retails in a 5-oz. pack, bearing the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram logos.
Positioning claims ethical – environmentally friendly product, gluten free, hormone free, Kosher, low/no/reduced allergen, social media
Happy Farms Preferred
Company Aldi
Brand Happy Farms Preferred
Launch type new variety / range extension
Price in US dollars $3.49
Description Happy Farms Preferred Golden Maple Cheddar Cheese with Fenugreek retails in a 7-oz. pack.
Positioning Claims Not applicable

Examples of new products in Canada

Thornloe Cheese
Company Thornloe Cheese
Brand Thornloe Cheese
Launch type new product
Price in US dollars $6.21
Description Thornloe Cheese Pride of The North Grass-Fed Mild Cheddar Cheese is made with milk from grass-fed cows and is said to be a unique food with a health promoting ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fat. According to the manufacturer, the cheese is ideal for everyday use with a fresh and clean taste and contains 33% milk fat and 38% moisture. It retails in a 200g pack featuring Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Dairy Farmers of Canada logos.
Positioning claims social media
Woolwich Dairy
Company Woolwich Dairy
Brand Woolwich Dairy
Launch type new variety/range extension
Price in US dollars $8.91
Description Woolwich Dairy Goat Cheese Party Pack is kosher certified and is made with 100% Canadian fresh goat's milk. It retails in a pack bearing Facebook and Twitter logos and containing three 113g units, namely: pumpkin spice soft unripened goat cheese with 20% milk fat content; apple ginger soft unripened goat cheese with 20% milk fat content; and sriracha soft unripened goat cheese with 23% milk fat content.
Positioning claims Kosher, social media
Neufchâtel
Company Fromagerie Du Pays De Bray
Brand Neufchâtel
Launch type new variety / range extension
Price in US dollars $9.01
Description Neufchâtel Coeur de Bray Soft-Ripened Cheese contains 24% milk fat and 54% moisture, and retails in a 200g pack bearing the Protected Designation of Origin logo.
Positioning Claims Not applicable

Conclusion

The U.S. and Canada are experiencing similar trends in cheese consumption, namely the shift from processed cheese toward unprocessed cheese. Both countries have growing opportunities for unprocessed natural cheese products. In Canada, there are particularly increased opportunities for cheese products that lend themselves well to snacking, in convenient and portioned packaging. Although processed cheese consumption in the U.S. is generally declining, Americans still view cream cheese as a staple to be paired with bagels. Premium varieties that offer unique flavours have done well in this category.

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found on the International agri-food market intelligence page, arranged by region.

Resources

Sector Trend Analysis – Cheese Trends in the United States and Canada
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Julie Acheson, Market Analyst

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