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Sector Trend Analysis – Cheese trends in Western Europe

September 2018

Executive summary

Western Europe is a mature market for cheese, characterised by a strong per capita consumption. It is the biggest cheese market in the world, worth US$44.8 billion.

European Union's (EU) imports from Canada have been declining at a −41% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 to 2016, mostly due to high EU tariffs and limited Canadian supplying. In 2016, the EU imported US$ 906.7 thousand worth of cheese from Canada.

Unprocessed cheese is much more popular than processed cheese in Western Europe, accounting for 87% of overall retail sales. Within this category, Western Europeans tend to prefer hard cheese over soft cheese.

Trends include the emergence of snacking in Western Europe, the growing recognition by consumers of dairy foods as nutritious and natural snacks, and the rising popularity of free from lactose and organic cheese.

There were 3,502 cheese products launched in Western Europe in 2017, out of which one quarter had a private label.

Introduction

Western Europe is home to 510 million people and it is known for its high standards of living, with noticeably high income levels. It is the wealthiest region on the European continent, with a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) that is more than four times as high as in Eastern Europe.

Western Europe is characterised by a strong cheese per capita consumption, and it is the biggest market in the world for cheese, worth US$ 44.8 billion in retail sales value (compared to US$13.0 billion in Eastern Europe). Consumption varies widely from country to country, as can be seen in the chart below, but in general, production in the region is strong and benchmarked throughout the world. Cheeses from Italy and France, for example, are widely recognised and exported around the globe.

Cheese consumption in Western Europe, in kilograms per capita, 2013-2021
Based on retail volume (tonnes)
Country[1] 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018[f] 2019[f] 2020[f] 2021[f] 2022[f]
Austria 7.6 7.7 7.7 7.8 7.8 7.8 7.9 7.9 8.0 8.1
Belgium 11.3 11.4 11.4 11.3 11.1 11.0 10.9 10.8 10.7 10.6
Denmark 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.6 10.7 10.7 10.8 10.9
Finland 12.8 13.1 13.5 13.7 13.9 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.5
France 13.8 13.8 13.7 13.8 13.8 13.8 13.9 13.9 13.9 14.0
Germany 9.9 9.8 9.8 9.8 9.9 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4
Greece 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.1 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
Ireland 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4.0 4.1 4.3 4.4
Italy 10.1 9.6 9.4 9.2 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.2
Netherlands 8.9 8.9 8.9 8.8 8.7 8.6 8.6 8.6 8.5 8.5
Norway 12.9 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.7 13.7 13.8 13.8
Portugal 8.6 8.7 8.8 9.0 9.3 9.5 9.9 10.2 10.6 11.0
Spain 7.0 6.9 6.8 6.9 7.0 7.2 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.8
Sweden 11.7 11.6 11.5 11.4 11.3 11.2 11.1 11.0 10.9 10.8
Switzerland[a] 12.7 12.6 12.7 12.7 12.7 12.7 12.8 12.8 12.9 12.9
Turkey[a] 3.6 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
United Kingdom 5.8 5.7 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
Western Europe 8.6 8.5 8.5 8.5 8.5 8.5 8.6 8.6 8.7 8.7

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

  • f: Forecast
  • 1: Countries such as Malta and Monaco have been excluded from the report (only modelled data is available).
  • a: Do not belong to the European Union but are considered part of Western Europe

From 2013 to 2017, retail sales have been growing at a CAGR of 0,.7% in the region, and this value is expected to keep increasing at a CAGR of 2.6% from 2018 to 2022. According to Euromonitor International (2017), this growth has been sustained by lowering costs and because Europeans are now seeing cheese increasingly as a potential snack.

Trade overview

European countries rank amongst the world's top importers of cheese. In 2016, the European Union (EU) imported $US451.9 million worth of cheese from non-EU suppliers alone. During that year, a share of US$906.7 thousand was reportedly imported from Canada, down from US$7.4 million in 2013, showing a declining trend at a −41% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). A share of 96% of the total cheese supplied by Canada to the EU went to the United Kingdom (U.K.). Most competitors also registered a declining trend, with the exception of Serbia and Turkey. Switzerland is the largest competitor for cheese in the EU and controls 91% of non-EU supply market.

World's top 10 cheese importers (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017/November CAGR* 2013-17 Market share in 2017
World 29,336.9 30,752.7 25,170.8 25,030.2 25,346.4 −3.6%
1. Germany 4,398.6 4,646.6 3,753.2 3,839.1 3,829.5 −3.4% 15.1%
2. United Kingdom 2,267.4 2,400.7 1,990.0 1,823.7 1,840.9 −5.1% 7.3%
3. Italy 2,437.6 2,441.4 1,783.6 1,734.1 1,634.2 −9.5% 6.4%
4. France 1,662.9 1,797.4 1,487.3 1,504.1 1,598.3 −1.0% 6.3%
5. Japan 1,117.9 1,188.1 1,051.1 976.4 1,162.7 1.0% 4.6%
6. Netherlands 1,041.5 1,224.3 1,092.7 1,024.2 1,162.2 2.8% 4.6%
7. Belgium 1,492.6 1,573.8 1,239.1 1,298.1 1,128.0 −6.8% 4.5%
8. United States 1,191.4 1,328.7 1,349.6 1,308.2 1,115.2 −1.6% 4.4%
9. Spain 1,197.7 1,223.8 963.1 963.1 1,054.7 −3.1% 4.2%
10. Russia 2,176.9 1,582.0 742.4 732.5 844.2 −21.1% 3.3%

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Harmonized System (HS) Code: 0406

Top non-European Union cheese suppliers to the European Union (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017/November CAGR* 2013-17 Market share in 2017
World 614.7 658.1 497.7 518.6 451.9 −7.4%
1. Switzerland 488.5 519.0 447.8 451.4 409.5 −4.3% 90.6%
2. New Zealand 61.7 65.6 21.0 37.1 12.3 −33.2% 2.7%
3. Norway 16.0 15.5 13.0 11.2 10.5 −10.1% 2.3%
4. Serbia 0.9 1.6 1.6 1.8 3.2 37.4% 0.7%
5. United States 4.1 30.4 2.8 5.0 2.8 −9.2% 0.6%
6. Australia 23.1 13.0 0.9 1.2 2.3 −43.9% 0.5%
7. Iceland 2.8 1.9 2.5 1.2 1.6 −13.4% 0.3%
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina 3.5 0.4 1.1 1.5 −18.3% 0.3%
9. Turkey 0.2 0.8 0.9 1.8 1.1 55.5% 0.2%
10. Canada 7.4 6.2 3.9 2.7 0.9 −40.9% 0.2%

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

HS Code: 0406

Top cheese products imported into the European Union (US$ millions)
Product 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017/November CAGR* 2013-17 Market share in 2017
Total cheese and curd 614.7 658.1 497.7 518.6 451.9 −7%
Cheese (excluding fresh cheese, including whey cheese, curd, grated or powdered cheese) 546.9 587.6 439.9 458.2 389.1 −8% 86%
Fresh cheese "unripened or uncured cheese", including whey cheese and curd 38.2 38.3 32.8 34.0 34.2 −3% 8%
Grated or powdered cheese, of all kinds 17.2 19.4 15.6 15.8 18.2 1% 4%
Processed cheese, not grated or powdered 11.3 11.5 8.5 9.5 8.8 −6% 2%
Blue-veined cheese and other cheese containing veins produced by "penicillium roqueforti" 1.1 1.3 1.0 1.0 1.5 10% 0%

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

HS Code: 0406

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

CETA has been provisionally applied since September 21st, 2017. Under CETA, the European Unions provides duty-free and quota-free market access for all dairy and dairy-containing products.

Retail sales and trends

Top cheese markets in the world, 2017
Retail sales value (US$ billions) – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Country Retail sales value (US$ billions)
United States 23.4
France 9.4
Germany 7.7
Russia 7.1
Brazil 6.5
Italy 6.5
Mexico 4.7
United Kingdom 4.1
Argentina 3.8
Japan 3.6
Canada 3.1
Spain 2.7

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

Western Europe is the biggest market in the world for cheese. In 2017, retail sales of cheese products were valued at US$44.8 billions. From 2013 to 2017, retail sales have been growing at a CAGR of 0.7% in the region, and this value is expected to keep increasing at a CAGR of 2.6% from 2018 to 2022. According to Euromonitor International (2017), this growth has been sustained by lowering costs and because Europeans are now increasingly seeing cheese as a potential snack.

Despite Western Europe being a mature market, there is still room for growth, for example through premiumisation – such as packaging cheese products in a premium, on-the-go snack that at the same time offers nutritional benefit (such as protein, vitamin B and calcium), over confectionery. Despite its high content in fat and salt, cheese still enjoys a natural image and is regaining its reputation as a healthy yet indulgent product. Another opportunity could lie in pairing cheese with wine through the retail channel, which could allow manufacturers to benefit from consumers uptrading in the wine sector (Euromonitor International, 2016).

Retail sales by country

The top five markets for cheese products retail sales are Germany, France, the U.K., Italy and Spain. These five countries together made up 68% of the total cheese retail sales in 2017 in Western Europe.

Cheese is sometimes perceived as being less healthy, due to its high fat content, which may explain the slowdown of the market in certain countries. Italy is the country that registered the largest decline from 2013 to 2017, as local consumers were decreasing their lactose consumption and shifiting to non-dairy, whether for allergy and intolerance reasons or to reduce fat and salt consumption. Another important factor is the variation of milk prices which can impact the retail price of cheese products, pushing local consumers to search for other more affordable options (Euromonitor International, 2017).

Historic retail value sales of cheese in Western Europe
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017[e] CAGR* % 2013-17
Austria 605.7 617.3 625.1 635.3 648.2 1.7%
Belgium 1,459.8 1,491.4 1,515.8 1,525.6 1,533.0 1.2%
Denmark 878.6 900.5 927.4 958.6 988.5 3.0%
Finland 1,060.7 1,063.6 1,047.8 1,037.5 1,068.8 0.2%
France 9,237.9 9,356.2 9,419.8 9,418.4 9,486.1 0.7%
Germany 7,114.1 7,247.4 7,429.6 7,436.1 7,716.0 2.1%
Greece 734.6 741.4 752.5 745.9 728.2 −0.2%
Ireland 218.2 225.1 234.1 243.1 252.7 3.7%
Italy 7,356.1 7,087.9 6,846.8 6,652.1 6,499.0 −3.0%
Netherlands 1,817.5 1,867.2 1,892.8 1,890.6 1,883.4 0.9%
Norway 873.1 923.9 955.3 1,003.7 1,053.3 4.8%
Portugal 856.1 856.9 862.2 871.6 887.5 0.9%
Spain 2,494.7 2,535.0 2,551.5 2,601.7 2,665.5 1.7%
Sweden 1,360.5 1,396.0 1,411.8 1,435.9 1,454.4 1.7%
Switzerland 2,146.7 2,162.7 2,178.1 2,181.1 2,192.3 0.5%
Turkey 986.2 1,071.1 1,167.6 1,245.9 1,329.7 7.8%
United Kingdom 4,136.2 4,151.9 4,090.0 4,059.7 4,138.1 0.0%
Total Western Europe 43,570.4 43,933.6 44,148.6 44,185.9 44,771.2 0.7%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

e: Estimate

Forecast retail value sales of cheese in Western Europe
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Country 2018[f] 2019[f] 2020[f] 2021[f] 2022[f] CAGR* 2018-2022[f]
Austria 663.4 679.6 696.8 714.7 733.4 2.5%
Belgium 1,545.1 1,556.0 1,566.3 1,579.6 1,596.3 0.8%
Denmark 1,021.3 1,053.7 1,087.3 1,123.6 1,160.5 3.2%
Finland 1,104.9 1,143.4 1,179.8 1,217.4 1,257.6 3.3%
France 9,672.8 9,884.3 10,129.6 10,399.9 10,694.7 2.5%
Germany 7,999.3 8,271.5 8,525.2 8,771.0 9,011.3 3.0%
Greece 718.7 707.9 700.9 697.5 693.6 −0.9%
Ireland 263.4 274.8 285.9 298.4 310.7 4.2%
Italy 6,441.9 6,484.4 6,547.8 6,630.3 6,721.7 1.1%
Netherlands 1,890.7 1,904.9 1,919.1 1,932.9 1,947.1 0.7%
Norway 1,094.3 1,136.9 1,177.8 1,219.0 1,259.8 3.6%
Portugal 917.0 950.5 990.7 1,034.5 1,082.1 4.2%
Spain 2,762.8 2,861.2 2,956.2 3,048.1 3,131.7 3.2%
Sweden 1,498.1 1,540.3 1,585.4 1,631.5 1,676.9 2.9%
Switzerland 2,229.2 2,282.5 2,343.7 2,406.2 2,469.4 2.6%
Turkey 1,417.2 1,506.2 1,591.8 1,681.6 1,775.2 5.8%
United Kingdom 4,334.2 4,492.6 4,636.1 4,778.1 4,915.0 3.2%
Total Western Europe 45,827.2 46,990.3 48,186.7 49,438.0 50,718.2 2.6%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

f: Forecast

Retail sales by category

From 2013 to 2017, cheese retail sales have been growing at moderate rates ranging from 0 to 2% CAGR, and are expected to keep growing at slightly higher rates (2-3%) up to 2022. Unprocessed cheese is much more popular in Western Europe than processed cheese and accounts for 87% of the retail sales. Within that category, Western Europeans tend to prefer hard cheese over soft cheese. Packaged hard cheese made up more than half (65%) of the retail sales in the hard cheese subcategory in 2017.

Historic retail value sales of cheese in Western Europe, by cateogry
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Processed cheese 5,393.1 5,490.2 5,577.8 5,584.2 5,723.3 1.5%
Spreadable processed cheese 3,460.3 3,534.3 3,624.7 3,633.1 3,747.3 2.0%
Other processed cheese 1,932.8 1,956.0 1,953.1 1,951.1 1,976.0 0.6%
Unprocessed cheese 38,177.3 38,443.3 38,570.8 38,601.6 39,048.0 0.6%
Hard cheese 26,231.2 26,383.8 26,433.1 26,388.1 26,703.2 0.4%
Soft cheese 11,946.1 12,059.5 12,137.7 12,213.6 12,344.8 0.9%
Total cheese 43,570.4 43,933.6 44,148.6 44,185.9 44,771.2 0.7%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecast retail value sales of cheese in Western Europe, by category
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Category 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Processed cheese 5,875.4 6,029.7 6,186.9 6,344.1 6,502.9 2.6%
Spreadable processed cheese 3,843.6 3,940.3 4,038.5 4,138.2 4,239.9 2.5%
Other processed cheese 2,031.8 2,089.4 2,148.4 2,206.0 2,263.1 2.7%
Unprocessed cheese 39,951.8 40,960.6 41,999.8 43,093.9 44,215.2 2.6%
Hard cheese 27,341.9 28,007.2 28,694.4 29,412.4 30,153.1 2.5%
Soft cheese 12,609.9 12,953.5 13,305.4 13,681.5 14,062.1 2.6%
Total cheese 45,827.2 46,990.3 48,186.7 49,438.0 50,718.2 2.6%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Health and wellness cheese

With the emergence of snacking in Western Europe and consumers recognising dairy foods as nutritious and natural snacks, many companies are now looking to gain a foothold in dairy, including cheese, as a new generator of growth within the health arena (Euromonitor International, 2017). Reduced fat cheese still dominates the health and wellness cheese market, but is gradually falling out of favour, whereas cheeses that are less processed, such as organic, are appealing to an increasing number of consumers. Cheese is now being perceived as a "good saturated fat", an excellent source of calcium and protein, and considered as an "authentic" and probiotic food, naturally fermented under the action of bacteria.

The free from lactose cheese subcategory is also growing in popularity. In several Western European countries, it is becoming fashionable to avoid dairy without having a specific food intolerance. More local and international players are starting to invest in new product development in response to this trend (i.e. lactose-free products and free from dairy "cheeses"Footnote 1, such as vegan slices, coconut-based alternatives, fermented nut "cheese", or mozzarella-flavoured block for pizza).

In Spain, it is expected that dairy sales will continue to be driven by health and wellness categories, such as free-from lactose dairy and organic products, which are perceived as having higher added value, as well as greater potential for penetration in the market due to their lower sales bases (Euromonitor International, 2017).

Historic retail value sales of health and wellness (HW) cheese in Western Europe, by type
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Type 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Fortified/functional cheese 583.4 589.3 547.5 514.2 491.2 −4%
Fortified/functional fromage frais and quark 682.7 662.8 634.2 620.6 605.9 −3%
Free from lactose cheese 261.0 290.3 321.4 357.1 398.3 11%
Organic cheese 679.2 716.2 775.6 829.4 885.8 7%
Reduced fat cheese 3,834.0 3,884.7 3,845.2 3,771.2 3,810.6 0%
Reduced fat fromage frais and quark 656.7 685.2 690.4 693.6 701.5 2%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Forecast retail value sales of health and wellness (HW) cheese in Western Europe, by type
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Type 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Fortified/functional cheese 479.4 470.4 463.6 459.2 456.7 −1%
Fortified/functional fromage frais and quark 600.8 598.0 596.1 592.3 588.5 −1%
Free from lactose cheese 445.1 498.9 551.6 605.8 661.0 10%
Organic cheese 944.7 1,003.9 1,066.5 1,129.9 1,191.8 6%
Reduced fat cheese 3,834.8 3,850.8 3,864.8 3,878.8 3,893.3 0%
Reduced fat fromage frais and quark 711.4 722.7 733.8 746.0 760.2 2%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Product launch analysis

There were 3,502 cheese products launched in Western Europe in 2017. Of these, 925 were new products and 1,390 were new varieties/range extensions, while the remaining 1,187 products were relaunches, including 967 products with a new packaging and 17 products with a new formulation. The vast majority of products were designed to be stored chilled, while only 48 products were shelf stable and two were offered frozen. Private label holds an important share in cheese (36.7% of total launches), although more than half of the products launched in 2017 were branded (2,220). Plastic (unspecified) was the packaging material used for most products (2,087).

Number of launches of cheese products in Western European markets in 2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Country Number of launches
Germany 668
France 606
Italy 405
United Kingdom 365
Spain 213
Netherlands 188
Austria 173
Sweden 140
Switzerland 134
Greece 130
Turkey 119
Denmark 112
Norway 92
Belgium 64
Finland 56
Ireland 20
Portugal 17

Source: Mintel, 2018

The country/region of origin of cheese is an essential part of product marketing. According to Mintel (2018), France was the only country among the top five markets that had more product launches without an import status in 2017. By contrast, Spaniards tend to prefer imported cheese, due to the wide variety and high quality of products coming from across Europe – especially from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland.

Number of cheese product launches in Western Europe in 2017, by sub-category
Sub-category Number of launches
Hard Cheese and Semi-Hard Cheese 1,453
Soft Cheese and Semi-Soft Cheese 1,178
Fresh Cheese and Cream Cheese 379
Processed Cheese 356
Curd and Quark 136
Total 3,502
Number of cheese products launched in 2017 in Western Europe, 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 342 114 59 119 23
Vegetarian 225 164 45 66 23
Low/no/reduced lactose 286 90 29 67 15
Convenient packaging 306 56 11 25 1
Organic 127 150 44 44 21
No additives/preservatives 108 64 70 72 14
Gluten free 83 30 37 92 10
Low/no/reduced fat 58 42 37 25 42
Ethical - environmentally friendly package 34 87 25 42 12
Premium 105 71 10 7 2
Top formats
Block 355 265 22 38 3
Sliced 455 70 4 96 0
Spread 0 44 328 134 82
Whole 97 363 11 20 6
Wedge 341 123 1 5 0
Ball 5 248 5 3 39
Shredded 178 26 4 25 1
Other 18 34 4 33 3
Top packaging
Flexible 428 431 29 88 3
Tray 537 210 32 88 5
Tub 48 238 283 81 123
Skinpack 291 170 5 25 0
Flexible stand-up pouch 68 16 0 16 0
Carton 6 40 11 23 0
Flexible sachet 40 9 0 3 0
Miscellaneous 22 9 0 1 0
Rigid box 0 27 0 1 0
Jar 2 10 4 8 3
Top flavours
Unflavoured/Plain 1,232 976 177 252 103
Herbs/Herbal 15 33 46 18 4
Spice/Spicy/Piquant 42 12 6 8 2
Garlic 5 19 33 1 0
Smoke 27 20 2 5 1
Chili/Chilli Pepper 21 10 5 9 0
Pepper/Peppercorn 24 8 3 0 0
Peppers/Bell Peppers 8 4 10 6 2
Chive 5 3 15 3 3
Truffle (Mushroom) 10 13 2 0 0
Top ingredient preparation
Pasteurised 610 586 163 35 41
Fermented 282 308 77 25 9
Powdered 25 13 37 108 3
Skimmed 5 7 43 91 30
Raw 90 55 4 5 0
Extract 39 24 28 54 7
Fresh 7 9 110 19 6
Concentrate 8 16 27 64 13
Dry 23 27 12 12 6
Rind 58 19 0 0 0
Whole 13 26 18 6 5
Melted 1 3 2 57 0
Sour 27 15 13 2 6
Matured 24 30 1 3 2
Smoked 18 15 10 11 1
Prepared 5 13 16 5 1
Soft 1 30 6 2 0
Modified 2 3 6 24 3
Mixed 15 8 5 5 2
Unpasteurised 24 4 0 0 0

Source: Mintel, 2018

Distribution channels and top brands

Cheese in Western Europe is being sold primarily in stores, through grocery retailers, especially supermarkets, hypermarkets and discounters; however, only the share of discounters has been growing from 2013 to 2017, at a 1.6% CAGR.

The other growing channels are mixed retailers at 2.4% CAGR and most significantly, the non-store Internet-based retailing outlet with a strong 9.5% CAGR. Indeed, Internet retailing achieved a strong positive CAGR in all five main markets for cheese (12% in France, 11% in Germany, 7% in Italy and the U.K. and 6% in Spain).

With the growth of internet retailing, new possibilities arise, even for smaller manufacturers who can benefit from a wider distribution chain such as Amazon Fresh, through their inclusion of local cheese manufacturers in their product range (Euromonitor International, 2017).

Cheese distribution in Western Europe, by outlet (% share)
Outlet 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017[e] CAGR* 2013-2017
Store-based
Grocery retailers 97.3 96.9 96.6 96.6 96.4 −0.2%
Convenience stores 5.1 5.1 5.0 4.9 4.9 −1.0%
Discounters 18.7 18.9 19.4 19.5 19.9 1.6%
Forecourt retailers 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.8 0.8 −2.9%
Hypermarkets 22.1 22.1 22.0 21.8 21.8 −0.3%
Supermarkets 38.9 38.7 38.5 38.7 38.5 −0.3%
Food/drink/tobacco specialists 3.5 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.3 −1.5%
Independent small grocers 5.4 5.2 5.0 5.0 4.7 −3.4%
Other grocery retailers 2.6 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.4 −2.0%
Non-grocery specialists 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0%
Other foods non-grocery specialists 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0%
Mixed retailers 1.0 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 2.4%
Non-store
Internet retailing 1.6 1.9 2.1 2.2 2.3 9.5%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

e: Estimate

In 2017, Lactalis, Groupe dominated on the Western Europe cheese market with a 10.3% overall market share, followed by Bel, Groupe (5.1%), Savencia Fromage & Dairy (5.0%), Arla Foods Amba (4.1%) and Mondelez International Inc. (2.9%). Major brands are presented in the table below. It is worth mentioning that one quarter (24.9%) of the cheese products launched in Western Europe in 2017 had a private label.

Market concentration of cheese products in Western Europe, by brand
Brand Company Retail sales value % breakdown
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017[e]
Président Lactalis, Groupe 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.2 3.3
Galbani Lactalis, Groupe 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.2 2.1
Arla Arla Foods Amba 2.0 2.0 1.9 2.0 2.0
Philadelphia Mondelez International Inc 1.6 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7
Leerdammer Bel, Groupe 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Entremont Sodiaal SA (Société de Diffusion Internationale Agro-alimentaire) 1.3 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.5
Valio Valio Oy 1.1 1.1 1.0 1.0 1.1
Cathedral City Dairy Crest Group Plc 0.8 0.9 1.0 0.9 0.9
Babybel Bel, Groupe 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.9
Caprice des Dieux Savencia Fromage & Dairy 0.6 0.6 0.6
La Vache Qui Rit Bel, Groupe 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Norvegia Tine SA 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Geramont Savencia Fromage & Dairy 0.5 0.5 0.6
Cœur de Lion Cie des Fromages & RichesMonts 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.5
Bresso Savencia Fromage & Dairy 0.5 0.5 0.5
Société Lactalis, Groupe 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
García Baquero Lácteas García-Baquero SA 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Sottilette Mondelez International Inc 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Private label Private Label 24.0 24.3 24.6 24.7 24.9
Artisanal Artisanal 2.0 1.8 1.8 1.7 1.5
Others Others 56.0 55.5 54.2 53.4 53.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017

e: Estimate

Examples of new products

Mini Soft Cheese Portions with Truffle
Company Fromagerie Guilloteau
Brand Pavé d'Affinois
Country France
Store Name Lidl
Date published December 2017
Launch type New packaging
Price in US dollars 3.28

Pavé d'Affinois 4 Minis Truffes Noires du Périgord (mini soft cheese portions with truffle) is a soft pasteurised cheese made from cow's milk that contains 31% fat and 60% fat in dry matter. It now retails in a newly designed 100 gram (g) pack containing four 25g individually wrapped units.

Walnut Fine Cheese Spread
Company Lidl
Brand Deluxe
Country Denmark
Country of manufacture Germany
Date published December 2017
Launch type New packaging
Price in US dollars 3.95

Deluxe Smelteost med Hakkede Valnøddekerner has been repackaged and is now retailed in a 150g pack. It contains 28.5% fat, is made with chopped walnuts and is decorated with walnut halves. The walnut is said to make this cheese spread a delicacy.

Beer Cheese
Company Udea
Brand Weidepracht
Country Netherlands
Date published December 2017
Launch type New product
Price in US dollars 4.31

Weidepracht Borrelkaas retails in a 365g pack, featuring the EU Green Leaf logo.

Vintage Canadian Cheddar
Company Tesco
Brand Tesco Finest
Country United Kingdom
Country of manufacture Canada
Date published January 2017
Launch type New packaging
Price in US dollars 2.46

Tesco Finest Vintage Canadian Cheddar is now available in a redesigned 150g pack. This vegetarian, strength five, full fat hard cheese is made with unpasteurised milk, is said to be distinctively sweet, and is made in the St Lawrence valley in Canada.

Chestnut Wood Smoked Cheese
Company Marks & Spencer
Brand Marks & Spencer The Collection
Country Ireland
Country of manufacture United Kingdom
Date published December 2017
Launch type New variety/range extension
Price in US dollars 8.69

Marks & Spencer The Collection Chestnut Wood Smoked Cheese is suitable for vegetarians. This Lancashire cheese retails in a 200g pack.

Organic Sheep's Curd
Company Recuits de l'Empordà
Brand Terra i Tast
Country Spain
Date published December 2017
Launch type New product
Price in US dollars 1.54

Terra i Tast Recuit d'Ovella Ecològic retails in a 140g pack featuring the CCAPAE and EU Green Leaf logos.

Cheese Cubes with Thyme and Rosemary
Company Wijngaard Kaas
Brand Wyngaard Kaas
Country Spain
Date published December 2017
Launch type New product
Price in US dollars 4.65

Wyngaard Kaas Cubitos de Queso con Tomillo y Romero (cheese cubes with thyme and rosemary) contain 48% fat. The product retails in an 85g pack.

Cottage Cheese
Company Falkenberg Dairy
Brand Arla Protein
Country Italy
Date published December 2017
Launch type New product
Price in US dollars 2.34

Arla Protein Fiocchi di Latte (Cottage Cheese) provides 30g of protein per pot. The product retails in a 200g pack featuring the Farmer Owned logo.

Goat Cheese Tower with Cranberry
Company Lidl
Brand Delicieux
Country Netherlands
Country of manufacture Netherlands
Date published December 2017
Launch type New variety/range extension
Price in US dollars 2.14

Delicieux Geitenkaas Torentje met Cranberry (goat cheese tower with cranberry) is described as a creamy goat cheese with the sweetness of cranberry. This product retails in a 90g pack.

Lactose-Free Fresh Cheese
Company Lidl
Brand Milbona Free From
Country Italy
Date published November 2017
Launch type New product
Price in US dollars 1.04

Milbona Free From Formaggio Fresco Senza Lattosio retails in a 175g pack.

Nablusi Cheese with Nigella Seed
Company Nablus Mejerier
Brand Nablus Ost
Country Sweden
Date published October 2017
Launch type New variety/range extension
Price in US dollars 4.91

Nablus Ost Nablusi Ost med Nigellafrön is a hand crafted product is made with Scanian milk in Malmö, Sweden, according to genuine recipes from Nablus, Palestine. It is said to be tasty when grilled and fried, and to leave a good aftertaste, and it retails in a 200g pack.

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 Western Europe
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Josique Lorenzo, Market Analyst

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