Cheese Sales & Trends
U.S. per capita consumption of natural cheese increased by 0.36 pounds over the 2010 amount, reaching a level of 33.50 pounds, the second highest amount on record.
The largest consumption increase in 2011 was for Italian-type cheeses, which were up 0.36 pounds per person to 14.80 pounds, setting a record for the second straight year. American-type cheese consumption decreased slightly, dropping by 0.14 pounds to 13.18 pounds per person. Consumption of other than Italian or American cheeses increased by 0.14 pounds to 5.52 pounds per person.
The most consumed types of cheese in the U.S. are mozzarella and cheddar. Mozzarella cheese per capita consumption reached a new record high of 11.43 pounds in 2011; the previous record was 11.25 pounds per person set in 2010. Consumption of cheddar cheese declined for the second straight year; down 0.29 pounds or 2.8%.
Meanwhile, consumption of processed cheeses has been on a downward trend since peaking in 1996 at 8.76 pounds per person. The total for all processed cheeses increased slightly by 0.9 pounds in 2011. However, this was only the second time that per capita consumption of processed cheese fell below 7 pounds in over 20 years.
Volume sales of natural cheese in U.S. Food and Drug Stores reached approximately 2.272 billion pounds in 2011, with a value of over $11 billion dollars. The top three cheese types that accounted for the largest volume sales were Cheddar (36.7%), Mozzarella (20.9%) and Colby Jack (9.3%). Together, these three account for two-thirds (66.9%) of the volume sales of natural cheese. The top three also account for almost $7 billion dollars (62.5%) of the $11 billion dollars in sales.
U.S. Food and Drug Store sales of processed cheese products reached 760.2 million pounds in 2011, with a value of $2.6 billion dollars. Of this amount, sales of American represented 657.0 pounds (86.0%) and $2.2 billion dollars (84.7%).
Updated December 2012