Global cheese sales are expected to reach $105.1 billion in 2019, due to a 4.4 per cent annual growth in demand.
This figure is 32.2 per cent higher than in 2012, when cheese sales amounted to $79.5 billion, according to a study by Italian Dairy Association (Assolatte), based on provisional data by several international research institutes.
Driving the global demand is mainly the fast food sector, but consumers are also willing to spend more to get high-quality cheeses, such as those that are labelled ‘made in Italy’.
In addition, cheese and dairy products are key in catering, as they are an irreplaceable ingredient in many popular recipes around the world.
The other major growth factor is the increased demand in emerging markets (such as China, South Korea, Brazil and Ukraine). Their share of the global cheese market is expected to grow to 40 per cent by 2019, compared to 30 per cent today, taking space from more mature markets, such as the EU and the USA.
Europe is still the number one cheese market, with a 38.8 per cent market share. The dairy sector in the EU generates 14 per cent of the entire value produced by the European food & beverage sector, while sales of dairy products total €9.3 billion.
North America is in second place (32.7 per cent), driven by the United States, which has recorded the highest growth globally. In fact, diary production in the US is booming for over a decade and during the past 15 years, American cheese exports have gone up by as much as 688 per cent.
After a difficult 2014, exports of Italian cheese to the United States grew by 22.8 per cent in the period January-September 2015, to 24,178 tonnes, according to provisional figures supplied by Assolatte. In the same period, the value of Italian cheese exports to the US grew by 26.2 per cent, to €208.5 million.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.