Plant-based revolution? Where the cheese market is headed in the next ten years

March 27, 2023

The global cheese market is predicted to steadily grow over the next decade. But what key developments in the industry are driving positive momentum?

A report from Market Research Future centred around the global cheese market predicts the industry to have a compound annual growth rate of 3.5% between the forecasted period of 2020 until 2027. This would see the market size worth approximately €144.11 billion ($155 billion) by the end of 2027.

With this being considered, what are the key developments in the industry that are driving growth? Demand has reportedly increased due to product innovations, as well as the changing preferences and tastes of consumers. 

Understanding cheese market trends and insights by source, such as goat milk and whole cow milk, can help with predicting how growth will continue over the next decade. Market Research Future has stated that said offerings are one of the fastest-growing beverage segments globally, being able to maintain growth during the Covid-10 pandemic despite volatile market changes. Furthermore, ready-to-drink offerings have been cited as another reason why demand is increasing. 

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the cheese market is expected to rebound strongly. (Photo: Public Domain Photos)
In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the cheese market is expected to rebound strongly. (Photo: Public Domain Photos)

Market drivers in the cheese industry 

The report notes that cheese has maintained growth due to several market drivers. The global demand for the cheese industry has apparently been informed by “increasing consumer health consciousness,” as well as market availability. 

The food and beverage industry at large is observed to be growing, which in turn leads to increased demand for processed foods. Other market drivers include the increasing popularity of Western cuisine, and the launch of “improved cheese items,” like pepper, garlic and oregano pickle. Rising disposable income around the world is another market driver of the cheese industry.

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the cheese market is expected to rebound strongly. This period reportedly saw an increase in low-cost offerings with affordable pricing from retailers, targeting use for home cooking. This is expected to help balance the supply chain which was disrupted during the global pandemic. 

Despite the €144.11 billion potential of the cheese market, there are still obstacles to navigate. For one, the report notes that between 65% and 70% of the world population suffers from lactose intolerance, a significant barrier for the dairy cheese market. 

Leading market segments in the cheese industry

The report points out which market segments are outstanding in the cheese industry. Cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, American and blue cheese were cited as the most popular product types, while fresh, aged-fresh,soft white, semi-soft, hard and flavoured were noted as the top industry type segment in the report.

As for source: goat milk, sheep milk, whole cow milk, skimmed cow milk were listed as most available in the global market. Cheese processing, spreads, dips, fast food, snacks, alcohol accompaniments, bakery foods, processed foods and savoury snacks were cited as the leading market segments by application. 

Where in the world is cheese most popular?

Europe is identified by the report as the region with a leading position in the cheese market, thanks to the dominant food and food service industries which provide supply for the rising demand. It has been observed that the increasing prevalence of small businesses has led to market growth across Europe, with cheese’s health benefits enhancing popularity across the market.

North America is regarded as the fastest-growing market for cheese, mainly due to increasing disposable income for consumers as well as key developments for companies. Market Research Future says that US government assistance has helped drive local sales of cheese, while the appeal of cheese as a key ingredient remains popular thanks to offerings such as pizza, burgers and pasta.

The Asia Pacific has been noted as a region to watch, thanks to rising income levels and steady prices for milk products. There has been a noticeable increase of cheese appearing in processed meals throughout the region, leading to an increased demand in the Asia-Pacific’s food and food service businesses. 

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