What you need to know

Estimated at £2.78 billion in 2019, sales of cheese grew by a modest 2.2% over 2014-19. Volume sales are estimated to reach 371 million kg in 2019, this representing the first year of volume growth since 2016, inflation having subdued volumes over the last couple of years.

Cheese is a household staple, with 91% of UK adults eating cheese, 80% doing so weekly. 16-24s are less likely than average to eat cheese, although usage is still very high at 86%. Hard cheese such as cheddar continues to be the most popular type of cheese, with 73% of UK adults having bought it.

Continental has been the star performer in cheese, although from a lower base, experiencing the fastest value and volume growth over 2018-19. Its rising popularity has been underpinned by ‘foodie’ trends and is also thanks to the fact that some products in this segment are most likely to be used as an alternative to meat, most notably halloumi and feta.

Products covered in this Report

This Report examines the UK retail market for cheese. For the purposes of this Report, Mintel’s definition includes products sold through the grocery retail channel and direct to consumers, including:

  • Fresh cheese and cream cheese

  • Hard cheese and semi-hard cheese

  • Processed cheese

  • Soft cheese and semi-soft cheese.

The market size includes sales of cottage cheese, however, this is excluded from all other parts of the Report, as it falls under the curd and quark category. Sales via catering or foodservice establishments are excluded, although references and comparisons to these sectors may be made where relevant.

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