Published On: February 2018
In the last few years, natural cheese market has witnessed substantial innovation in terms of new product launches along with research & development and collaboration by the industrial players.Growing demand for natural cheese in developing countries is likely to contribute considerably to the growth of the global natural cheese market. Natural cheese consumption has traditionally been restricted to the western world. With the spread of western influences, natural cheese is now popular in the emerging economies of the east. It is a popular snack for children and a common ingredient in most fast food dishes. It is also often incorporated in local delicacies. Widespread urbanization and increased spending power have resulted in a large number of people eating out. This has resulted in an expansion of quick service restaurants and fast food chains that have further increased the demand for natural cheese.
In recent years, natural cheese is finding new eating occasions as cheese manufacturers introduce new cheese spread segments that can be consumed as a snack. Also, natural cheese manufacturers are producing new flavours by integrating various cooking ingredients, allowing consumer to use on a more regular basis.
Product Marketing: is it a way to success?
International cheese vendors use integrated marketing communication to sell their products. These vendors use newspapers, magazines, and social media, such as YouTube and Facebook, to sell their products. Cheese is a mass-based product and it needs identification among all age groups including women, children, teenagers, men, and senior citizens. Cheese vendors are trying to reach these different age groups of consumers by distributing free samples, conducting road shows, and by organizing sales and exhibitions. The purpose of all these marketing activities is to induce the consumer to switch from traditional home-made cheese to packaged cheese. Ten pounds of milk is used to make one pound of cheese which is why cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorous. Many vendors advertise the nutritional benefits of cheese in television commercials and are successful in inducing consumers to make a purchase.
Innovation in packaging industry
Innovations and technological advancements in the packaging industry have had a positive effect on the global cheese market. New packaging designs that allow the display of nutritional information help consumers make informed purchase decisions. In October 2015, Primula launched a limited edition "Just Say Cheese" tubes. Parmareggio, an Italian cheese company, offers authentic Parmigiano Reggiano in convenient packaging, ranging from exact-weight wedges to flakes to individually-packaged single-serve chunks that are handy enough to be carried as a snack. In 2014, it launched cheese bars wrapped and packaged stand-up pouches.
European market: The Rulers of the Global Market
Europe is one of the lucrative markets in the globe, which is gaining tremendous attraction of consumers. This has helped to reach revenue of USD 34.62 billion in the year 2017. The growth of the natural cheese is attributed to the various factors. Consumption of natural cheese in all forms has increased over the past decade, while that of processed cheese has declined. Greater awareness among consumers regarding the ingredients and constituents in the foods they consume has resulted in a greater demand for naturally made products. Germany is accounting for the significant market proportion of 25.78% in the year of 2017 and it is estimated to reach USD 11.35 billion with registering a CAGR of 4.08% during the forecast period of 2017-2023.
Competitive scenario: Natural Cheese
The global cheese market has a large number of vendors manufacturing a variety of cheese. The market is highly competitive, and vendors compete on the basis of product differentiation, portfolios, and pricing. Currently, most top cheese vendors are Europe-based; however, many vendors are penetrating into emerging markets, especially APAC. Strong competition has directed to increased consolidation. There has also been an influx of private labels. To survive and succeed in this competitive environment, it is imperative for vendors in the market to differentiate their product offerings through a clear and unique value proposition.
Fonterra Co- operative Group Limited is emphasizing in the merger & acquisition activity in order to create a strong presence in the developing nations. In 2014, the company entered into a collaboration with Abbott Laboratories for dairy farming in China. The collaboration will further aid to get the natural cheese raw material easily which minimizes the production cost of natural cheese that in turn accelerates the overall profitability of the company. In 2017, the company introduced premium natural cheese products under the brand name of “Kapiti” in Sri Lanka.
Low fat cheese are getting huge acceptance
The world has witnessed a rise in the health-conscious population. Due to fast-paced lifestyles and long working hours, people have less time for exercise, and eating food with less fat content is the only option they have to stay fit. Because of the increase in obesity-related problems, more and more people are avoiding food with high fat content. All these factors have pushed the demand for low-fat natural cheese. Low-fat natural cheese contains less saturated fat, low sodium content, and low-density lipoprotein. Most low-fat natural cheese is made from skimmed milk which contains less fat in comparison to normal cheese.
So, what is the future of the natural cheese market?
However, natural cheese market may be hindered due to the low shelf life of the product. Along with lower shelf life, absence of food additives make natural cheese less appealing in terms of taste and consumer food choices are also dependent on their taste and preferences as they prefer healthy products without compromising the taste of product. Such factors will restrict the growth of natural cheese market.