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Natural Cheese Market Size

ID: MRFR//3458-CR | 110 Pages | Author: Pradeep Nandi| October 2022

The Natural Cheese Market is influenced by a myriad of factors that collectively contribute to its growth and trends. One primary driver is the increasing consumer demand for natural and minimally processed food products. As awareness of the importance of clean label and wholesome eating rises, consumers are actively seeking natural cheese options free from artificial additives and preservatives. This demand for transparency in food ingredients has propelled the popularity of natural cheeses, which are made using traditional cheese-making methods and simpler ingredient lists.
Changing dietary preferences and the rise of health-consciousness also play a significant role in the market dynamics. Consumers are seeking nutritious and protein-rich options, and natural cheese, being a good source of high-quality protein and essential nutrients like calcium, meets these requirements. The versatility of natural cheese in various culinary applications, from snacks to main courses, contributes to its appeal as a flavorful and nutritious food choice.
The Natural Cheese Market, with an estimated size valued at USD 135,260.17 million by 2028, is projected to exhibit a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.59% from 2020 to 2028. This indicates a substantial growth trajectory, reflecting sustained market expansion over the specified period.
Economic factors, such as disposable income and pricing strategies, influence the natural cheese market. While premium and artisanal cheeses may attract a higher-income demographic, there is also a demand for more affordable options that cater to a broader consumer base. Companies often adjust their pricing strategies to offer a range of natural cheese products that align with different budget considerations, influencing market accessibility and consumption.
The competitive landscape of the natural cheese market is characterized by the activities of key players striving to offer a diverse range of high-quality products. Companies engage in product innovation, introducing new flavors, blends, and specialty cheeses to cater to evolving consumer tastes. Marketing efforts often focus on highlighting the authenticity and craftsmanship involved in the cheese-making process, creating a story around the origin and quality of natural cheeses.
Globalization and cultural factors contribute to the market dynamics by influencing regional preferences for specific types of natural cheese. Traditional cheese varieties with strong ties to specific cultures may find popularity in certain regions, driven by cultural dietary habits and culinary traditions. Additionally, consumer awareness of and appreciation for unique regional cheeses can influence purchasing decisions and market trends.
Government regulations and quality standards play a role in shaping the natural cheese market. Regulatory bodies set guidelines for the production, labeling, and safety of natural cheese products to ensure consumer protection. Adherence to these regulations is crucial for market players to maintain the integrity of their products and build trust with consumers.
Environmental sustainability is an emerging factor influencing the natural cheese market. With a growing emphasis on sustainable and responsible sourcing, consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of food production. Companies that prioritize sustainable practices, such as ethical animal husbandry and eco-friendly packaging, can differentiate themselves in the market and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

Natural Cheese Market Overview

Natural cheese market is projected to register a CAGR of 6.59% and reach a value of USD 135,260.17 million by 2028. Natural cheese is made of products using only simple and natural ingredients including fresh high-quality milk, salt, enzymes and natural colors. Natural cheese is produced from milk products and majorly cow milk, buffalo milk, goat milk, and sheep milk are used to produce natural cheese. There are several types of natural cheese available in the market which include parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, and among others. Natural cheese come in several forms such as blocks, spreads, cubes, slices, and many more.

COVID-19 Impact Analysis

The advent of the global pandemic, COVID-19, has resulted in creating a global crisis across the world. Impacting over 195 countries, the pandemic has already created an economic backdrop worldwide and is likely to create a chaotic environment, resulting in the advent of global rescission. With the rising number of cases rapidly, the global natural cheese market is affected in many ways.

Market Dynamics

The Global Natural Cheese Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.59% during the forecast period 2021-2028. The worldwide natural cheese industry is observed to be rising at a constant pace as of today, among which natural crumbled natural cheese is observed to be paving the way to a higher market. Natural cheese is a highly nutritious and palatable milk-based food item in a wide range of textures, tastes, and aromas globally, with around 2,000 varieties at present. The global natural cheese market is growing primarily due to the increasing consumption of natural cheese across the globe, the growth of the HoReCa industry, and the rapid growth of the organized retail sector in emerging economies. However, the increasing prevalence of obesity and associated health consciousness among consumers are hampering the growth of the market. The growing demand for vegan and plant-based natural cheese is anticipated to create an opportunity for the growth of the global natural cheese market during the study period.


  • Increasing consumption of natural cheese across the globe

Global natural cheese production and consumption are increasing owing to the growing demand for dairy products in developing countries such as India and China and the increasing preference for natural cheese in almost all fast food. Additionally, improving economic conditions and changing eating habits across Asia-Pacific and Middle East & Africa are driving the growth of the global natural cheese market. Investments by international dairy companies such as Swiss valley Farms, Gujarat Cooperative Milk, and more have also increased significantly in recent years, which is expected to enhance the processes in the dairy industries.

As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the consumption of natural cheese tripled from 6.48 kgs in 1975 to around 20.5 kgs by mid of 2021. The US natural cheese market has grown primarily due to a wide variety of natural cheeses, including cheddar, Colby, and jack natural cheeses, available in the country. The USDA stated that mozzarella natural cheese consumption grew from 4.53 kgs per capita in 1995 to more than 6.80 kgs in 2017. The US per capita consumption of natural cheese increased considerably from 2010 to 2020, mentioned in the chart below.

US per capita natural cheese consumption, 2010 – 2020, (Kilogram)US per capita natural cheese consumption, 2010 – 2020, (Kilogram)Source: USDA

Additionally, Global Trade cited that in 2018, approximately 4.4M tonnes of fresh natural cheese was produced in the European Union, a 1.6% increase compared to the previous year. Furthermore, emerging economies, including India, are also witnessing growth in the production and consumption of natural cheese. According to the Asia & Middle East Food Trade, the Indian natural cheese market is expected to grow by nearly 15% to 20% annually in the coming years. This high growth rate can be attributed to the rise in foodservice outlets, such as Pizza Hut and Domino’s, across the country and changing food habits. Thus, the increasing consumption and production of natural cheese across the globe is expected to drive the growth of the global natural cheese market during the forecast period


  • Increasing prevalence of obesity

The epidemic of obesity has grown drastically in recent years, mostly in children. Obesity is also associated with heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer, among other problems. Furthermore, studies also suggest that the consumption of cheddar natural cheese may also pose an increased risk of breast cancer as it increases the production of galactose from lactose. For instance, according to the center for disease control and prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity was 42.4% between 2017 and 2018 in the US. Additionally, the CDC stated that the estimated annual medical cost of obesity was USD 147 billion in the US. Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) cited that obesity is also growing in the European (EU) Region. In 2014, the proportion of overweight adults in the EU varied between 36% in Italy and 55% in Malta for women and between 54% in the Netherlands and 68% in Croatia for men. The top 10 most obese countries in the world are mapped below, which significantly leads to lower natural cheese consumption across the stated countries.

Top 10 Obese countries globaLly, (Average BMI)TOP 10 OBESE COUNTRIES GLOBALLY, (AVERAGE BMI)Source: World Population Review

Moreover, according to Canadian Community Health Survey, over five million adults were obese. Additionally, as per the 2015 Canadian Health Measures Survey, 30% or more than one in three adults in Canada were obese. The rising cases of obesity and associated link to the consumption of natural cheese and other unhealthy food items made using natural cheese are expected to reduce the demand for natural cheese. Thus, the increasing prevalence of obesity is expected to restrict the growth of the global natural cheese market during the forecast period.


  • Growing demand for vegan and plant-based products

Plants, including nuts, are a rich source of unsaturated fats and other bioactive macronutrients, high-quality vegetable protein, fiber, vitamins such as tocopherols and phytosterols, minerals, and phenolic compounds. The rising awareness regarding the health benefits of consuming plant-based products has increased the demand for vegan and plant-based natural cheese. Around 8% of the overall global population is recognized as a vegan population as of today. Increasing health consciousness among customers and awareness about the importance of a balanced diet in maintaining a healthy life has increased the focus on the nutritional content of food items.

Furthermore, nut-based natural cheese is increasingly being used to substitute dairy-based natural cheese products. A rise in lactose intolerance, increasing demand for vegan food, and the high nutritional content of plant-based natural cheese as compared to dairy-based natural cheese have boosted the demand for nut-based natural cheese. As per the data cited by The Vegan Society, in 2020, the number of vegans in the US reached 9.7 million from 4 million in 2014. Globally, the UK is the most popular country adopting the veganism trend, followed by Australia and New Zealand. In the US, cow milk consumption decreased by 22% and witnessed a decline in its sale by 3% under the entire milk category. Thus, the growing demand for vegan and plant-based natural cheese is expected to create a lucrative opportunity for the players operating in the global natural cheese market during the forecast period.

Segment Overview

By Product Type

Based on product type the global natural cheese market has been segmented into cheddar, mozzarella and others. The others segment accounted for the largest market share of 36.23% in 2020. However, the mozzarella segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.79% during the forecast period.

By Form

Based on the form, the global natural cheese market has been segmented into blocks and others. The others segment accounted for a larger market share of 66.97% in 2020. and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.70% during the forecast period.

By End-Use

Based on the end-use, the global natural cheese market has been segmented into food processing and food service. The food processing segment accounted for a larger market share of 64.26% in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.67% during the forecast period.

Global Natural Cheese Market Share, by region, 2020 (%)Global Natural Cheese Market Share, by region, 2020 (%)Sources: MRFR Analysis

Regional Analysis

By region, the global Natural cheese market has been divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World. Europe accounted for the largest market share of 48.63% in 2020, the market is expected to register the highest CAGR of 6.55% during the forecast period. North America was the second-largest market in 2020, the market is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.67%.


Europe is accounting for 48.63% of market proportion in the year of 2020 and it is projected to expand at a high CAGR of 6.55% the forecast period of 2021-2028. Germany, France, Italy, and the UK are the major contributors to the growth of the regional market. Bold flavors, increasing demand for handmade and artisan cheese, and consumer shift from at-home food preparation to purchases of partially or fully prepared foods are major factors driving the growth of the European natural cheese market. Moreover, the presence of established manufacturers such as Arla Foods amba, Lactalis Group, and Bel Group and the various strategies adopted by these manufacturers are expected to propel the growth of the regional market during the forecast period. For instance, in May 2020, Lactalis Group acquired Nuova Castelli S.p.A., an Italy-based company that specializes in producing and distributing most of the renowned dairy products in the Italian dairy industry. The European natural cheese market is projected to register a CAGR of 6.55% during the review period. Spain is emerging as a beacon in the European HoReCa industry, which is expected to increase the consumption of cheese in the regional market. Hotels and restaurants account for more than 70% of the region’s tourism industry turnover. The rising health awareness among consumers is propelling the market players to focus on their R&D activities to launch new healthy cheese in the European market.

North America

North America is also accounting for significant market share in the global natural cheese market in the year of 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.67% during the forecast period 2021-2028. The US is a major market for cheese manufacturers, followed by Canada. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), milk production in the US increased by 13% in the last ten years. The increase in the production of milk has resulted in lower milk prices, thus attracting cheese manufacturers to increase their production, leading to high stock levels. As of November 2018, the US cheese stocks were topped 1.35 billion pounds, up 7% from the previous year. Furthermore, the per capita milk consumption in the US was 14.3 pounds, and per capita cheese consumption was 36.9 pounds in 2017. The consumption of cheese is high in the US, owing to the expansion of quick-service restaurants. Moreover, the rising demand for cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese in North America is boosting the sales of natural cheese. The HoReCa industry is a major revenue contributor in the North American cheese market as a major volume of natural cheese is being consumed in the industry. As per the statistics of the National Restaurant Association 2020, the restaurant industry sales reached a value of over USD 800 billion, with more than one million restaurant locations in the US. Such impressive statistics define the lucrative opportunities which the market players can exploit in the region’s HoReCa industry.   

Competitive Landscape

The market comprises tier-1, tier-2, and local players. The tier-1 and tier-2 players have a global reach and diverse product portfolios. Companies such as Almarai (Saudi Arabia), Arla Foods amba (Denmark), Fonterra Co-operative Group (New Zealand), Saputo Inc. (Canada), The Kraft Heinz Company (US) dominate the global market due to brand reputation, product differentiation, financial stability, and diversified regional presence.

Prominent players in the global natural cheese market include Fonterra Co-operative Group (New Zealand), Lactalis Group (France), Saputo Inc. (Canada), The Kraft Heinz Company (US), Arla Foods amba (Denmark), Almarai (Saudi Arabia), Savencia Fromage & Dairy (France), The Bel Group (France), Associated Milk Producers Inc. (US), Britannia Industries Ltd. (India).

Recent Developments

Few developments that occurred in recent times influencing the market growth of Natural cheese are listed below:

  • In August 2021, Bel Group and Lactalis Group had announced the acquisition of Bel’s business, including Royal Bel Leerdammer NL, Bel Italia, Bel Deutschland, the Leerdammer brand with all related rights, plus Bel Shostka Ukraine. Leerdammer is one of the most iconic cheese brands in Europe.

  • In July 2019, Lactalis acquired Itambe Cooperative, a Brazil-based dairy product manufacturing company. The acquisition resulted in Lactalis becoming the largest player in the Brazilian dairy industry.

Scope of the Report

Global Natural cheese Market, by Product Type

  • Cheddar

  • Mozzarella

  • Others

Global Natural cheese Market, by Form

  • Blocks

  • Others

Global Natural cheese Market, by End-Use

  • Food Processing

  • Food Service

Global Natural cheese Market, by Region

  • North America

  • Europe

    • Germany

    • UK

    • France

    • Spain

    • Italy

    • Netherlands

    • Ireland

    • Denmark

    • Sweden

    • Austria

    • Switzerland

    • Norway

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia-Pacific

    • China

    • Japan

    • South Korea

    • India

    • Southeast Asia

    • Rest of Asia-Pacific

  • Rest of the World

    • Latin America

    • Middle East & Africa

Intended Audience

  • Residential Sectors

  • Commercial Sector

  • Restaurants

  • Food counters

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