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U.S. Cheese Market Trends

ID: MRFR//2099-CR | 114 Pages | Author: Pradeep Nandi| February 2021

Global U.S. Cheese Market Overview

U.S. Cheese Market Size was valued at USD 39.88 Billion in 2023. The U.S. Cheese market industry is projected to grow from USD 41.31 Billion in 2024 to USD 52.92 Billion by 2032, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.14% during the forecast period (2024 - 2032). Increasing demand for cheese in fast food and wider cheese applications are the key market drivers enhancing the market growth.

U.S. Cheese Market 1

Source: Primary Research,  Secondary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review

U.S. Cheese Market Trends

  • Increasing demand for cheese in fast food in the US is driving market growth.

Market CAGR for the cheese market is driven by the increasing demand for cheese in fast food. The increasing demand for cheese in fast food in the US is a significant driver for the cheese market in the country. Cheese has become a staple ingredient in many popular fast-food items such as burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, and tacos. As fast-food chains continue to expand their menus and offerings, the demand for cheese as a key ingredient in these items has surged.

Cheese is known for its savory and indulgent taste, making it an ideal flavor enhancer in fast food dishes. Its rich and creamy texture adds an appealing element to various fast-food offerings, further driving consumer preference for cheese-based options. Fast food establishments thrive on speed and convenience, and cheese's quick melting properties make it an excellent choice for enhancing the taste and texture of dishes in a time-efficient manner. Fast food establishments thrive on speed and convenience, and cheese's quick melting properties make it an excellent choice for enhancing the taste and texture of dishes in a time-efficient manner. Fast-food chain establishments thrive on speed and convenience, and cheese's quick melting properties make it an excellent choice for enhancing the taste and texture of dishes in a time-efficient manner. Fast food chains often use cheese as a central element in their marketing and branding strategies. Cheese-laden dishes are frequently featured in advertisements and promotional materials, further boosting consumer interest and demand. The demand for cheese in fast food has also driven innovation in menu offerings. Fast food chains frequently introduce new cheese-based items and limited-time offerings to attract and retain customers.

For instance, Heritage Foods made its foray into the cheese product market by introducing processed and mozzarella cheese. Emphasizing pure cow milk in their production, the company asserted that these newly launched cheese products boasted a naturally delicious cheesy flavor suitable for consumers of all age groups. Thus, driving the U.S. Cheese market revenue.

U.S. Cheese Market Segment Insights

U.S. Cheese Product Type Insights

Based on product type, the U.S. Cheese market segmentation includes mozzarella, cheddar, Italian cheese, cottage cheese, pepper jack, and others. The mozzarella segment dominated the market, accounting for 40% of market revenue (15.4 billion). Mozzarella cheese held the largest market share in the US due to its widespread use in popular dishes like pizza and its versatile, creamy, and mild flavor profile appealing to many consumers. Cottage cheese is the fastest-growing cheese in the US due to its high protein content, health-conscious consumer preferences, and its use as a versatile ingredient in various recipes.

U.S. Cheese Source Insights

Based on the source, the U.S. Cheese market segmentation includes whole cow milk, skimmed cow milk and others. The whole cow milk category generated the most income (40.4%). Whole cow milk held the largest market share in the US due to its long-standing popularity, wide availability, and perceived nutritional benefits for consumers of all ages. Skimmed cow milk is the fastest-growing US due to its lower fat content, health-conscious consumer trends, and increasing demand for lighter dairy options.

Figure 1: U.S. Cheese Market, by Distribution Channel, 2022 & 2032 (USD Billion)

U.S. Cheese Market, by Distribution Channel, 2022 & 2032 (USD Billion)

Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review

U.S. Cheese Type Insights

The U.S. Cheese market segmentation, based on type, includes fresh, aged fresh, soft white, semi-soft, hard, blue, flavored, and others. The fresh category generated the most income (40.8%). Fresh cheese types held the largest market share in the US due to their short production process, resulting in a quick turnaround time, and their appeal as soft, mild-flavored options suitable for various culinary applications, making them popular among consumers and chefs. Flavored types are the fastest growing in the US due to their ability to cater to diverse consumer tastes and preferences. They offer unique and innovative combinations that excite traditional cheese offerings, driving higher demand and market growth. Additionally, their versatility in being used as stand-alone snacks, appetizers, or ingredients in various dishes contributes to their popularity among consumers.

U.S. Cheese Application Insights

Based on application, the U.S. Cheese market segmentation includes cheese processing, cheese spreads, cheese dips, fast food snacks, savory snacks, and others. The cheese processing category generated the most income (35%). Fresh cheese processing held the largest market share in the US due to its minimal aging requirements, allowing for quicker production and distribution, meeting the demand for fast and readily available cheese options while appealing to health-conscious consumers seeking lighter and less processed dairy products. Additionally, the popularity of fresh cheeses in a wide range of cuisines and culinary applications further contributes to their dominant market position.

Savory snacks are the fastest-growing type in the US due to their convenience, on-the-go consumption appeal, and the rising preference for healthier and flavorful alternatives to traditional snacks, catering to changing consumer lifestyles and tastes. Additionally, the introduction of innovative savory snack varieties and the expanding market for plant-based and protein-rich options have contributed to their rapid growth and popularity.

U.S. Cheese Key Market Players & Competitive Insights

Leading market players are investing heavily in research and development to expand their product lines, which will help the U.S. Cheese market grow even more. Market participants are also undertaking various strategic activities to expand their global footprint, with important market developments including new product launches, contractual agreements, mergers and acquisitions, higher investments, and collaboration with other organizations. The U.S. Cheese industry must offer cost-effective items to expand and survive in a more competitive and rising market climate.

Manufacturing locally to minimize operational costs is one of the key business tactics manufacturers use in the U.S. Cheese industry to benefit clients and increase the market sector. In recent years, the U.S. Cheese industry has offered some of the most significant advantages to lifestyle. Major players in the U.S. Cheese market, including Land O’Lakes Inc., Dairiconcepts L.P., The Kraft Heinz Co., Leprino Foods Company, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Foremost Farms USA Cooperative and Dairy Farmers of America Inc., are attempting to increase market demand by investing in research and development operations.

Land O'Lakes Inc. is a prominent agricultural cooperative in the United States with a strong presence in the cheese market. The company is known for its diverse cheese products catering to various consumer needs and preferences. Land O'Lakes offers a wide selection of high-quality cheese options, from natural cheeses to processed and specialty varieties. With a reputation for consistency and innovation, Land O'Lakes has established itself as a trusted player in the cheese industry. Their cheese products are popular among consumers and widely utilized by the food service sector. The cooperative's commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing further enhances its appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. As a leading player in the cheese market, Land O'Lakes continues to adapt to evolving consumer trends and preferences, maintaining its position as a key player in the dairy industry.

Dairiconcepts L.P. is a significant player in the cheese market, known for its strong focus on producing innovative and high-quality cheese products. The company operates as a leading supplier of cheese ingredients, providing a wide range of cheese solutions to various industries, including food manufacturing, food service, and retail. Dairiconcepts offers a diverse portfolio of cheese types, ranging from traditional to specialty and custom formulations, catering to the unique needs of its clients. With a commitment to cutting-edge research and development, Dairiconcepts stays at the forefront of cheese innovation, creating new flavors, textures, and functional ingredients. Their expertise in the cheese market has earned them a reputation for providing reliable and consistent products, making them a trusted partner for businesses seeking top-quality cheese solutions. Dairiconcepts L.P.'s dedication to sustainability and responsible practices further strengthens its position in the cheese market, making it a respected player in the dairy industry.

Key Companies in the U.S. Cheese market include.

  • Land O’Lakes, Inc.

  • Dairiconcepts L.P.

  • The Kraft Heinz Co.

  • Leprino Foods Company

  • Associated Milk Producers Inc.

  • Foremost Farms USA Cooperative and Dairy Farmers of America Inc.

U.S. Cheese Industry Developments

April 2024: Lifeway Foods, Inc., a leading U.S. supplier of kefir and fermented probiotic products, announced that Good Housekeeping had named Farmer Cheese the winner in its best snack awards for 2024.

April 2024: Crystal Farms Dairy Co. will introduce ten new items to the cheese aisle with such bold flavors as unique shredded blends and ghost pepper and nutritious on-the-go snacks like gouda snack cubes.

March 2024: Kraft Natural Cheese, which is one of the largest dairy brands worldwide, has publicized its newest product line—Kraft Signature Shreds. It is a completely fresh approach to homemade food—one that involves using natural shredded cheese in place of processed, grated ones—so readers should expect to see this on your shelves soon.

December 2023 – US Orange Cheese Company attended two exhibitions in China in November 2023: the following 26th Shanghai Global Food Trade Show under Food and Hospitality China (FHC) and the sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE). The US cheese company is an expert exhibitor at the FHC, considering its history of exporting American cheese to China for approximately ten years. The managing director of the company, Cynthia Liu, said that FHC is an exhibit geared to food service, which they've been showing for the first year they entered the Chinese market. Being an exporter and a deliberate brand partner for several celebrated American dairy brands based in Woodbridge in the US state of Connecticut, the company attended the CIIE for the first time this year. Liu said that what stood out the most for the brand at the China Import Expo was the sheer magnitude of the event. 
The size of the expo and the gathering of exhibitors exceeded what they have experienced in several other exhibitions. He further added that the significant foot traffic not only produced a vibrant atmosphere but also resulted in several high-level interactions. They strongly believe that the CIIE ranks among the best they have attended in all of Asia, highlighting its importance not just within China but on a broader local scale. China hosted its first CIIE in Shanghai in 2018. Being the world's first import-themed national-level expo, CIIE is now a yearly event, with the number of joining exhibitors and countries growing year on year.

November 2023- Armored Fresh, a food tech alt dairy company, is growing the US retail footprint for its Almond Milk American Cheese Slices with the latest collaborations established by Town and Country Foods, Fresh Thyme Market, Fred Meyer, and more.

July 2023: The Kraft Heinz Company allocated a substantial $400 million investment towards establishing a state-of-the-art automated Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) distribution center in North America, marking one of the largest of its kind in the region.

In January 2023, Emmi Roth launched new products under their well-known brand Roth, which specializes in making specialty cheeses. Tomato Basil Havarti and French Onion Havarti are among them. Most importantly, the introduction aimed at attracting more customers due to increased demand for specialty products in fast foods, snacks etc.

U.S. Cheese Market Segmentation

U.S. Cheese Product Type Outlook

  • Mozzarella

  • Cheddar

  • Italian Cheese

  • Cottage Cheese

  • Pepper Jack

  • Others

U.S. Cheese Source Outlook

  • Whole Cow Milk

  • Skimmed Cow Milk

  • Others

U.S. Cheese Type Outlook

  • Fresh

  • Aged Fresh

  • Soft White

  • Semi-Soft

  • Hard

  • Blue

  • Flavored

  • Others

U.S. Cheese Application Outlook

  • Cheese Processing

  • Cheese Spreads

  • Cheese Dips

  • Fast Food Snacks

  • Savory Snacks

  • Others

    • Rest of the U.S.

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