Value growth in UK cheese market, Mintel reports

Despite falling volume sales, rising prices have propelled rapid value growth in the UK cheese market. This growth is forecast to continue, and Mintel forecasts that value sales will reach £4.5 billion (€5.2bn) by 2028.

UK cheese consumption remains high, with around nine in ten people eating or using it regularly. Cheddar remains the nation’s favourite cheese. Its affordability and scope for trading down helped it to gain market share in the income squeeze, the research anaylsts note. During the ongoing cost of living crisis, own-label cheese has massively increased its market share. However, as household finances begin to recover, there will be an opportunity for encouraging trading up. Many shoppers are keen to buy more speciality cheeses, continental varieties and branded options over own-label. A spotlight on flavour and how to make the most of it will not go amiss to boost relevance, with half of cheese buyers wanting tips on bringing out the taste of favourite cheeses.

Sustainability has taken a backseat for many amid the income squeeze, however, a longer-term uptick is predicted. This fuels interest in vegetable-led dishes, opening up opportunities also for cheese, with around two-fifths of buyers keen on more tips for using these dairy products in vegetable-based dishes. Many cheese brands offer recipe ideas online, but ensuring that these reach shoppers is crucial to fully capitalise on this opportunity, Mintel adds.

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