The global cheese market has seen growth in consumption of around 1-2% annually since 2006. While this growth has recently slowed down to just under 1% in the last two years due to the economic downturn, there are still good prospects for cheese, with Zenith predicting nearly 20m tonnes of consumption by 2012.
This growth in total volume consumption translates to an increase of per capita consumption of approximately 0.5% per year. Most of this dynamic growth will be coming from countries in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America – regions with growing populations that are increasingly becoming familiar with cheese.
Countries such as Brazil and Mexico still have relatively low per capita consumption at around 3.2kg and 2.1kg respectively, leaving much room for growth as economies develop. West Europe and North America – the two biggest regions worldwide – will see their share of the global market decrease.
The global cheese market can really be summarised into two worlds: the mature markets and the developing/high growth markets. In the mature markets such as West Europe and North America, there are five main trends prevalent:
The other world of developing markets such as Asia Pacific, Middle East, South America and Africa have seen some quite dynamic growth in demand for cheese. In Asia Pacific, countries such as South Korea, China, Vietnam have seen growth in processed cheese through foodservice and retail. Mothers have been educated about the benefits of calcium and buy processed cheese for their children.
The familiarisation of cheese has been fundamental to its success in markets where cheese hasn’t traditionally been part of their staple diets.
So what of the future? Increasing demand for cheese in developing markets is certainly part of the future, with companies increasing their focus on these regions in terms of investment. As logistics and the chiller chain develop, there may be a longer-term trend towards natural cheeses in countries such as the Middle East and North Africa, where processed currently dominates due to its longer shelf life. In the Western hemisphere, with more people living on their own and with trend towards on-the-go consumption, smaller portion sizes and snacking will be prevalent. There will also be continued moves towards innovation to facilitate convenience.
Esther Renfrew is dairy market intelligence manager at Zenith International. You can contact Esther by clicking here.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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