Cheese making a comeback after two year dip

Cheese sales in the UK have bounced back after a two year fall

The UK spent an additional £329m on cheese in the past 12 months, as total sales grew to an estimated £2.8bn.

Total sales in all cheese categories rose by 1.2 per cent, with own-label brands excelling ahead of the branded competition. Own-branded sales surged by £58.3m to £1.7bn, with continental cheese enjoying a 6.2 per cent increase on the previous year. Bestseller cheddar enjoyed a 2.8 per cent rise to £863m, while sales of own label continental increased by 6.2 per cent.

The findings come as good news for retailers, after the previous year saw sales of cheese drop by £29.4m to under £1.1bn. Cheddar sales fell by £36m, while sales of soft white cheese dropped by £3.8m to £123.2m.

However half of the top 20 brands are now on the rise again and analysts are positive these figures show cheese is set to maintain its comeback.

Faith Ayomoto, an analyst at Kantar, said: “Aldi and Lidl have both contributed to own label growth in cheddar, enjoying double-digit growth as they manage to entice shoppers away from branded favourites.”

A major factor in the resurgence of sales has been put down to marketing incentives focusing on cheese as a snack rather than selling in bulk. As retailers focus on investment at shopper level and including cheese products in meal deals and smaller packets, shoppers have shown an increased interest in the product.

As Dairy Crest’s marketing director Lee Willett said, where cheese is concerned, retailers have “left out adult snacking for too long”. Yet these positive sales figures indicate stores are adapting to recent changes in consumer trends, ensuring cheese remains a viable option for shoppers.


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