Gareth Watson explores the UK consumer trends affecting the cheese industry and how Primula Cheese is adapting to new shopping behaviours.
Consumer habits always grow and adapt, but in recent years, the UK consumer has been faced with numerous issues which have undoubtedly impacted the food products they’re purchasing. Having said that, it seems one thing has remained a constant – the British public loves cheese.
We’ve been a nation of cheese lovers for a long time, but in the last few years cheese consumption has increased drastically. Last year, despite Covid restrictions, the annual volume of cheese produced was approximately 504,000 metric tons, the highest ever on record.¹ But there’s no supply without demand. Data shows that all types of cheese have seen an increase in sales, with an additional 4.6 million kilos being purchased in 2021 compared to the previous year,² and 98 percent of homes admitting to buying into the category.³
What makes cheese so popular?
Other than the appealing taste, the versatility of cheese makes it a staple for many households. It can be used in an array of dishes, as the main event or an addition, from breakfast, to lunch, dinner and even dessert.
The number of occasions suited to cheese consumption, from small gatherings to parties and other socials events, have also increased noticeably with the end of Covid restrictions. This means there’s set to be more opportunity for cheese-eating than in 2020 and 2021, during which we still saw huge increases in sales and consumption compared to previous years.
Keeping up with UK cheese trends
While cheese is popular among people in the UK, and the numbers show that’s not likely to change anytime soon, that doesn’t mean cheese manufacturers should not listen to upcoming consumer trends to ensure their cheese is the one making it through the checkouts.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the trends directly impacting the UK cheese industry, along with what brands can do to help stay on top of them.
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