Saputo - August 2019 - 1

Global Cheese Trends: Consumers'
Exposure to Global Cuisines Creates
Opportunity for Cheese Producers

W

hen it comes to food consumption in recent
years, the familiar Disney refrain has proved
true: "It's a small world after all!"

Where cheese comes from is driving consumption, and
bringing international varieties into the marketplace
is a way to influence continued growth, according to
Euromonitor ("Between Health and Indulgence: Unveiling
Geographical Hotspots for Cheese Part I," October
2018). American consumers have increased exposure to
ethnic cuisines, experimenting with food and flavors,
and expanding their taste preferences.
"The global cheese market has become smaller, more
intimate, because consumers have been exposed to a

wider variety of cheese from different countries with
unique flavors, textures, and applications," says Melissa
Abbott, vice president for Hartman Retainer Services,
the research division of the food consultancy The
Hartman Group.
Originally, ethnic foods were hard to find outside of
foodservice and family homes. Today, they are available
in grocery stores and other retail channels due to
increased consumer interest in international cuisine
and ethnically inspired flavors. While Millennials may
significantly influence the cheese category, Gen Z is
driving many of the global flavor and ethnic food trends,
according to Caroline Roux, food and drink research
manager at Mintel. Bold, spicy flavors and foods from
the Mediterranean, Middle East, Korea and Southeast
Asia appeal to Gen Z consumers.
The aging of multicultural generations that were
exposed to ethnic foods as children, the growth of
the Hispanic population in America, and a burgeoning
desire by more people to try new things have helped
"make uncommon foods and flavors more available
to consumers to try," explains Eric Richard, industry
relations coordinator for the International Dairy Deli
Bakery Association (IDDBA).

CONSUMER INTEREST IN ETHNIC CHEESES
EXPANDS-ESPECIALLY FOR
HISPANIC VARIETIES
Cheese is a mainstay on American menus, and it
continues to appeal as both a standalone snack and
as an added ingredient. While cheeses like mozzarella
and cheddar are still favorites, Hispanic varieties
are becoming more popular, according to IDDBA
data. Consumers have become better acquainted
with Hispanic cuisines and ingredients through
various marketing channels. This exposure has driven
tremendous growth for Hispanic cheeses such as queso



Saputo - August 2019

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