Cheese specialities

Cheese specialities

Western Europe and North America are the main consumers of dairy products with an increasing market for processed cheese in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and China.


Thu, 05 Oct 2017


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(image source: Clarks Food)

According to the Transparency Market Research, the global cheese market is growing at CAGR of 4.4 %, an increase of $79.5 billion in 2012 and predicted to be up to $105.1 billion by 2019. New cultural experiences, the interest in new flavours and tastes of the experimental consumer have an immense impact on the cheese market. Fresh cheese, hard cheese or soft cheese from cow, goat or sheep milk; unripened to aged cheese; mild to strong flavoured cheese, a wide variety of cheese styles exist around the world. 

Lately, there has been a growing trend on artisan cheese - a handmade and traditionally produced cheese by small producers in small batches with unique flavours and textures. Artisan cheese has come to Scotland and it is now known to be a world class cheese producer.

Scottish artisan cheese 

Today, there are more than 20 cheese producers across Scotland, ranging from large industrial cheddar creameries to independent artisan and farmhouse cheese makers. Cheddar cheese is the key performer in Scotland, which accounts for 70-80% of the total output. Scottish dairy exports grew by 41% between 2012 and 2013. The main export market is the EU, which was worth £67.56 million in 2013, especially France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Dairy Growth Board, founded three years ago, aims to expand market penetration of the dairy sector globally. 

Cheddar, Highland cheese, Caboc, Crowdie and Dunlop are popular cheese styles throughout Scotland. Though Scottish cheese makers produce not only their traditional unique cheeses, they also adopt cheese styles from around the world such as brie and blue cheese from France, ricotta and mozzarella from Italy or Gouda from the Netherlands.  A Scottish version of brie (e.g. Clava Brie, Smoked Fearn Abbey Ewe’s Brie), mozzarella (e.g. Artisan Kedar Mozzarella), ricotta (e.g. Loch Arthur Creamery organic ricotta cheese) or blue cheese (e.g. Strathdon Blue, Errington Dunsyre Blue) are some styles of cheeses that artisan cheese makers successfully sell. Handcrafted and high-quality cheeses, unique flavours and textures as well as romantic stories of the origin of cheeses and the clean image of Scotland make the Scottish cheese sector extraordinary. 

Cheese trends around the world

Culinary and multi-cultural cuisines and tastes show an increasing demand in the western diet. Feta, parmesan, mozzarella, brie and blue cheese are some of the most popular fine cheese styles worldwide. Influences from Italy, France and Greece have been adopted for decades. Swiss cheese, German Bergkaese and Gouda from Holland are also popular cheese styles within Europe. Recently, there has been a greater interest at cheese from the Middle East and India. Paneer, a fresh cheese from South Asia, especially India, is an unaged, non-melting acid cheese made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice or vinegar. Between 2009 and 2016, the global Indian paneer market increased by volume up to 1.5 million metric tons in 2016 and grew at a CAGR of 6.7%.

Quark, a fresh, acid-set curd cheese, is common in German-speaking countries and Scandinavia. This high-protein dairy product shows a high potential on the UK dairy market as it is associated with health aspects.

In the US, where the American style cheese has been the most popular cheese for a long time, there has been an increasing demand for diverse artisan cheeses, hitting $17.4 billion in 2015. Since 2011, the sales of artisan cheeses are growing at CAGR of 4.1% and there is an increasing trend towards specialty cheese in the US up to $20.7 billion in 2020.

Growth opportunities

Today’s consumers are eager to try unique cheeses with different flavours and textures. The export of Scottish cheese to France is the beginning of the success and shows high potential for exporting unique cheese styles from different regions of Scotland all over the world. There is also the opportunity for local dairies to innovate by moving with global trends and producing emerging international varieties but producing them in Scotland using Scottish milk. 

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