Cheese Trends

Cheese board

When it comes to cheese, everyone has a favourite. Whether it be gouda, edam, or havarti, Canadians reach for cheese en masse. The cheese category continues to grow and experts predict an additional 15% growth over the next five years [1]; keep an eye on these trends as you choose the right cheese to stock for your customers.

1. Snack Size Portions
Canadians love to snack. Cheese is a good source of protein and part of a healthy diet.  Snack packs that include cheese are growing in popularity and are available in many different convenient formats perfect for on-the-go snacking.  Highlighting the high-protein content of cheese on the pack is a good way of attracting younger Canadians to cheese.

Snack sized cheese2. Cheese Alternatives
For Canadians looking to reduce their meat consumption, cheese is a good option. While a small percentage of consumers show an interest in dairy-free cheese, over half of cheese eaters view cheese as a good substitute for meat.  Non-Dairy Cheese is still a small category however growing at +14% [2].  The younger generation is showing a more positive sentiment towards non-dairy cheese due to greater concern over allergens and the ethics around dairy farming.Cheese alternatives

3. Flavourful Experiences
Innovating with exciting flavours and textures appeals to adventurous Millennials wanting new experiences and excitement from everyday products. Sweet flavours like sticky toffee or fruit flavoured cheeses offer a dessert-like experience.  Pungent flavours that are spicy or alcohol-based, resonate well with experimental consumers.  Cheese pairings appeal to higher income Canadians who enjoy eating cheese at parties or gatherings.

Cheese flavours

4. Wide Open Space
The Open Air Dairy is a unique approach to dairy farming. The cows live outside all year round, like free range chickens.  Farms produce milk from pasture fed dairy cows which are milked in the field while they graze.  The cheese produced from pasture fed cows is full of high-quality natural fats, Calcium and other minerals.  Happy cows make better-for-you, better tasting cheese!

Cheese spaces

Written by Yuriko Kitano, Senior Marketing Insights Manager at Tree of Life Canada


  1. Mintel, Canadian Cheese Market Report, October 2018
  2. Nielsen 52 weeks end 12/08/18

Other Sources:
Canadian Millennials Falling Out of Love with Cheese, Mintel Canada December 2018

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