Transparency Market Research said in its report, titled Global Cheese Market - Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 - 2019, that the market was worth $79.5bn in 2012 and is expected to be worth $105.1bn by 2019. The market has and will continue to grow at a rate of 4.4% each year, according to these projections.
Fast food driving increase
Analysts at Transparency Market Research believe the fast food market is what is currently driving the increased interest of cheese across the world. DairyReporter quoted a US Dairy Export Council official in December 2015 who said fast food and food service demand for cheese could help get cheese prices back to their normal levels in the near future.
In addition to fast food, the report said the ability of consumers to spend money on fine cheeses has helped the market become a more prominent over the past few years.
One issue that may adversely affect cheese’s growth as a market is the relatively short shelf life of the product. DCI Cheese Company's website said the shortest shelf life of cheese is soft unripened cheeses, such as a ricotta and cottage cheese, which have a shelf life of two to four weeks. On the other hand, hard cheeses, such as parmesan, have a shelf life of seven to nine months. Processed cheese may last for up to a year.
While unprocessed cheese is still the market leader, processed cheese’s use in the fast food industry is seeing it rise at a higher growth rate, according to Transparency Market Research analysts.
Growth by region
While the urbanization of countries like China, South Korea and Brazil have increased each area’s demand for cheese, the big players still remain at the top. Transparency Market Research’s report said Europe holds a 38.8% share of the global cheese market, with North America following closely behind at 32.7%.
Even though the report said Europe is the largest market in the world, USDEC has previously said the US is the world’s largest cheese producer at 5.17 metric tons as of 2014, something that may help it grow further in the next few years.
Asia Pacific is seeing the largest growth over the forecasted period of Transparency Market Research’s report, as the region will see a 7.9% growth each year until 2019.