Global Cheese Market Trends for 2023

Consumers' evolving interests are driving innovation in the global cheese market. Learn the top 2023 cheese trends manufacturers should know, the fastest-growing markets, and what today’s consumers are looking for.


  • Western Europe and North America are the two largest regional cheese markets, with Australasia as the fastest growing market. 
  • Nutrition, convenience, taste, and sustainability are just a few of the expectations consumers are looking for when buying cheese. 
  • The demand for cheese with functional benefits and vegan cheese is growing. 

Overview of the 2022 Global Cheese Market

The global cheese market reached $143 billion in 2021, up 5.1% from the prior year.1 Western Europe makes up the largest regional market, with nearly $54 billion in sales, followed by North America at $33.8 billion.2 However, the fastest-growing cheese market is Australasia at 15.1%, although from a small base.3

Global Cheese Market Sales and Growth

Region 2021 Sales ($ millions) Annual Growth (2020-2021)
Western Europe 53,999 6.5%
North America 32,765 2.1%
Latin America 16,652 3.4%
Eastern Europe 14,979 9.0%
Middle East and Africa 12,039 0.9%
Asia Pacific  9,607 7.5%
Australasia 3,002 15.1%
Source: Euromonitor, 2022

Another location to watch is China, where retail cheese sales are forecast to grow by 11% through 2025.4 Driven by an increase in consumption and spending, cheese is expected to be the fastest-growing dairy category in China in the coming years. Investments from some of the largest domestic dairy companies such as Yili have been ramping up.

What Consumers Are Looking for in Cheese

Consumers are buying cheese for a variety of reasons, ranging from nutrition to convenience to taste. At the same time, regular cheese consumers are developing new interests and expectations when it comes to cheese options in the market. 

In Europe, for example, sustainability is becoming more important, as seen from the rise in environmental and ethical claims on packaging for cheeses. In the Americas, natural and clean label cheeses are growing more popular. However, the strongest driver right now is health, and each of the top 2023 cheese trends touches on this important consumer concern.

Cheese for Snacking

One in three US cheese consumers is eating cheese as a healthier alternative to other snacks and treats.5 Cheese brands globally have been tapping into consumers’ growing interest in healthy snacking by promoting the nutritional benefits of cheese, from protein to calcium to keto-friendly. In addition, manufacturers are innovating around exciting and locally-inspired flavors to appeal to snacking consumers, particularly in Asia.

Functional Benefits

More consumers are also reaching for cheese for functional benefits. For example, 64% of Chinese consumers think cheese is good for their immunity.6 But opportunity is also high for cheese with added functional ingredients. In the UK, Benecol has launched a low-fat, cholesterol-reducing cream cheese that uses plant stanols. In the US, 27% of cheese consumers who are parents say they would try a cheese with better-for-you claims.7

little girl with cheese

Better Vegan Options

Demand for vegan cheese is growing, with major cheese brands such as Babybel, Boursin, and Philadelphia recently adding vegan options to their portfolios. While taste and texture continue to improve, vegan cheeses will also need to improve on nutrition to compete with dairy cheese. For example, though 22% of vegan cheeses launched in 2021 are vitamin/mineral fortified, the average vegan cheese contains only 5 grams of protein per 100 grams compared to 13 grams for dairy cheese.8

Choosing the Cheeses that Please

To choose the right cheeses to please today’s health-focused consumers—consumers who expect flavor, function, convenience, and nutrition—trust Glanbia Nutritionals to provide the quality and variety you need. Contact us to learn about our high-protein, fortified, and functional cheeses, as well as our classic and flavored cheeses for all your needs.


1-3. Euromonitor, 2022.
4. Mintel, The Future of Cheese: 2022, February 2022.
5. Mintel, Cheese-US, June 2021.
6-8. Mintel, The Future of Cheese: 2022, February 2022.

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