little girl eating cheese

Celebrating American Cheese Month in May

This May, celebrate our country’s cheese producers and all things cheese for American Cheese Month. Learn about American cheeses and get inspired by some classic American cheese dishes with a twist!

What is American Cheese Month?

Every year, a full month is devoted to celebrating American cheese. American Cheese Month puts a spotlight on the dairy farmers, cheese producers, retailers, and chefs who work together to supply Americans with their favorite cheeses. 

It’s also a time for Americans to learn about the diversity of American cheeses, try delicious new cheese dishes, and support and promote American cheesemakers. Cheese lovers can find inspiration and camaraderie at #americancheesemonth, #buyamericancheese, and #ilovecheese.

american cheese month

What are American Cheeses?

The American Cheese Society recognizes a special category of cheeses they call the American Originals. These are uniquely American cheeses in their original forms with recipes that originated in the Americas. Some well-known examples include Monterey Jack (from Monterey, California) and Colby (from Colby, Wisconsin). 

In addition, there are creative variations that evolved from traditional American cheeses, such as Pepper Jack, a variety of Monterey Jack with spicy chilis and herbs. Blends of American cheeses—like Colby Jack—are also distinctly American. And although cheddar and mozzarella may not have originated in America, as the country’s top-selling cheeses, we can also give these American favorites a shoutout this month.

Consumers’ Love of Cheese Continues to Grow

As the COVID pandemic shook up the world last year and led to a surge in home cooking, we watched as Americans turned to cheese. As an essential ingredient in family-friendly meals like pizza and tacos and as a healthy protein snack, cheese has been right on trend.

U.S. retail cheese saw growth in the high double digits last year—18.4% for natural cheese and 17.4% for processed cheese.1 Cheese suppliers were quick to respond to this rising demand with new products that tapped into consumers’ interest in the versatility, nutrition, and value of cheese. Last year the U.S. dominated in global new cheese launches, claiming a 10% share.2

cheese dish

Inspire with Classic American Cheese Dishes...with a Twist

With many Americans still cooking at home but cooking fatigue setting in, cheese producers have an opportunity to reengage their consumers by offering some recipe inspiration. A twist on an old favorite is a perfect way to celebrate American Cheese Month.

Brands can stimulate consumers’ creativity with recipe ideas like Buffalo Mac and Cheese, an ultra-creamy mac and cheese with a cayenne kick, or Nacho Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, with taco seasoning and salsa for some quick south of the border flavor. Cheeseburgers, omelets, and pizza can also be taken in new directions with the addition of chilis, savory herbs, or global seasonings and sauces.

Smile and Say Cheese

Looking ahead, we can expect many consumers will continue cooking at home more than they did before COVID, whether for enjoyment or to save money. Brands that can stay connected to these consumers and offer social media engagement, recipe inspiration, and products that deliver on taste, nutrition, and versatility can support these efforts.

As a leading cheese manufacturer globally, Glanbia Nutritionals offers a wide range of classic and innovative cheeses to excite today’s consumers. From classic cheeses like Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Colby to flavored cheeses like Pepper Jack, Ghost Pepper, and Smoked Cheeses, Glanbia’s cheeses can meet every need. In addition, Glanbia's cheese innovations for health and wellness include probiotic, vitamin D fortified, and higher protein cheeses.

Check out Glanbia’s line up of classic and innovative cheeses or get inspired by our recent Cheese Snacking Trends Guide!

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References

1. Nielsen, xAOC + Whole Foods, All Cheese, 52 weeks ending December 26, 2020.
2. Mintel, The Future of Cheese: 2021, January 2021, 52 weeks ending October 31, 2020.

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