Leading branded cheeses are the latest dairy product to enjoy a surge in consumer popularity with increases of more than 15% in the UK in just a year, according to the latest TNS figures supplied through the Milk Development Council

The MDC’s head of market information Huw Thomas said it was thought that most of this was due to consumers switching fromsupermarket own-brand and value cheddars. However, around a third of the growth is down to new sales alone.

“The cheddar market has grown overall by some 3000 tonnes since July last year – that’s around 25 to 30 million more litres of milk going into cheddar eaten in Great Britain,” he said.

“Much of this switch is due to some aggressive marketing, such as multi-buy offers and other promotions, but it could also mean that consumer tastes are changing.”

Cathedral city cheese

He cites Dairy Crest’s Cathedral City Extra Mature Cheddar and Wyke Farms Vintage Cheddar as having strong growth, and says it’s the mature, extra mature and vintage brands with strong provenance and taste associations that are performing the best.

Additionally, global demand for dairy products, particularly commodity products, is spiralling.  The Asian, and in particular Chinese markets, are growing furiously against a background of world shortages.

The MDC’s Milk for Cheese Value Equivalent price (MCVE) stands at 30.70p/litre – 11.66p/litre more than in August last year.