Proteus Insights said global cheddar volumes in 2008 were up 0.3 percent on the previous year and high cheddar prices helped to increase the value growth in dollar terms to 6.8 percent.
Looking across the 89 countries in the study, growth was stagnant or negative in the US, Canada and the UK, but cheddar sales continued to grow strongly in emerging markets.
North America continues to account for two thirds of all cheddar demand but the real drivers for market growth are to be found outside the traditional Anglo-Saxon cheddar eating nations.
Between 2000 and 2008 sales outside the top cheddar eating countries in North America, Australasia and Europe, increased by an average of 6.3 percent year-on-year.
A Proteus Insight analyst told Dairy Reporter that Japan, for example, has now become a developed cheddar market. The main cause of this growth has been the development of the processed cheese market.
But the real hot spots for growth at the moment are North Africa and the Middle East, where the main use of cheddar is also in the creation of processed cheeses. The Proteus analyst said that in Algeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia the cheddar is making great headway in the domestic cheese market.
Developed market trends
Meanwhile, in the developed markets opportunities for growth remain.
In terms of the segmentation between mild, medium, and mature, the Proteus Insight analyst said mature is gaining ground in core markets. Consumers are looking for a little more from their cheddar, and manufacturers are responding with extra flavour.
Another notable cheddar trend is the growth of farmhouse as opposed to commercial cheese. Farmhouse cheese is a small market but it is developing rapidly supported by demand for more natural, local and earthy food, and on the supply side by farmers’ desire to increase margins, and reach the consumer directly. The Proteus analyst said more sophisticated marketing is also helping to increase sales.