Hold onto your seats when you hear these numbers. Cheese consumption in the U.S. has doubled since 1980 and more than tripled since 1970. Per capita cheese consumption was 38.1 pounds in 2020 and is projected to reach 43.1 pounds by 2030, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. That’s a lot more cheese that needs to be produced, which means a lot more milk that cows need to provide and a lot more whey for high-protein innovations.
Mozzarella remains the most popular cheese in America, thanks to our love of this fresh cheese on pizza and similar foods, followed by cheddar, but both have been losing share to categories such as Other American and Hispanic. Many of the cheeses in these two categories are recognized as specialty cheeses. They are gaining traction by chefs and consumers alike, all of whom want to explore new flavors and uses in their culinary adventures.