Thursday, 22 February 2024 13:00

Cheesed off by price

Written by  Milking It

OPINION: Inflation is forcing European consumers to move away from cheese.

The Good Food Institute Europe 2023 report further confirms this trend, noting a 21% increase in plant-based “cheese” sales from 2020 to 2022. This shift may prompt European cheesemakers to explore new markets.

Later in the year, dairy industry analysts at Kite found the sector to be facing a “perfect storm of weak demand caused by inflationary price increases.” Dairy has been caught up in the inflation wave that has hit Europe since mid-2021, with prices for shoppers rising along with most other food items.

It means experts are predicting dairy producers will look to China for sales in the coming years as cheese consumption flatlines in established markets.

And although domestic Chinese cheese production is rising, it is not likely to be enough to meet local demand, Rabobank predicted, meaning dairy-exporting powerhouses such as New Zealand, the U.S., the Netherlands and Ireland could have an opening.

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