A number of factors have given cheese sales a boost in 2020; while the category has certainly ridden the coattails of booming grocery sales overall, quality cheeses have a special draw for customers seeking ways to enjoy the quality home-cooked comfort food they love. From the at-home gourmet to kitchen minimalists looking to elevate their everyday recipes, quality cheese has a broad appeal, with natural cheeses garnering over $13 billion in retail sales in 2020 alone, according to Statista.
Importantly, the call for quality will continue in the new year, with customers continuing to bring varied needs and demands to the table. Here are three reasons cheese will remain one of grocery’s strongest players.
1. Home cooking is here to stay
Whether they’re looking to save money or continuing to self-isolate, many customers are continuing to eat at home even as restaurant dining rooms reopen in many parts of the country. According to Technomic’s November 2020 Industry Insights report, 24% of consumers say they expect to dine out less within the next three months, with most of them citing health concerns as the reason.
Especially after months spent preparing their own food, consumers are likely looking for a way to make at-home meals a little more special without additional prep work or costs. Something as simple as trying gouda on a quesadilla or Havarti on a toasted BLT can help keep things fresh.
2. Comfort is key
According to the Oct. 1, 2020 edition of The Lempert Report, 75% of consumers say they turn to their favorite comfort foods at least once every other day amid COVID-19, and more than half listed cheesy favorites such as pizza and macaroni and cheese among their go-to dishes.
As pandemic-related anxieties compound cravings for favorite meals made at home, delicious, affordable cheeses are an indispensable asset. Importantly, private-label cheeses led the pack in the 52 weeks ending in Oct. 4, 2020, dramatically outperforming other name-brand natural cheeses with nearly $3.9 billion in sales—a 25.9% increase from the year prior according to IRI.
Leading dairy company Arla Foods ensures top quality cheese and consistency by working with 24 Wisconsin farmers, producing many dairy products made without artificial preservatives, hormones or flavors to provide the health-conscious and flavor-seeking consumers alike with products they’ll love.
3. Sustainability remains a priority
Even as consumer demands have shifted in recent months, sustainable products maintain an edge. A 2020 report from New York University’s Center for Sustainable Business in partnership with IRI found that sustainability-marketed products were responsible for 54.7% of the growth in consumer packaged goods from 2015 to 2019, and this growth has continued despite the pandemic.
Part and parcel with Arla’s penchant for quality is a dedication to sustainable practices. Arla is a proud participant in FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) and works with dairy farmers to sustainably create the products consumers love through environmentally-friendly practices.
To the average grocery consumer, cheese isn’t a hard sell: It’s convenient, comforting and delicious. And a cheese that delivers top quality flavor while meeting consumers’ needs for a product that aligns with their health and lifestyle choices is a winner all the more.
Cheeses from Arla Foods, including their industry leading Havarti and fan favorite gouda, edam and muenster, are the premier choice for grocery and restaurant retailers alike, for their private label opportunities. To learn more about how Arla
This post is sponsored by Arla