Cheese Market

Published 17 August 15

August 2015

The introduction of free school meals for children aged 5-7 years and prospect that the government ‘School Food Plan’ will, in the future, include those up to the age of 11, is an existential threat to sales of cheese and other staple sandwich fillers.

Kantar Worldpanel report a 7.2% fall in lunch box occasions in the year to December 2014 which is equal to around 149 million fewer lunchboxes. This threat to the cheese market is estimated at £19 million.

Development of lines specifically designed to appeal to consumer trends around convenience, health and snacking is crucial. Recent re-vamps for cheese strings and new snack-packs, where the product and package design are consistent with these trends, are aimed to meet this need.

 

GB retail cheese sales for the 52 weeks ending 19 July 2015, when compared with the previous year:

  • Total cheese expenditure saw a small decline (-0.8%) to just under £2.8 billion, a 1.3% fall in the average price of cheese has been influential.

  • The average price of a kilo of cheese is £6.65/kg.

  • Volume sales have improved by 0.5% year on year (YOY) to 417,817 tonnes. Average volume purchased per trip fell by 0.6%, but shoppers bought cheese slightly more often in this time period leading to a small volume per buyer decline of 0.4%.

  • Branded Cheddar has seen a small YOY volume increase of 0.5%, private label Cheddar volumes are down by 0.3% over the same period.

  • The average price of Branded Cheddar has fallen by 4.2% YOY to £7.01/kg, while private label Cheddar prices are down by 3.2% YOY to £6.00/kg. The price gap between branded and private label Cheddar has narrowed to £1.00 per kg.

  • Volume sales for mature Cheddar, which still accounts for over half of Cheddar volume sales, grew again, in this period by 2.3% YOY. Extra mature remains the second most popular type of Cheddar, volume of this type grew by 4.3%.

 

Total Cheese Market

52-Week data ending 19 July 2015

 

Spend (£000s)

YOY diff

Volume (000kg)

YOY diff

Average price (£/kg)

YOY diff

TOTAL CHEESE

2,779,906

-0.8%

417,871

0.5%

6.65

-1.3%

Total Cheddar

1,445,580

-3.3%

226,535

0.3%

6.38

-3.6%

Soft continental cheeses

251,492

3.8%

36,074

5.0%

6.97

-1.1%

Territorials (excl blue)

208,129

-0.8%

29,753

0.6%

7.00

-1.4%

Please note, Kantar Worldpanel definition of territorial cheese includes 'other' British hard cheese which includes reduced-fat varieties of cheddar-type cheeses. The ‘soft continental’ category includes cheeses such as brie and camembert.

 

Cheddar Market - By Type

Cheddar cheese volume is 0.3% higher than a year earlier at 226,535 tonnes. Total expenditure has fallen though due to an average price decrease of 3.6%. The most recent 52 week data shows total spend at £1.45 billion, a fall of 3.3%.

Medium Cheddar volume has declined by 9.5%. It is possible that consumers may be switching into mature and extra mature Cheddar, volume sold has increased for both of these products. Mature Cheddar by 2.3% and extra mature by 4.3% YOY.

The volume increase for extra mature Cheddar has been made in spite of fewer consumers buying into the product, household penetration has fallen by 2.2%. Consumers that do buy extra mature Cheddar have bought around 6% more in terms of volume and have shopped for the product 6% more often.

  

52 w/e 19 July 2015

Spend (£000s)

Volume (000kg)

 

Average Price (£/kg)

 Year on year

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

% Diff

Total Cheddar*

1,445,580

225,292

 

6.53

-3.5%

Extra mature

275,637

41,509

 

6.64

-6.6%

Mature

738,941

115,853

 

6.38

-3.4%

Medium

96,674

15,156

 

6.38

-2.6%

Mild

206,623

36,179

 

5.71

-2.3%

 

Book 1_845_image 002

 * Please note - Total refers to all categories of Cheddar. In addition to mild, medium, mature and extra mature; the Cheddar category includes: farmhouse, full flavour, vintage and other cheddar types.

 

Cheddar Market - By Brand

 

Branded Cheddar products saw some volume growth (+0.5%) in the 52 weeks to July 2015. This was not converted into revenue growth because the average price fell by 4.2%. Standard and budget private label Cheddar prices also fell, value/budget lines by 5.9% and standard by a lower 0.6%. Total grocery price inflation has been negative for much of the last year but the price of branded and unbranded Cheddar has fallen further than groceries generally.

Revenue growth for value/budget own label Cheddar continues, volume has increased ahead of the market, by just over 11%, which has more than balanced the fall in average price.

 

52-Week data ending 19 July 2015

 

Spend (£000s)

YOY diff

Volume (000kg)

YOY diff

Average price (£/kg)

YOY diff

Branded Cheddar

598,662

-3.8%

85,364

0.5%

7.01

-4.2%

Total supermarket own label cheddar

846,919

-2.9%

141,170

0.3%

6.00

-3.2%

Standard supermarket own label cheddar

548,172

-6.6%

83,597

-6.1%

6.56

-0.6%

Value/Budget supermarket own label cheddar

298,747

4.6%

57,573

11.1%

5.19

-5.9%

Data use: Periodically Kantar rework or reweight data which may mean correctly reported data does not match previously reported data.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel