World cheese market facts

The cheese market has been one of the most dynamic food segments with steady growth in production, consumption and international trade.

The world market was worth $79.5 billion in 2012 and is expected to be worth $105.1 billion by 2019.


The largest producer of cheese is USA, accounting for 30% of world production, followed by Germany and France.

The biggest exporter of cheese (by value) is France; the second is Germany (although it is the first by volume). Among the top ten exporters, only Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Australia have a cheese production that is mainly export oriented: respectively 95%, 90%, 77%, 72% and 65% of their cheese production is exported.

Germany is also the largest importer of cheese, while the UK and Italy are the second and third.


Greece was for a long time, the world´s largest consumer of cheese with approximately 27 Kg per capita, of which feta is accounting for ¾ of this consumption. In the last 3 years, due to the economic crisis, spending priorities changed and Greece fell into the 2nd position, letting France at the top with approximately 25 Kg per capita. Emmental for cooking and camembert are the most common cheeses in France.

Italy follows at number three with 23 Kg per capita.

In the US the consumption of cheese is quickly increasing and has nearly tripled since early 80s exceeding the 17 Kg per capita today. Mozzarella is America´s favorite cheese and accounts for nearly a third of the consumption, mainly because it is one of the main ingredients of pizza.

Regarding the EU market, a macroeconomic analysis has been recently published and you can read it here

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