Transparency, demand for new global varieties and a simpler selection process are among the trends to watch in the cheese category, according to a new analysis.
The 2017 Trend Watch, created by Fairfield, N.J.-based producer and importer Schuman Cheese, highlights six trends in all:
- Transparency. Consumers want to know how their cheese is made and who made it, and what its producer’s attitudes are toward employees, animals and the environment.
- Simple Selections. Stores need to streamline the decision-making process for customers, making it easier for them to choose the right product in an expanding market. Look for more stores to curate a smaller variety of cheeses.
- Globalization. Given consumers’ increasing desire to explore other cultures, look for exotic cheeses from other countries to enter the U.S. market. Nordic and Filipino influences will likely be strong, as will spices like turmeric and za’atar.
- Everyday Artisanal. Cheese lovers care about the quality and story behind the products they buy, but they also want products that are approachable and easy to understand. Companies will spend more time explaining their brand’s stories and their cheese making processes to highlight their products’ artisanal qualities.
- Millennial Influence. Younger shoppers want products that provide unique experiences and opportunities to share. Look for brighter and bolder packaging, increased use of spices like ghost pepper and gochujang and more colorful cheeses.
- Healthy Meets Indulgent. Expect greater use of health-promoting inclusions such as caraway, chia and parsley and probiotic cheeses. Greek-style cream cheeses, mascarpone and ricotta also should figure prominently.