China’s fast-moving cheese market has massive scope for growth

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Supply and demand

© iStock
© iStock
China’s booming cheese market was worth around RMB3.3bn in 2015 and continues to grow at an annual rate of 20% according to new market research.

Both supply and demand have grown constantly in recent years, helped by gradual improvements in production processes, analyst Research and Markets found in its study of competition patterns in the category.

Cream cheese, cheddar and mozzarella were found to be in greatest demand by the processing industry and catering sector. Among individual consumers, children and young adults had developed the biggest taste for cheese, while older ones were typically unfamiliar with the dairy product.

The consumer charge is being led by re-packed cheese as living standards increase and Western cuisine gains more traction, the analyst said. 

Though the market has been transforming rapidly, it is still at a very early stage, and demand comes mostly from city residents.

Nationally, annual per-capita consumption weighs in at less than 50g—a fraction of the 16kg consumed by Americans in 2015 and 26.8kg eaten by cheese-loving French.

The Chinese figure is dwarfed even by neighbouring South Korea, where residents not traditionally known for their consumption of cheese were found to get through a relatively weighty 2.6kg a year.

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