Cheese Market

Published 17 December 14

GB retail cheese sales for the 52 weeks ending 9 November 2014, when compared with the previous year:

  • Total cheese expenditure has increased by 3% to £2.81 billion, driven by an increase in the average price of cheese.
  • The average price of a kilo of cheese has increased by 4.2% to £6.81/kg.
  • Volume sales have decreased by 1.2% year on year (YOY) to 413,079 tonnes.
  • Branded Cheddar volumes have declined by 12.5% YOY, private label Cheddar volumes are up 6% over the same period.
  • The average price of branded Cheddar has increased by 7.7% YOY to £7.50/kg, while private label cheddar has increased by 2.5% YOY to £6.21/kg. On average, branded cheddar is £1.29 more expensive per kg than private label Cheddar.
  • Volume sales for mature Cheddar, which accounts for just over half of Cheddar volume sales, grew by 5.8% YOY. Extra mature remains the second most popular type of Cheddar, although volumes are down 9.7% YOY.

The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel show that cheese volume sales have decreased by 1.2% to 413,079 tonnes in the 52 weeks ending 9 November 2014. The proportion of households that buy cheese is high at 98.6%, but average volume purchased per trip fell by 3.1%, also, the average buyer bought 2.1% less, driving an overall volume decline. Average cheese prices rose by 4.2% to £6.81/kg over the year, generating a total spend increase of 3% to £2.81 billion.

Total Cheese Market - Loose and Pre-packed

Pre-packed cheese, which makes up 96% of the market by volume, has recorded value growth of 2.9% YOY on the back of a 4.3% price increase, total volume declined by 1.3%. Hard discounters outperformed the market again, increasing sales volume by 35%; their share of the market by volume is now 11%, up from 8% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Loose cheese saw a volume increase of 2.1% for the last 52 weeks, penetration though has fallen by 4% and is low at 35.2%, contrasting with pre-packed cheese which 98.5% of households buy into.

52-Week data ending 9 Nov 2014

 

Total

Yr/Yr %

Loose

Yr/Yr %

Pre-packed

Yr/Yr %

Spend (£000s)

2,811,109

3.0%

129,763

3.8%

2,681,346

2.9%

Volume (Tonnes)

413,079

-1.2%

18,249

2.1%

394,830

-1.3%

Average Price (£/Kg)

6.81

4.2%

7.11

1.7%

6.79

4.3%

Cheddar Market - By Type

Total Cheddar cheese volume is 1.6% lower than a year earlier at 224,773 tonnes. Total expenditure has increased though due to an average price increase of 3.9%. The most recent 52 week data shows total spend at just over £1.5 billion, an increase of 2.2%.

There has been some change in this category. Extra mature and medium Cheddar volume has declined by 9.7% and 8.6% respectively. Consumers may be switching into different Cheddar varieties as mature and mild Cheddar have both seen increases in volume sold.

Mature Cheddar has performed positively over the past year. The 5.8% uplift in volumes YOY, combined with an average price rise of 4.7% has driven a 10.7% rise in overall expenditure. In contrast, extra mature Cheddar is experiencing both volume and value decline, fewer consumers are buying the product and remaining customers are buying less volume per shopping trip.

52-Week data ending 9 Nov 2014

Type

Performance

Spend (£000s)

Volume (Tonnes)

Average Price (£/Kg)

Total Cheddar*

Actual

1,501,845

224,773

6.68

Yr/Yr%change

2.2%

-1.6%

3.9%

Extra Mature

Actual

278,550

39,210

7.10

Yr/Yr%change

-7.0%

-9.7%

2.9%

Mature

Actual

767,244

114,108

6.72

Yr/Yr%change

10.7%

5.8%

4.7%

Medium

Actual

105,571

16,007

6.60

Yr/Yr%change

-5.0%

-8.6%

3.7%

Mild

Actual

216,622

37,045

5.85

Yr/Yr%change

6.0%

4.0%

1.9%

* 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 have seen volumes decline by 12.5% in the 52 w/e 9 Nov 2014. Households that are purchasing branded Cheddar are doing so 5% less often and buying 7.1% less on average per shopping trip than in previous time periods.

Private label Cheddar has shown strong recent growth, volume has increased by 6%. More than 88% of households bought this product in the last 12 months and expenditure has risen by 8.6%. The value/budget lines have performed particularly well, increasing in volume by 16.4%.

It is possible that price increases have had some influence on this market change. The average price of branded Cheddar has increased by 7.7% and stands now at £7.50/kg, which is £1.29/kg more than the average cost of private label Cheddar. Value lines have seen the smallest price increase (+0.2%) and have seen a large volume uplift.

52-Week data ending 9 Nov 2014

Type

Performance

Spend (£000s)

Volume (Tonnes)

Average Price (£/Kg)

Branded Cheddar

Actual

617,388

82,274

7.50

Year on year% change

-5.8%

-12.5%

7.7%

Total supermarket own label cheddar

Actual

884,456

142,499

6.21

Year on year% change

8.6%

6.0%

2.5%

Standard supermarket own label cheddar

Actual

588,997

88,879

6.63

Year on year% change

5.0%

0.6%

4.4%

Value/Budget supermarket own label cheddar

Actual

295,469

53,620

5.51

Year on year% change

16.7%

16.4%

0.2%

Other Cheese – Soft continental, Territorial and Processed Cheese

Territorial* cheeses have posted a decline in sales volume of 9.3% compared to a year earlier. Volume per trip has fallen by 6% which may be a consequence of the 6.2% average price increase. Soft continental cheeses have continued to show good volume (9.6%) and value (13.1%) growth over the year, due to a price increase of 3.2%. Volume sales of processed cheese are down 4.8% YOY, although a 5.6% increase in average price has grown total expenditure marginally.

52-Week data ending 9 Nov 2014

Other Cheese Types

Soft Continental Cheeses**

Yr /Yr %

Territorial* (Excl. Blue)

Yr /Yr %

Processed

Yr/Yr %

Spend (£000s)

202,841

13.1%

208,954

-3.6%

268,213

0.5%

Volume (Tonnes)

30,800

9.6%

29,467

-9.3%

37,639

-4.8%

Average Price (£/Kg)

6.59

3.2%

7.09

6.2%

7.13

5.6%

 * Please note, Kantar Worldpanel definition of territorial cheese includes 'other' British hard cheese which includes reduced-fat varieties of cheddar-type cheeses.

**This column has been re-labelled (previously ‘soft cheeses’) in line with Kantar Worldpanel’s labelling. The category includes cheeses such as brie and camembert.

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

Source: Kantar Worldpanel