For five straight years, Italian-type cheeses have topped their American-style counterparts, as the entire cheese category rolled to another per capita consumption record. Last year, the average U.S. citizen consumed 34.17 pounds of cheese. That's up just over one-half pound from the prior year's chart topper and marks the seventh straight year of new cheese consumption records.

Mozzarella is king of the cheese aisle . . . really the pizza aisle. At 11.16 pounds last year, Mozzarella led all cheese. Of that number, almost 8.5 pounds went directly onto pizza pies as one-quarter of U.S. cheese gets consumed in that fashion. This also happens to be the fifth straight year that Mozzarella has led all cheeses.

Cheddar came in a solid second with 9.68 pounds eaten by every American. Together with its Italian cousin, the duo account for 20.84 pounds of cheese intake or 61 percent of the entire category.

As for the other cheese varieties:
  • Other American - Colby, Monterey Jack, and washed and stirred curd set a new record at 3.79 pounds. That category has grown 1.14 pounds in the past 20 years.
  • Other Italian - Provolone, Parmesan and Ricotta topped 3 pounds. The trio has been in a four-year descent since peaking at 3.15 pounds.
  • Cream and Neufchatel - 2.45 pounds and holding steady.
  • Swiss - 1.01 pounds and holding steady in recent years.
  • Brick and Muenster - 0.48 pound and steady over the 20-year horizon.
  • Hispanic Cheeses - 0.72 pound and up one-half pound since 1995.
  • Blue Cheese - 0.32 pound and steady over the last five years.

Of note, consumption of imported cheese not made from cows milk accounted for 0.26 pound. That number essentially has not changed in the past 20 years.

To review the data for yourself, download "Per capita consumption of selected cheese varieties (Annual)."

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2015
October 12, 2015
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