When people across the world think of Wisconsin, they think of cheese. And for good reason — Wisconsin is The State of Cheese and wins more national and international cheese awards than any other state or country, in large part due to the high-quality milk produced by the state’s dairy farmers.

But no matter how many amazing cheeses the Badger State continues to tout, we find that people are still fascinated by the Wisconsin cheese curd. Cheese curds are separated from the whey early in the cheesemaking process, and instead of being pressed into cheese forms, the fresh, randomly shaped sweet, salty morsels are packaged plain or in a variety of flavors such as garlic, taco, honey BBQ, or others. And of course, if Wisconsin had an official state appetizer — it would definitely be the fried cheese curd.

Wisconsinites are fortunate to have access to fresh squeaky curds on a daily basis, but October gives us a chance to celebrate our famous curds nationwide. October 15 was first designated as National Cheese Curd Day in 2015 by Culver’s, a partner with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin in driving milk sales for dairy farm families.

Dairy sales significance

How impactful are Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin promotional partnerships with restaurants like Culver’s?

In a word — VERY.

The proof is in the numbers:

• Culver’s consistently uses more than 6 million pounds of Wisconsin cheese each year. 

• Wisconsin milk usage at Culver’s surpasses 250 billion pounds each year.

• According to recent data, Culver’s served almost 47 million orders of cheese curds from August 20 to 21. Laid end to end, those cheese curds would stretch to the moon and back to Earth nearly four times!

Cheese curds are also an important menu item for other Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin partners, such as Cousins Subs and A&W.

• Wisconsin cheese curds make up 18% of all side orders at Cousins Subs. These sales add up to 700 pounds of cheese curds each day.

• In 2019, A&W sold over 7 million pounds of Wisconsin cheese curds. 

Reaching out through cheese curds

Last year, we hosted the nation’s biggest virtual cheese curd event on social media — with over 20,000 Wisconsin cheese fans in all 50 states celebrating Wisconsin curds together. Our cooking demos, conversations, surprise deliveries of curds, and more put Wisconsin curds in a national media spotlight.

This year, we’ve expanded our Cheese Curd Day partnership with Culver’s to the first two weeks in October, giving us an even greater opportunity to reach more consumers and propel curd and milk sales. Watch our social channels for fun, man-on-the-street interviews as Wisconsinites try to describe what a cheese curd is, how delicious they are, and why they squeak.

We’ll also be delivering custom media kits to over 100 broadcast and editorial outlets nationwide and hosting a live virtual event for Cheeselandia (our Wisconsin Cheese community that was named 2021 Influencer Program of the Year by AdWeek).

How will you celebrate Wisconsin’s cheese curd tradition? Share using #nationalcheesecurdday.

Visit wisconsincheese.com to learn more about Wisconsin cheese curds. Or discover more about Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin at wisconsindairy.org.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2021
October 11, 2021
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