Americans’ love for cheese continues to grow, as last year was another record-breaking year in terms of per capita cheese consumption. Data recently shared by USDA’s Economic Research Service showed that the average person in the U.S. ate 40.14 pounds of cheese in 2022.
This is the first time per capita cheese consumption passed the 40-pound mark. That is more than double the amount of cheese eaten by Americans in 1982. Just 40 years ago, per capita intake was 19.9 pounds per person. Twenty years ago, it was 30.48 pounds per person.
Mozzarella was the most consumed cheese, at 12.55 pounds per person. That was followed by Cheddar, which came in at 11.37 pounds per capita. As for the next most popular varieties, American types of cheese other than Cheddar were at 4.83 pounds, and Italian type cheeses other than Mozzarella came in at 3.59 pounds per capita.
Overall dairy product consumption on a milk-fat basis was 653 pounds per person in 2022. That was the second highest total on record, only following last year’s 661 pounds per person. Annual consumption is up well over 100 pounds per person since data collection began in 1975, when the average person ate 539 pounds of dairy products on a milk-fat basis in a year.
Although fluid milk intake has fallen from 247 pounds per person in 1975 to a new low of 130 pounds in 2022, consumption of other dairy products, especially cheese and yogurt, have grown significantly. The idea that Americans are now eating their dairy rather than drinking it continued to ring true in 2022.