2012 U.S. per capita cheese consumption a new record
U.S. per capita cheese consumption totaled 33.51 lbs. in 2012, up about one-quarter pound from 2011 and surpassing the previous high of 33.50 lbs. in 2007, according to preliminary figures released this week by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
Annual U.S. per capita cheese consumption has increased in 8 of the past 10 years, and is now about 2.9 lbs. higher than 2002.
About 82% (27.43 lbs.) of all cheese consumed in 2012 was “natural,” with the remainder (6.08 lbs.) consumed as a processed cheese in other food products.
Mozzarella and cheddar continue to be the favorites among U.S. consumers in 2012, at 11.51 lbs. and 9.43 lbs., respectively. Mozzarella consumption rose slightly in 2012, pushing total Italian cheese consumption to 14.93 lbs. per person. In contrast, cheddar consumption declined slightly in 2012, but a small increase in “other” American cheese consumption pushed the total American category to 13.22 lbs.
Per capita consumption of some other cheeses in 2012 includes:
• Provolone: 1.14 lbs., virtually unchanged in the past four years.
• Parmesan: 1.01 lbs., the most on record.
• Ricotta: 0.79 lbs., the smallest amount since 1990.
• Romano: 0.25 lbs., virtually unchanged in the past four years.
• Swiss: 1.15 lbs., the smallest amount since 2008.
• Brick: 0.04 lbs., unchanged from a year ago.
• Munster: 0.49 lbs., the most on record.
• Cream and Neufchatel: 2.57 lbs., the most since 2007.
• Blue: 0.31 lbs., up slightly from 2010/2011.
• Hispanic cheeses: 0.71 lbs., virtually unchanged in the past three years.
To find the annual summary, click here.