Convenience is the key. Shred it, grate it, crumble it. Consumers like their cheese ready-to-go, whether it’s natural or processed, though natural is still winning the game.
In the 52 weeks ended Jan. 26, 2014, the natural cheese category’s dollar sales went up 2.9% to $11.7 billion, and units were up 2.5% to 3.5 billion, according to data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago. The increase is not as great as the previous period, but still beating the processed cheese category in almost all segments. In the same time period, the processed cheese category saw dollar sales drop 1.5% to $3.1 billion, and units fell 3.3% to 902.7 million.