Three major trends are making their presence felt in the category - increased focus on local sourcing and provenance, more attention being paid to quality and authenticity and greater interest in using cheese for cooking, for example Italian cheeses in traditional recipes and blue cheeses in sauces. Organic cheese is also a growth area, closely linked to the increased interest in buying local produce.

Shoppers will buy brands on deal but they are becoming more willing to experiment with speciality or innovative products on their cheese boards and many are using themes, such as blue cheese selections. There is definitely a move away from the more traditional offerings.

There is also growth in convenience options, such as packs of ready sliced or grated cheese.

Health - particularly reduced salt and fat - continues to be a challenge to the category, especially for manufacturers trying to retain taste.

Provenance - for local produce and for authentic Continental cheese - is likely to play an even bigger part in the future, along with food miles, as people question how far their food has travelled.

New and interesting British cheeses have emerged in recent years and I would expect this to continue. There are also some creative packaging innovations around. Suppliers need to continue to respond to consumers' changing lifestyles with new products and continue to educate consumers by making recommendations and offering tips on how they can best use cheese.