The enduring popularity of Cheddar helped UK cheese consumption increase by 3% in the past year.

Retail sales totalled 376,009 tonnes for the year to December, an increase of 11,000 tonnes on the previous year's figure [TNS].

Cheddar was the most popular variety with 201,160 tonnes sold, up 3.6%.

The Milk Development Council attributed the volume sales rise in Cheddar to a combined increase in consumption of mature and extra mature Cheddar, which were up 6.8%.

This offset a fall in sales of mild and medium varieties, which were down 1.7% and 4.3% respectively during 2007.