At last week’s prestigious Nantwich International Cheese Show, a record 1,900 cheeses were on show.
The UK cheese industry is moving forward in variety and quality and a diversity of outlets now buy cheese, with chilled and frozen food producers forming a major market outlet as well as fast food chains representing a major opportunity for growth. Nearly half of all cheese consumption in the UK is now outside the home or by incorporation in other foods.
Despite the growing number of varieties on offer and being produced, Cheddar is still the mainstay of the UK industry and accounts for two-thirds of all UK cheese production. UK Cheddar production grew 17% in the five years to 2004 and the trend so far this year has continued upwards with 10% more milk being used in the first five months. Imports of Cheddar are also a major feature and account for nearly one third of UK consumption.
Mozzarella or pizza cheese output has grown rapidly to become the second-most important variety made, much of this being