Continental cheese (excluding blue cheese) is one of the poorest-performing sectors in the cheese category. It is worth £229m and is declining at 1.0%. The strongest sectors: territorials (excluding blue), mini portions and British blue are growing at 12% in value year-on-year.
The vast majority of Continental cheeses are experiencing decline. The highest-value Continental cheese, Brie, is in 4% value decline while other cheeses, such as Edam, Feta and Emmental, are also facing declines. Mozzarella is the fastest-growing sector, up 16% year-on-year, but other than this, Continental cheeses have seen a reversal in their good fortunes from the previous year.
Own label continues to dominate the market with a 75% share, though its growth has slowed in the latest year. Branded products have sharply declined in value by 10% this year, driven largely by less branded cheese being bought per shopping trip.
About 2.3 million households were lost from this category in the latest year. One of the reasons for this may be that the price for branded Continental cheeses has risen.
Conversely, own label prices have dropped and managed to bring 66,000 extra households into the own label Continental cheese category.
Continental sliced cooked meat is a market worth £114m and is growing at 12% year-on-year in value terms. This represents an over-performance when compared with the total sliced cooked meats market, which is up 6%. An extra 1.45 million households were brought into the category this year alone.
Continental ham, the largest sector, is overperforming within the market at 46% growth. The second-largest sector, salami, is one of a few sectors within the meat category in decline. Smaller, more specialist sectors, are providing an extra boost to the market.
Olives, the smallest sector in this market, is showing strong value growth as a result of an extra 1.4 million households buying into the market.
Price increases haven't hindered olives' strong growth. Olives are also being bought more often - once every 80 days on average.
Tesco is leading the market for Continental cheese with a 26.9% share but Sainsbury's has the greatest share of sales from both olives and Continental sliced cooked meats.
Louise Bailey, TNS Worldpanel