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Young Canadians falling out of love with cheese: Mintel


April 3, 2019
By Canadian Pizza

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Photo by Frank Mazzuca, Mazzuca-DPI.com

Younger Canadians appear to be eating cheese less often, a trend that could hamper the growth of cheese sales and consumption in Canada, says research company Mintel.

When examining natural cheese (the most commonly eaten cheese format), which includes cheddar, Swiss and mozzarella, Mintel’s researchers found that slightly more than three-quarters of 18- to 34-year-olds consumed cheese in the last month compared to nine in 10 consumers aged 55 and over.

The company suggests three ways brands can make cheese appealing to younger Canadian consumers. Some of these strategies may work for restaurants as well:

1. PLAY UP PROTEIN CONTENT
A high percentage of Canadians see cheese as a good source of protein and as part of a healthy diet. However, this view is much lower in millennials compared to other age groups. Therefore, one solution to encourage younger consumers to eat more cheese would be to highlight the high-protein content of cheese.

2. PROMOTE CHEESE AS A SNACK
Younger consumers in Canada are more likely to skip breakfast and eat at their desks. Cheese in breakfast sandwiches and on bagels is common, but there is opportunity for cheese to play a special role in the convenience and morning occasions. The inclusion of cheese in snack kits would do well due to cheese’s natural attributes and associations with protein.

3. OFFER NEW TEXTURES AND FLAVOURS
When asked what proves important when choosing cheese, Canadians rank texture fourth on the list of considerations provided, consistent across gender, age and region. Bold flavours and new and different cheese textures, such as whipped and extra creamy, will appeal to adventurous millennials wanting new experiences, the research suggests. Mintel’s report, “2018 Global Food & Drink Trend, New Sensations,” describes how texture can be used as a way to provide consumers with exciting new dining experiences.