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Production volume of cheese in the United Kingdom (UK) 2001 to 2018

In 2018, approximately 465 thousand metric tons of cheese were produced in the United Kingdom. Between 2001 and 2013, cheese production in the UK ranged between 393 thousand and 351 thousand tons. Starting in 2014, production increased by over 400 thousand tons and reached an all-time high in 2018.

UK Cheese market

Production increase coincides with a rise in consumption on the market after 2014. However, previous years have seen higher or similarly high consumption numbers. It seems likely that this production increase at least in part, is to satisfy demand outside of the UK. Retail sales show a similar picture, with a small increase that isn’t enough to account for production increase. In fact, retail sales in 2010 were higher than production output. 2018 has seen these numbers reversed. In 2018, 375 enterprises were actively operating dairies and producing cheese in the UK. This is an increase of 73 companies compared to a decade earlier.

Cheddar cheese – Britain’s favorite

During the last five years cheddar retail sales have seen very little changes. Overall volume remained consistent, while only a slight shift towards extra mature cheddar could be observed. In 2018, consumers spent more money on cheddar than during the prior year. This is a reversal of the trend seen during the prior four years. All types of cheese have seen an increase in expenditure with extra mature cheddar showing the highest increase in absolute and relative numbers.

Annual volume of cheese produced in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2001 to 2018

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Release date

November 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

2001 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Provisional data from November 2017.

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