The global low fat cheese market size is expected to reach USD 121.6 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., expanding at a CAGR of 3.8% over the forecast period. Growing awareness about obesity, higher cholesterol among the consumers, along with changing food preferences, are likely to fuel the market growth over the anticipated years.
According to the WHO, in 2016, over 340 million children and adolescents aged between 5 to19 years were reported overweight. Obesity is a growing concern amongst children, especially in regions such as APAC and North America. As a result of this, many global fast food vendors such as McDonald’s and Starbucks are promoting the food segments using low fat cheese such as ricotta, feta, and mozzarella as main ingredients to serve healthy products and retain the customer base.
Actors, celebrities, and bloggers across the globe have been seen endorsing healthy cuisines using low fat and low calories dairy products such as skinny baked mozzarella sticks and cheesy baked zucchini noodle casserole over social media such as Instagram and Facebook. This has resulted in growing health concerns and greater consumption of low fat cheese among the consumers.
Ricotta held the largest share of 34.3% in 2018. Ricotta is a variant that is mainly produced from cow’s milk. The texture of ricotta varies between soft and dry. Salted varieties including smoked cheese are profusely used in kitchen, whereas the unsalted types such as baked ricotta are consumed directly as appetizers or desserts.
Mozzarella sticks is the fastest growing product category, expanding at a CAGR of 4.0% over the forecast period. This growth is largely attributed to rapidly growing fast food business worldwide. Moreover, mozzarella sticks are considered to be a healthy low fat snacking cheese. These sticks are usually labeled with ‘part-skim’ tag and are a source of 6 grams of fat, along with 7 grams of protein, 86 calories, and more than 200 milligrams of calcium. Shredded mozzarella processed from part-skimmed milk is a popular choice for consumers as it melts easily over homemade pizza or grilled cheese sandwich. For instance, in 2017, Domino’s launched its first ever low fat variant of mozzarella in Australia, where the fat content was reduced by 25% after four years of extensive R&D in the same.
The store-based channel held a leading share in the market. This category includes hypermarkets and supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery shops, mixed retailers, food specialists, and independent small grocery stores. The store-based channel offers one-stop experience to customers. However, adoption of technology by consumers is increasing due to sale of low fat cheese via online distribution channels such as Grofers and Big Basket.
Europe held the largest share in 2018, followed by North America. Demand for low fat cheese is expected to boost in Europe due to booming fast food industry and rising consumer awareness. APAC is projected to expand at the fastest CAGR of 4.4% over the forecast period. The expected growth is attributed to high fast food consumption in the region, along with increased disposable per capita income in countries such as India and China.
Some of the key players operating in the global low fat cheese market are like DSM; Crystal Farms; Lactalis Group; Arla Foods; Kraft Foods Group, Inc.; Amul; Bongrain; and Britannia Industries. Companies are focusing on introducing new variants of low fat cheese in their dairy food segment to tap the growing health conscious consumers. For instance, Arla Foods have expanded its Arla brand portfolio with the launch of Arla Quark to promote low fat and tasty alternatives for ingredients such as ricotta, mascarpone, and other soft cheese.
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Further key findings from the report suggest:
- By product, ricotta accounted for 34.3% share of the total revenue in 2018 and is projected to exhibit a significant increase over the coming years
- Europe is projected to generate a revenue of USD 41.5 billion by 2025
- APAC is the fastest growing region, expanding at a CAGR of 4.4% over the forecast period. This trend is projected to continue over the anticipated years
- Demand for the product is anticipated to increase, especially in countries such as China, India, and Argentina, due to changing food habits, rise in purchasing power parity amongst consumers, and growing health concerns
- The industry is highly competitive in nature with the major players including DSM; Crystal Farms; Arla Foods; Kraft Foods Group, Inc.; Amul; Bongrain; and Britannia.