Monday 1 October 2018: Kiwis are becoming more adventurous with their cheese taste according to data released to coincide with October’s New Zealand Cheese Month.

IRI data to 15/07/2018 shows specialty cheese is driving growth across the total cheese market, with +6.9% volume (KG) growth over the previous 12 months. Speciality cheese sales represent 17.6% of total cheese value sales – which represents share gains of 2.1% since 26/07/2015.

New Zealand’s top 10 specialty cheeses by volume of sales are[1]:

  • Feta (plain)
  • Camembert
  • Brie
  • Parmesan
  • Blue Vein
  • Haloumi
  • Blue Cheese (all blue cheese not named Blue Vein)
  • Flavoured Feta
  • Gouda
  • Havarti

The fastest growing NZ-made specialty cheeses are[2]:

  • Haloumi
  • Cheddar
  • Mozzarella
  • Gruyere

Each October the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA) celebrates the hard work and dedication of the country’s cheesemakers. Association Chair Neil Willman says many artisan cheesemakers milk animals most of the year to make delicious cheese for us to enjoy. He says its wonderful to see the growth in sales of NZ-made cheese – but this October he’s encouraging Kiwis to put even more NZ-made cheese on their plates!

Neil says Kiwis lag behind other similar cheese producing countries when it comes to per capita consumption. New Zealanders consume an average of only 8.2 kgs. per person annually, compared with Australians who enjoy 14.7 kgs. per person—both of which lag far behind the global leader, Denmark, with an average consumption of 28.1 kgs. per person in 2016.

Online Competition

To encourage Kiwis to eat more cheese in October, the Cheese Lovers NZ Instagram page will be giving away gourmet NZ cheese hampers to people who share images of NZ cheese using the #nzcheeselovers hashtag. There will also be competitions on the Cheese Lovers NZ Facebook page.

 New look logo

We welcome a new look NZ Cheese Month logo, designed by Periscope. Cheese lovers are encouraged to look out for the logo which will be visible in supermarkets and specialty cheese mongers across the country throughout October.

Cheese lovers are encouraged to take advantage of tastings and events at Countdown and New World supermarkets, as well as specialty cheese retailers such as Moore Wilson and Farro.  Events will be listed on the NZSCA website

The FoodPath NZ Cheese Trail

Coinciding with NZ Cheese Month in October, The FoodPath NZ is adding a NZ Cheese Trail to help people explore specialty New Zealand cheese stores selling the country’s finest.

The FoodPath NZ is set on connecting travellers from near and far with classic New Zealand food.  The team’s always on the lookout, to map our country’s food treasures and real kiwi food moments.

Founders of The FoodPath NZ, Amanda and Shelley, say “We’re delighted to be working on a trail of New Zealand’s wonderful artisan cheesemakers, the ones that anyone can pop into,n for inclusion in our New Zealand food trail guides app.  These wonderful and skilled craftspeople put in enormous effort to make spot on cheese, right here in New Zealand.  We think they really do our country proud, and there’s nothing like the experience of trying and buying from the maker.”

“Our maps and trails include the places we’ve been ourselves.  We’re an independent team, and we’ve been to every place we cover. The FoodPath NZ is not a paid listing or directory; it’s all independently handpicked. We add new spots as we find them out and about, so listings are continually updated. That means our cheese trail, like all our maps and trails on our app, will be regularly updated as we come across new places.”


[1] IRI MarketEdge NZ National Grocery – Volume (KG) MAT ending  15/07/2018

[2] IRI MarketEdge NZ National Grocery – Volume (KG) MAT ending 15/07/18 percentage (%) share point change compared with 19/07/2015

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