13 Cottage Cheese Industry Statistics and Trends

When you look up cheese industry statistics, you will find that most of them exclude cottage cheese from the data. That is because cottage cheese is a different type of product. The cheese is drained, not pressed, so there are whey remnants left with the product. The individual cheese curds remain loose, often washed to remove acidity from the product.

You can purchase cottage cheese in small-curd and large-curd varieties, along with an assortment of different flavors.

Cottage cheese is often promoted as being a low-calorie, high-protein food option. A 1 cup serving of creamed cottage cheese, for example contains 222 calories. Although it contains 25g of protein, which is 50% of the daily recommended intake levels, it also contains 819mg of sodium.

That’s 34% of your daily salt intake for the day as well. That hasn’t stopped the cottage cheese industry from becoming a $1.1 billion industry in the United States.

Important Cottage Cheese Industry Statistics

#1. In 2017, over 162 million Americans consumed cottage cheese as part of their eating habits. (Statista)

#2. Over 31 million pounds of cottage cheese is produced in the United States every month. July tends to be the peak month for production, with over 35 million pounds of curd produced. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Cottage Cheese Industry Statistics by Type

#3. New York produces the most cottage cheese in the United States, averaging about 8.6 million pounds of curd production per month. In 2015, the state produced over 104 million pounds of cottage cheese. In 2017, over 180 million pounds of cottage cheese was produced. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

#4. In 2015, the United States produced 381 million pounds of cottage cheese, with only 55 plants producing the product. In New York, there are just 7 plans that produce cottage cheese products. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

#5. 45% of U.S. households purchase cottage cheese at least once per year. (Food Navigator)

#6. In January 2018, the State of California produced 9.6 million pounds of cottage cheese. This was an increase of 11.6% over the year before. In July 2018, the state topped 10 million pounds of cottage cheese production for the first time since April 2017. (California Department of Food and Agriculture)

#7. It takes about 100 pounds of milk to produce 15 pounds of cottage cheese. Each year, about 600 million pounds of cottage cheese is consumed in the United States. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

#8. The average person in the United States will consume about 2.2 pounds of cottage cheese products over the course of a year. In 2004, Americans were consuming about 2.7 pounds of cottage cheese each year. (Statista)

#9. A 2007 study looking into the consumption of cottage cheese found that it could lower the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in men. When all the participants were examined, the prevalence for metabolic syndrome was just 15%. (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health)

#10. In 1975, the average person consumed 4.6 pounds of cottage cheese per year and 2 pounds of yogurt per year. In 2013, the average person consumed 2.1 pounds of cottage cheese per year and 14.9 pounds of yogurt. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

United States Cottage Cheese Industry Statistics by Brand Market Share

#11. Breakstone is one of the leading brands of cottage cheese offered for sale n the United States. Over the course of an average eek, about 3.35 million Americans will use at least 1 pound of Breakstone cottage cheese. (Statista)

#12. In the United Kingdom, cottage cheese and soft, natural cheese are the only products which have shown a clear increasing trend since 1974. More than 20g per week were purchased by UK consumers in 2011. In 1974, about 5g per week was purchased. (SRUC)

#13. Cottage cheese sales account for about 20% of the total industry revenues produced in the UK. It is the only cheese category that has grown over time since 1974 on a consistent basis, cutting into the market share of non-cheddar type cheese. (SRUC)

United States Cottage Cheese Industry Statistics by Market Size

Cottage Cheese Industry Trends and Analysis

The cottage cheese industry in the United States is stalled. It is looking for someone to come in and be a disruptor. Although the market is good for $1 billion in sales consistently, there is little forward progress being made.

There are no big names involved with the cottage cheese industry either. Most cottage cheese products are offered by regional producers in the United States. Considering that cottage cheese is excluded from pressed cheese statistics, discovering trends in cheese consumption for this industry can become challenging.

If no disruptors are willing to enter this industry, then expect it to continue producing revenues at an average of $1 billion per year over the next 5-year and 10-year periods. If a disruptor is able to make an impact, then the growth potential for cottage cheese could follow a similar curve to that of Greek yogurt products in the past decade.