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EDITORIAL COMMENT:The Dairy Industry’s Class I Problem

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Per Capita Cheese Consumption Was Record 33.7 Pounds In 2013

Per Capita Butter Consumption Steady at 5.5 Pounds, Milk And Cream Fell 6 Pounds, Yogurt Sets Record

Washington—Per capita US cheese consumption last year reached a record high of 33.70 pounds, up from the previous record high of 33.56 pounds in 2012, according to preliminary figures released this week by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).

Per capita cheese consumption has now topped 33 pounds for three straight years, and has risen by more than a pound since 2008, when it totaled 32.46 pounds.

Meanwhile, for other dairy products in 2013, per capita milk and cream consumption declined, butter and regular ice cream held steady, and yogurt consumption set a new record.

Overall in 2012, per capita consumption of all dairy products on a milk-equivalent, milkfat basis was 607 pounds, down seven pounds from 2012. Despite the decline, last year marked the ninth consecutive year in which per capita dairy consumption topped 600 pounds.

Per capita consumption of American-type cheeses last year was 13.36 pounds, up from 13.27 pounds in 2012 and the second-highest level ever, trailing only 2009’s 13.38 pounds.

Within the American-type cheese category, per capita Cheddar consumption last year was 9.66 pounds, up from 9.56 pounds in 2012 but well below the 10-pounds-plus levels recorded every year from 2004 to 2010; and per capita consumption of other American cheeses was 3.70 pounds, down from 2012’s record of 3.71 pounds.

Per capita consumption of Italian-type cheeses last year totaled 14.0 pounds, up from 13.99 pounds in 2012 but down from 2011’s record of 14.09 pounds. Per capita consumption of Italian cheese has more than doubled since 1986.

Per capita Mozzarella consumption in 2013 totaled 10.82 pounds, up from 10.79 pounds in 2012 but still below the record of 10.86 pounds set in 2011. Per capita Mozzarella consumption has now topped 10 pounds for nine consecutive years.

Also within the Italian cheese category in 2013:
Per capita Provolone consumption was 1.06 pounds, down from 1.07 pounds in 2012 but still double the 1983 level.

Per capita Parmesan consumption was a record 0.99 pounds, up from 0.95 pounds in 2012 and more than double the 2002 level of 0.49 pounds.

Per capita Ricotta consumption was 0.71 pounds, down from 0.74 pounds in 2012 and the lowest level since 1987.

Per capita Romano consumption was 0.22 pounds, down from 0.24 pounds in 2012.

Per capita consumption of other Italian cheeses last year was 0.20 pounds, unchanged from both 2012 and 2011 and just below the record of 0.22 pounds, set in 2005.

Also in 2013, per capita consumption of “miscellaneous” cheeses (all cheeses except for American-type and Italian-type) was 6.34 pounds, up from 6.29 pounds in 2012 and the second-highest level ever, trailing only 2007’s 6.44 pounds.

Within the miscellaneous cheese category, per capita con-...more