Italy Cheese Market – Industry Analysis, Forecasts and Opportunity Assessment (2016-2023)

Italy Cheese Market – Industry Analysis, Forecasts and Opportunity Assessment (2016-2023)

Introduction to Italy Cheese Market

Cheese is a widely consumed dairy product made by coagulation of milk. It is made of milk protein, Casein and fat. Cheese is most popularly made from Cows, although varieties of Buffalo, Goat and Sheep cheese exist. Milk, after being acidified, if added with the enzyme Rennet, causes coagulation. The solids are separated and pressed into solid form to make cheese. The global market for cheese is expected to hit $118 billion by 2019 growing from $72.5 billion in 2012.

Italy was the first to develop a culture of ripening the cheese for augmenting its flavour. The Roman empire took the culture far and wide, an example being Mozzarella’s popularity in America, covering 40% of cheese consumption. In terms of raw production volume, Italy is the third largest producer of cheese in Europe, behind France and Germany. However, in terms of product type, Italian cheese accounted for 40.5% of the world’s cheese market. Italy is rich in variety in cheese production, with over 450 varieties being made in the country. 46 of Italy’s cheese varieties have a Denominazione di Origine Protetta or DOP status, an assurance of quality with three more varieties under application.

Market Dynamics

Cheese in Italy is made from a variety of milk sources with the most popular being cows. However, niche varieties of cheese made from buffalo and goat milk are also popular. The varieties of cheese are differentiated based on how long they are ripened for, with some being consumed fresh and some being aged for years. Europe has been the leading consumer of cheese, followed by North America. However, Asia-Pacific is expected to grow the fastest with a CAGR of 7.9% from 2013 to 2019. Cheese in Italy has seen a bit of a resurgence in the last couple of years. The 2016 figures for the cheese market in Italy were dismal ending in a -1.26% decrease in production volume from 1,017,270 to 1,004,500 tons after continuous growth for three years. The market has since grown with a 4.82% increase in 2017 to 1,052,910. 2018 has seen has seen an upward trend with data till July 2018 showing a 6.21% growth to 654,170, the month of June seeing the highest growth at 12.6% year on year.

Market Segmentation

The main criterion for categorisation for Italian cheese is its regionality since the cheese quality is perceived to be highly associated to the place of origin. Some of the popular varieties are:

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano: Aged for 2-3 years, protected by DOP, similar cheese called Parmesan if not made from Parma, Reggio Emilia, Bologna, Modena and southern Mantova.
  • Caciocavallo: Soft and stretched cow’s milk cheese made in designated areas of Southern Italy, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, and Apulia.
  • Manteca: Soft, creamy cheese made in areas of Puglia, Campania and Calabria and across most of Basilicata
  • Ricotta: Made from whey, a by product of the cheesemaking process, it is sweet and made most popularly in Calabria in Italy. It involves reheating of the whey and usually has low shelf life.
  • Burrata: A luxurious buttery form, it is made in Murgia in Southern Puglia.
  • Mozzarella: One of the most popular cheese varieties in the world, traditional Italian method of making cheese involves milk of the water buffalo. However, it has different varieties made from cow, sheep and goat milk. The popularity of the cheese has made its production area spread out. However, Southern Italy is most popular.
  • Taleggio: Semi soft, washed rind cow’s milk cheese grown in Lombardy region.



  • European parliament has approved a trade deal with Japan titled “cars for cheese” that removes more than 1 Bn euros in duties for European exports and covers 630 million people. The deal scraps duties on European agricultural goods.
  • The global Mozzarella Cheese market is valued at 10.1 billion US$ in 2017 and will reach 15.1 billion US$ by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of 5.2% during 2018-2025
  • Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement has been signed by the European Union on a provisional basis in September 2017 with Canada. Canada has recognised more than 40 Italian PDI and PGO labels. The agreement clears duties on agricultural products. The treaty, if completely signed, will increase trade between Canada and Europe by 20%.

Major trade partners

Italian cheese grew by 7% year on year in 2017 and 84% in the last decade. The major importers of Italian cheese were:

  • France (23%)
  • Germany (14%)
  • United Kingdom (10%)
  • United States (9%)
  • Spain (5%)
  • Japan (2%)
  • China (1%)


Report key points:

  • Italy Cheese Market Segments
  • Italy Cheese Market Drivers, Restraints and Opportunities
  • Italy Cheese Market Size & Forecast 2016 to 2022
  • Supply & Demand Value Chain
  • Italy Cheese Market Current Trends
  • Competition & Major Companies
  • Technology and R&D Status
  • Porters Five Force Analysis
  • Strategic and Critical Success Factor Analysis of Key Players

Report Highlights:

  • Detailed Historical Overview (Market Origins, Product Launch Timeline, etc.)
  • Consumer and pricing analysis
  • Market Dynamics of the industry
  • In-depth market segmentation
  • Historical and Projected Market Sizing in terms of volume and value
  • Recent market trends and Impact factors
  • R&D Status and Technology Overview
  • Extensive industry structure coverage


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