Cheese Might Be More Expensive Than Ever Before—Here’s Why

It's similar to what happened with meat, due to COVID-19.

There are very few foods as versatile as cheese. Whether you’re a fan of string cheese sticks or an amazing grilled cheese, cheese has a special place in our hearts, reserved for the most sacred of snacks.

But unfortunately, much like the meatpacking industry, cheesemaking has not been immune from the effects of COVID-19. As a result, you might see prices increase on dairy products.

The Price of Cheese Is Always Changing

If you were really, really paying attention to cheese prices over the past few weeks, you might’ve noticed them dropping—according to The New York Times, they hit record lows in previous months. Then, the price of cheese shot to a 20-year high starting on June 8.

What’s up with the huge changes? At first, there was a surplus of cheese to be had as schools and restaurants no longer needed it in large quantities. That caused prices to fall, but it’s led to an imbalance as production slowed because of COVID-19. Workers in production plants took time off because they work in close proximity to each other, and now, higher bulk-purchasing prices have created higher supermarket prices, especially for cheddar.

What Can I Do?

The higher price tags might be a new normal—but only temporarily.

Right now, there’s not a whole lot to be done aside from paying higher prices if you really need your cheddar, Swiss or mozzarella. If you know you’ll definitely need cheese in the next weeks, it’s best to buy now. You can definitely freeze cheese to use in the future.

The most important thing to remember, though, is that cheese prices are expected to go back to normal once the supply catches up with the demand. So, we can all take a deep breath—we won’t be stuck without a topping for our pizzas or the middle of our grilled cheese sandwiches forever.

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Emily Hannemann
Emily adores both food and writing, so combining those passions as a writer for Taste of Home makes perfect sense. Her work has also appeared in Birds & Blooms and on TV Insider. When she’s not eating peanut butter straight from the jar, you'll find her running or birdwatching. Emily is currently a journalism graduate student at the University of Missouri.