The market forecast is cloudy—with a chance of cheddar! The amount of cheese in the U.S. has reached never-before-seen numbers, and experts are predicting that numbers will continue to rise. For shoppers, more gouda is good—the price of cheese has reached new lows.
The changing cheese market
Just like an aged Parmesan, the price of cheese is crumbling due to a surplus of cheese. With too much cheese in stock and not enough buyers (we can’t believe it with all these cheese recipes to try), the effects are trickling down to independent farmers.
“This market has consistently been oversupplied for years,” says Tim Garrity, an independent dairy broker. He adds that a surplus will “certainly continue until there are structural changes in the cheese [or] milking supply chain.”
Just how much cheese are we talking about? Approximately 1.39 billion pounds were counted up by the US Agriculture Department, a 6% increase from this time last year.
Put that cheese to good use with our most gooey grilled cheese recipes.
Too much milk from dairy cows
With cows more actively producing milk in the spring and summer, the cheese stockpile does typically grown around this time each year. That, coupled with spring and summer being a time of year where people are generally buying and eating less compared to fall and winter, means it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s a lot of cheese waiting to be eaten.
When milk isn’t being sold fast enough, producers start churning it into butter and cheese.
“Milk production continues to trend up, and that milk has to find a home,” says Lucas Fuess, director of market intelligence at HighGround Dairy, in the Washington Post. “The issue this year is that, with so much supply, it’s going to be tough for a lot of farmers to be profitable.”
This might spell temporary trouble for farmers and cheese makers, so we’re going to stock up on more cheese (and keep it fresh in this fancy container).