Today’s Cheese Trends
Don’t be bleu – January 20 is National Cheese Lover’s Day! It’s a gouda day for anyone who loves cheese, and that’s almost everyone. National Cheese Lover’s Day is the perfect time to take a look at up-and-coming trends in cheese, so let’s dig in.
Today’s adventurous consumer is all about flavors, and cheese is no exception. Surprising cheese flavor combinations are showing up in deli and dairy cases, on restaurant menus, and all over the Internet. Cream cheese lends itself particularly well to a blend of new flavors, such as curry, strawberry and pomegranate, and maple-raisin-walnut, to name a few. Other cheeses are also getting the flavor treatment, such as a decadent mint chocolate chip Stilton.
Vegan and vegetarian options
Plant-based everything is a booming market. We’ve seen a steady uptick in plant-based and vegetarian cheeses over the past several years, and this trend continues to grow. While vegetarian products made with non-animal-derived rennet are relatively well-established, vegan options are considerably more niche. These plant-based cheeses are made with a diverse range of ingredients, from sunflower seeds and cashews to almonds and walnut oil.
Cheeses for different times of day
Have you ever heard of a breakfast cheese? If you’re like most people, no – because it’s a relatively new concept. However, cheeses created for specific times of day are making their appearance in the market. For example, you might enjoy a fresh, slightly sweet cheese in the morning; a soft, creamy cheese featuring fennel and pumpkin seeds at lunchtime; and perhaps a full-bodied, salty cheese with your evening meal. Pairing cheese to the time of day – and not just to other foods – is an exciting new trend.
Healthier, functional cheeses
Functional ingredients are big news in the food and beverage industry as of late. Modern consumers want their foods to perform, and not just when it comes to taste. Increasingly, people look to their diet to provide a wider range of benefits, such as improving specific conditions or optimizing overall health. A few of the functional ingredients you might find in this year’s cheeses include almond paste, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, probiotics, and added fiber.