Hard cheese: Supermarket brands take bite out of cheddar

Branded cheddar sales have fallen
Branded cheddar sales have fallen
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Cheddar sales took a £60.9 million hit in the year to August, as Britons abandoned branded cheese for cheaper supermarket labels.

Sales fell to £1.38 billion in the 52 weeks to August 14, from £1.4 billion a year earlier, research from Kantar Worldpanel shows.

The data revealed that shoppers were opting for cheaper supermarket labels, which cost an average of £5.50 per kg. Sales held steady at £839.7 million over the 12 month period.

Meanwhile, branded cheddar - which cost shoppers an average of £6.70 per kg - saw a 10 per cent drop in sales to £537.1 million. It comes despite a 4.1 per cent price drop across branded cheeses.

Lucy Partner, a new business development manager at Kantar Worldpanel, noted that supermarket label volumes rose seven per cent compared with a six per cent decline in branded cheddar.

“Aldi and Lidl have seen their private label cheddar ranges grow £29 million this year.

“Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl now carry the highest over-trade in this market, compared to share of grocery. Collectively, these stores represent 18 per cent of the cheese market, compared to 14 per cent of the Grocery market,” she said.

The overall decline in cheddar sales weighed on total cheese revenue, having accounted for 50 per cent of total sales over the period.

While the total value of the cheese market dropped 0.6 per cent or £2.75 billion, it marks a slower rate of sales than seen a year earlier.

Ms Partner said: “This is an improvement from last year’s decline in the market of -1.1 per cent. This decline is driven by a consistent decrease in average price per kilo, across all topline sectors.”