European Dairy products

Annual Cheese Consumption, by Country

Annual Per Capita Cheese Consumption - by Country

You may think that the French, who produce the most cheese, eat the most cheese per capita. Based on the statistics by Eurostat, it's the Greeks actually that eat the most cheese, by far - consuming an average of 68 pounds per person, annually. The following table outlines the average annual cheese consumption per capita for several countries.

Which are the countries in the world who consume the most cheese?

Annual Per Capital Cheese Consumption

Country - Amount Per Person

Greece - 68 lbs
France - 53 lbs
Malta - 48 lbs
Germany - 46 lbs
Netherlands - 46 lbs
Romania - 46 lbs
Italy - 44 lbs
Finland - 44 lbs
Poland - 41 lbs
Sweden - 40 lbs
United States - 31 lbs

based on 2009 statistics by Eurostat

Yearly Cheese Consumption, Per Capita, by Country - Worldwide

Yearly statistics - Per capita consumption of cheese worldwide by country (in kilograms)

Top Cheese Consuming Countries in the World

EU Shows The Way On Per Capita Cheese Consumption


No doubt about it, per capita cheese consumption in the US has grown pretty nicely over the last few decades, from all of about 11,4 pounds back in 1970 to a record high 33,51 pounds in 2012.

Still, there are a couple of troublesome points that can be raised regarding recent trends in per capita cheese consumption. First, the new per capita consumption record, 33,51 pounds, is just 0,01 pound above the previous record, which was set back in 2007. That means per capita cheese consumption has basically been flat for the past six years.

And second, per capita cheese consumption back in 2000 was 29.87 pounds, meaning that, from 2000 through 2012, per capita cheese consumption grew by 3,64 pounds.

By comparison, per capita cheese consumption grew by 4,34 pounds from 1990-1999, grew by 6,26 pounds in the 1980s and grew by 5,79 pounds in the 1970s.

These troublesome points beg a troubling question: is per capita cheese consumption done growing significantly in the US?

Hardly. Looking over some recent per capita cheese consumption figures for the European Union as a whole and for the 27 members of the EU individually (the numbers pre-date the addition of Croatia to what is now the EU-28), it’s pretty easy to conclude that there’s plenty of room for the US to increase its per capita cheese consumption significantly.

Indeed, the EU as a whole consumes 37,6 pounds of cheese per person per year, more than four pounds more than the US. Just to reach the level of the EU as a whole, per capita consumption in the US would have to grow by more than it has since 2000.

But beyond the EU as a whole, per capita consumption in some individual EU countries is impressive and enviable.

Leading all other EU countries in per capita cheese consumption is Greece, at 60,9 pounds. That is correct: 60,9 pound per person per year, or more than 27 pounds higher than in the US.

Looked at a bit differently, Greeks eat, on average, more than a pound of cheese each week, while Americans eat, on average, about two-thirds of a pound of cheese per week. That’s a whole lot of Feta, Kasseri, Kefalotyri, Myzithra and other Greek cheeses.

Luxembourg ranked second in EU per capita cheese consumption in 2011, at 58,7 pounds, while France ranked third, at 56,5 pounds. Those two countries join Greece in consuming more than a pound of cheese per person per week.

One other EU country has per capita cheese consumption above 50 pounds: Germany, at 50,8 pounds in 2011. Rounding out the top five EU countries in terms of per capita cheese consumption: Italy, at 48,4 pounds in 2011.

One interesting way to look at the per capita cheese consumption figures for these and other EU countries is to compare them to US production and consumption statistics, and US import figures.

For example, it is notable that USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service started tracking US production of Feta cheese a few years ago, and that 2012 output was 108,5 million pounds, up from 77,6 million pounds in 2010. In Wisconsin alone, Feta production has grown from 8,1 million pounds back in 1993 to 77,6 million pounds in 2012.


Cretan Mediterranean Diet - The Seven Countries Study
Per capita consumption of cheese worldwideBLOG

Cretan Cheeses & Dairy

the purpose of this page is to provide insightful info about the cheeses and dairy products of the island of Crete, the typical, most popular and traditional Cretan cheeses, the producers of cheeses from Crete, info on cheese and culinary facts and Cretan & Greek recipes from mainland Greece.

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