Consumption of cheese is key for U.S. dairy

A line chart showing the per capita consumption of selected dairy products in years 1975 and 2008.

Cheese sales are a key economic component of the U.S. dairy industry. As consumer demand for cheese products has risen over time, more of the milk produced on American dairy operations has been allocated to making a variety of cheeses. About 188.9 billion pounds of milk were marketed in the United States in 2008, and 127 billion pounds were used in the manufacture of dairy products. Cheese production (not including cottage cheese) took about 65 percent (82 billion pounds) of the milk used for manufactured products. Continued growth in cheese consumption is a key factor in determining a positive market outlook for the U.S. dairy industry. This chart was originally published in Long-Term Growth in U.S. Cheese Consumption May Slow, LDP-M-193-01, August 2010.

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