Versatile cheese portions to delight all ages

The unlimited opportunity to develop fun and flavourful adult snacks

23 Nov 2023

3 min

#Global #Insights #Dairy Foods #Nutrition

Cheese Portions are mini-sized, individually wrapped dairy snacks with the potential for wide appeal. They are crafted from a base of Cream Cheese, Gouda, Cheddar, or a blend of these, offering milky, savoury, or sweet options. With a diverse array of flavours and textures, Cheese Portions can serve as quick snacks or be incorporated into larger meals. Brands can leverage innovative opportunities to design products for consumers of all ages.

Cheese Portions already a huge success in Japan

Japan is taking the lead in the world of Cheese Portions, showcasing an array of savoury, sweet, and premium flavours. The popularity of Cheese Portions lies in their soft and creamy texture, their convenient snack-sized serving, and the diversity of flavours available.

In Japan, the savoury spectrum spans classic plain and mozzarella to the more adventurous Camembert and salami-infused varieties. Meanwhile, dessert-inspired flavours are making cheese a go-to choice for post-dinner indulgence, featuring options like mochi, fruit-infused, chocolate and nutty variations. For those seeking the ultimate cheese experience, Japan's premium sector boasts opulent flavours such as rich almond, Gorgonzola, and truffle-infused selections.

NZMP cheese portions hero image

Opportunities for growth:

  • Retail value of processed cheese is forecast to grow at an average CAGR of 5% from 2023 to 2028. As consumers develop a taste for cheese and become more aware of the health benefits of dairy, we see a growing desire for them to include more cheese in their diets1.
  • In China, adult snacking is only 5% of the total cheese market. There could be an opportunity to increase adult cheese consumption by introducing formats that offer more choice in flavour, texture and size to suit different meal occasions2.
  • Cheese Portions are the second biggest cheese category in Japan3.  Japan has already showcased the endless possibilities for flavours, shapes, textures and sizes so we see an opportunity for Cheese Portions to be just as successful in other markets.

Opportunities in the adult market

In capturing the adult market for Cheese Portions, brands can embark on a journey of innovation. For example, in Japan, dessert Cheese Portions have gained popularity as have Cheese Portions that are thoughtfully curated to complement wine and beer.

During a recent expedition to China and Southeast Asia, Mukta Batra, Global Category Marketing Manager for Cheese at Fonterra, commented, "We've observed growing interest from brands looking to introduce fresh cheese snacking experiences with diverse flavours and textures that resonate across various age groups. Currently, these markets offer limited choices for mature consumers beyond individually wrapped processed cheese slices. The Japanese cheese market has demonstrated the tremendous appeal of Cheese Portions, ranking as the second-largest segment following slices. It continually introduces new flavours, including seasonal varieties. The potential for exploring flavours, textures, and nutritional aspects in snacking is unlimited."

NZMP cheese portions image with bagel

Unlimited opportunities

As the family cheese segment continues to expand, brands have an opportunity to address a broader age range, and to innovate flavours, portion sizes, formats, and positioning. Brands can explore new markets by offering creative ideas for enjoying Cheese Portions.

Japanese brands are actively inspiring their customers through recipes shared on social media and their websites. These recipes promote various consumption occasions, such as using Cheese Portions as pizza cheese, incorporating them into cheese platters, enhancing soups, wraps, and rice balls. Some brands are even devising entertaining craft activities for children using Cheese Portions packaging as a creative medium. This multifaceted approach showcases the exciting potential within the Cheese Portions market. 

“We’re seeing more growth in new flavours for Cheese Portions, in both savoury and dessert style Portions. This is all under a bigger space of a push for more adult snacking.” 

– Sam Harper, Senior Research Technologist, Dairy Foods, Fonterra

Expand your brand’s range with the potential of Cheese Portions

Developing Portions that hold wider appeal could be the key to further growth for your brand. Choosing NZMP™ ingredients means brands can create Cheese Portions with the backing of dairy expertise. With one of the broadest ranges in the dairy industry, NZMP ingredients are sold in more than 100 countries and are used by some of the world’s most well-known food and nutrition brands.

By buying the highest quality dairy ingredients from NZMP, you can develop unique Cheese Portions and create a whole new category. Click here to find out more about Cheese Portions and our NZMP™ ingredients or contact your Account Manager today.

  • [1] Euromonitor International – Market Sizes
  • [2] TTL Cheese, TTL National, TTL Channel, 2021 vs. 2020 vs. 2019, Kantar WorldPanel
  • [3] TPC Marketing Research, 2021 Cheese Market Analysis Survey”, “2021年チーズの市場分析調査​

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