Cheese sales remain strong during COVID recovery

The CEO of Wisconsin’s dairy checkoff group says cheese sales remain very strong after the pandemic, even as retailers and foodservice venues recover.

Chad Vincent tells Brownfield the strong sales this year are a bit of a surprise. “Retailers were really afraid of this year because they’re like trying to anniversary those amazing numbers last year. Wisconsin cheese is the best selling thing in grocery stores right now, and still, the numbers are significantly higher than they were last year.”

Vincent says both retailers and cheesemakers were caught by surprise. “The good news is that cheese inventories at the processor side are really low. The bad news is they’re low and they could be a lot higher.”

And, he says online sales for Wisconsin cheese didn’t fall when stores and restaurants opened. “The numbers there are up over 50% in aggregate, and that’s off of a big base last year. Consumers learned how to do it. They like going online (and) figuring out exactly what they want. They didn’t have to go to the store. Click a button and they get it shipped to grandma or shipped to their house. This e-commerce stuff, we’re five years ahead of where we thought we’d be.”

Vincent spoke to Brownfield during World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

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