French eat record amounts of cheese to help them through pandemic

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French eat record amounts of cheese to help them through pandemic
A cheese wholesaler prepares a cheese at The Marché d'Intérêt National (MIN) in Toulouse, south-western France on November 13, 2020. - With more than 150 companies, nearly 300 producers and thousands of buyers, the Toulouse wholesale market, the second largest in France after Rungis - on the outskirts of Paris, is betting on the diversification of its activities to cope with the Covid-19 crisis. (Photo by GEORGES GOBET / AFP)

Cheese consumption skyrocketed last year, as French people turned to comfort food during lockdown.


According to data from FranceAgriMer-Kantar, home delivery of cheese saw a huge increase last year, thanks to high demand for comfort foods.

Cow's-milk cheeses where the most popular, with sales increasing by 8.5%. 

However it was an Italian cheese, mozzarella, that was by far the favourite among French people, with a 21.2% increase. It was followed by raclette (+12.2%), a melted-cheese dish that is a winter favourite, and comté (+8.2%)

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With the French deprived of restaurants, sales of raclette machines increased by a whopping 300% during France's second lockdown last year.

The French gobbled up 34,000 tonnes of the melted cheese in 2020.


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While these were the clear favourites, all cheese saw an increase in demand, including those that had become unpopular in recent years such as coulommiers (+5.6%) and camembert (+2.2%).

Goat's cheeses increased by 7.2%, and organic cow's milk cheeses also saw a spike in popularity (increase of 6.2%) in 2020.

However, despite this increase in demand from individuals, the industry is still suffering from restaurant closures.


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