Cheese is absolutely delicious and is a very common household item to have around, one of them being a household brand of American cheese. Whether it’s Velveeta or Kraft, you remember the gooey, deliciousness of a melted slice of American cheese between two slices of bread. Nothing better! However, American cheese might be melting away as we know it.
The problem? Millennials and the even younger generations like Gen Z. They are abandoning the traditional household brands of American cheese and venturing off to other fancier brands that are more expensive, which translates to higher sales. Some restaurants are also following suit, getting rid of old-style American cheese and going with the more expensive cheese brands in an effort to raise their sales and revenue.
Some of the restaurants that are testing out or completely cutting out the traditionally processed American cheese include Panera Bread, Cracker Barrel, and even McDonald’s!
According to Bloomberg, sales of processed American cheese from Kraft and Velveeta are expected to drop 1.6% this year, which will make this the 4th year in a row of sales decline.
Recently, we reported that millennials were also killing household brands of pet food items in favor of more expensive, human-grade pet food. It was determined that the reason was for overall health benefits, which is the same reason for this American cheese decline.
The manufacturing of processed cheese is evident all-around. The cheese from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is selling at a 40% discount at the moment due to the sales of party platter cheese being on the decline for years now. Additionally, while the cheese manufacturing facilities have increased by 40% between 2000 and 2017, the growth is especially small from specialty cheesemakers.
It’s all about supporting small businesses…
Gayle Voss, the owner of Gayle V’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese in Chicago, is one of the many people who has switched to healthier, more expensive cheese for her foods items. Instead of using American cheese, she uses Wisconsin-made butterkäse cheese.
“I could buy preservative-filled cheese and butter, but I’m all-out on supporting small businesses and offering a good, quality product, and the minute people bite into it, they know — because it’s so good,” she explains, “People want to know where their food is coming from, and my sales reflect that.”
Peter Cotter, general manager of cheese and dairy for Kraft Heinz Co. is one person who is dead set on the comeback of American cheese into households. He claims one thing you just cannot get in ‘natural cheese’ is the perfect melt.
“Honestly, you can’t get that in a natural cheese,” he says, “It’s a very unique product. The creamy smooth texture and melt of the cheese. The natural cheeses, they just don’t melt that way.”
Are you a grilled cheese yet? Because we sure are! Be sure to SHARE this article to spread the news about this American cheese decline.