Super Bowl Sunday is a celebration for many, be it the love for the game, love for intimate gatherings, or love for food. As many fans celebrated at home, the food spread is equally as important as the game. Overall in 2020, cheese sales jumped 13 percent as Americans bought more cheese last year than any other year, leading Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin to believe that cheese would be a star player this year.
“Cheese has always been a game day staple, but this year, we are seeing record-breaking cheese sales and a huge increase in game day recipe searches,” said Suzanne Fanning, Chief Marketing Officer for Wisconsin Cheese and Senior Vice President at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. “The desire for recipes with cheese—the ultimate comfort food—coupled with the continued craze for charcuterie boards, ensures that cheese will be the real winner of the Big Game.”
According to the release, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin projected that over 20 million pounds of cheese would be consumed by fans while watching the NFL’s signature event. In comparison, that would be 1.7 million wheels of cheese—enough to fill the entire playing field of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida, with a football field-sized cheese board, and all other NFL stadiums nationwide, without any room in the lineup for charcuterie, crackers, or other snacks.
America’s appetite for cheese continues to grow, and Wisconsin specialty cheese sales are currently outpacing the entire category, noted the release.
“Many of our state’s cheesemakers have added extra shifts and secured extra space to accommodate all the orders—not to mention adapt their businesses to accommodate the sudden jump in online cheese orders from consumers across the country,” commented Kirk Scott, Senior Vice President of Dairy Company Communications at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
Recent Google trends data revealed the most popular big game snacks by state, and 28 states (or 56 percent) named a dish that included cheese—from tacos to dips and cheeseballs to charcuterie boards. As demand continues to rise, there seems to be more growth for the industry to come.
“We are planning to triple our fulfillment capacity in the coming months,” said Ken McNulty, Owner of Wisconsin Cheese Mart. “We saw a huge increase in our online sales thanks to shifting customer demand and the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin’s continuing marketing efforts.”
Wisconsin cheesemakers have the same sense of pride and passion for what they do that is comparable to some of the world’s best athletes, taking home more cheese awards than any other state or country year after year, stated the release.
All Wisconsin cheesemakers bear a license to make cheese—a requirement that is unique only to Wisconsin. The elite few also go through over 10 years of rigorous hands-on training to become Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers, a title only given to just over 90 cheesemakers in the 27 years since the esteemed program began.
No matter the occasion, it looks like cheese will be an A-list player this year. Deli Market News will keep a read on the industry to report on the latest in dairy, deli, and specialty.