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How Much Cheese do Americans Consume?

Updated: Feb 25, 2024

In 1909, Americans consumed 5 pounds (2.27 kg)of cheese per person. In 2001, however, that answer is more than 30 pounds. Per person. That's a lot of cheese! Part of the reason are the modern conveniences — sealed bags of pre-shredded cheese to easily sprinkle on salads, vegetables or soups; pre-cut sticks of cheese are sold for easy addition to packed lunches; and miniature-sized fancy cheeses, such as Gouda, are available for bite-sized snacks or quick appetizers.

Big cheese facts:

  • More than half of the cheese in the United States is consumed in commercially prepared food — lunch snack packs and fast food, for instance.

  • In 2002, Mozzarella stepped up its game and beat out cheddar as the U.S. cheese favorite.

  • According to the CDC, the obesity rate in the U.S. leveled off since 2002, at about 1/3 of the population. That's about 73 million people who are 30 or more pounds overweight.

  • Those 73 million people are pretty evenly spaced in terms of gender and age: 32.2% are men, 35.5% are women and 31.7% are children.
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