The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, who represents over 9,500 dairy farm families, recently released data on the most influential cheese trends of 2016. Here are the 4 biggest findings:
Cheese Curds are No longer Regional
WMMB’S Vice President of Foodservice, Allen Hendricks says that the largest trend that he is currently seeing is the increase of popularity of cheese curds. This is in large part due to large chains, such as Yard House and Chili’s, are embracing the bite-sized snack. The “squeaky cheese” has been largely only in the Midwest region, but are now appearing on gourmet and fast food restaurants around the country.
Blue Cheese and Burgers
Wisconsin produces more than forty types of blue cheese, however, smoked blue cheese is becoming popular nationwide topping for burger lovers nationwide. Cheese producers are taking their blue cheese wheels and are immersing them in a natural smokehouse, raising its flavor profile. This trend correlates directly with the shift of consumers looking for cheese variety on their burgers, instead of the standard American cheese or Cheddar.
Spreads and Snacks
Smaller portions have been an increasingly popular trend among the food industry for the past few years. And now, as snacking and eating smaller plates have becoming more popular, the applications for food items like cheese spreads are evolving. In addition, restaurants are currently attempting to stray away from the average cream cheese and spinach dip, so they are turning to cheeses like Parmesan and Brie to give their customers a new flavorful option.
Click HERE to read more trends from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.