Cheese stockpile hits historic high

Organic Sharp Cheddar Cheese on a Cutting Board

America’s cheese stockpile is bigger than it’s ever been, with about 1.4 billion pounds of cheese stashed away in cold storage.  It’s not that nobody wants cheese – we do!  In fact, it’s estimated that Americans ate more than 30 pounds of cheese each in 2017. There are a couple of problems though.

First of all, dairy farmers are producing more than we can eat. Usually that would be no problem – but with China and Mexico both imposing trade tariffs on American dairy products, all of that extra cheese has nowhere to go.  Demand from China especially has fallen dramatically from last year.

The other problem is that even Americans don’t want to eat American cheese all the time.  A lot of us look for imported products from France, Italy, and even the Netherlands – which means made-in-the-USA cheese is struggling to compete.  A lot of Americans are also getting their cheese on pizza, which increases the demand for mozzarella – but not necessarily the cheddar that many American companies produce.

It’s not all bad news though.  Since cheese has a limited shelf life, even in cold storage, a huge stockpile could mean lower prices in the grocery store starting soon.