U.S. Cheese Surplus Holds Sharp Industry Implications

U.S. Cheese Surplus Holds Sharp Industry Implications

There's never a dull day in the world of food. While you're fretting over which commercial bakery mixer best suits your macaronerie, there are bigger problems to solve. Well, we say problems, but this particular pile of proteins is a delicious problem, to say the least. We never thought we'd be typing these words, but here we are: America is suffering from a cheese surplus.

Yes, you read that correctly, there is more cheese currently stockpiled in the United States than at any other time in history. Or, at least, in the 100 years we've been keeping track of cheese data.

What has brought on this delicious disaster?

People just aren't drinking as much milk as they did once upon a time. Combine that with cows that are much more productive than cows past and the issue comes to a head. All that milk needs to be stored somewhere, and it keeps better when stored as cheese, hence the mountainous stockpile of delightful dairy. As much as we jest about our love of cheese and a surplus not being that bad, it's becoming problematic for the dairy industry by decreasing production, demand, and driving down prices. There's also the current state of trade affairs to consider since the United States sends tons of cheese to China and Mexico.

With countries slapping tariffs on U.S. dairy and cheese makers, a bad situation could get worse.

“Milk production continues to trend up, and that milk has to find a home. The issue this year is that, with so much supply, it’s going to be tough for a lot of farmers to be profitable,” said Lucas Fuess of HighGround Dairy, a dairy consulting firm.

Between people generally drinking less milk and the drop in summer demand, this stockpile is only getting bigger. At this point, there's a 1.39 billion pound stockpile, which is enough to give every American 4.2 pounds of cheese. Projections only show this growing.

Sales in the restaurant industry reach about $783 billion per year, a lot of which goes into supply chains like dairy. Having an eye on trending food, supply, and industry news will always help you form decisions for when the news impacts your restaurant. Yes, picking the right commercial bakery mixer is important, but if you're too busy worrying about commercial dough sheeters and industrial mixer machines, the world can sneak up on you. Keep your finger on the pulse and you'll know exactly what to do when the food world goes haywire.

Jul 23rd 2018

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