Customers in front of the windows of a cheese maker in Halles Paul Bocuse during the first deconfinement weekend, May 16, 2020. GETTY

The love of the French for cheese increased throughout the confinement. In June 2020, the Vaxelaire family, which raises a herd of 25 cows in the Vosges region, left crusts in the fridge and accidentally created a new cheese. In November 2020, raclette and fondue cheeses flew off the shelves of French supermarkets. Figures for the whole of 2020 show that cheese sales have exploded.

If the consumption of cheese has fallen in restaurants and bars, due to their closures, for the rest this is not the case … According to figures recently published by FranceAgriMer-Kantar, each type of cheese has benefited from the increased sales during closing.

Cow’s milk-based cheeses led the way in 2020 (growing 8.5% year-on-year), with raclette cheese sales up 12.2% and Comté up 8. , 2%. Emmental saw a growth of 7.8% and goat cheese also followed the same trend with a growth of 7.2%.

However, it was an Italian cheese that came out on top: mozzarella saw its sales increase by 21.2%.

The EU countries consume the most cheese in the world: 18.42 kg of cheese per capita. The United States and Canada come second and third (the United States consumes 17.46 kg per capita). However, while former President Charles de Gaulle once claimed that France has 246 different types of cheese, it is not the nation that produces the most in Europe; this title goes to Germany and the Netherlands, as Statista reports.

Food magazine Les Marchés gave the reasons why people flocked to this product during the Covid-19 pandemic. He describes the “benefits that come into play during this strange time. It can be used as an ingredient, especially as family cooking has increased, especially during the first confinement. It is synonymous with comfort, especially when it is melted, and it contributes to conviviality with raclettes or more refined meals … It is also used as part of a menu, most often in the evening, for an easy meal. and fast “.

According to the 2017 figures, if the French don’t eat as much cheese as their Danish, Icelandic and Finnish neighbors, they often say that a meal without cheese would be “unimaginable” to them.

Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Alex Ledsom

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