Demand for smelly cheese nosedives as dairy prices reach new highs

By Oliver Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Getty/barmalini
Image: Getty/barmalini

Related tags Cheese

As cheese inflation rises to new highs in the UK, pungent cheeses have plunged in popularity over the past year, according to new data compiled by food labelling consultants Ashbury.

Food prices rose at the second highest rate in 45 years, according to the Office for National Statistics, with dairy products such as cheese experiencing particularly sharp rises. 

For example, a kilogram of Cheddar cheese costs £3 per kg more than it did just a year ago, now costing £9.40 per kg, up from £6.40 per kg in April 2022. 

The analysis is based on the average number of monthly online searches for cheese recipes in 2022 and 2023. 

Dairy products have been rising for several reasons including the bovine tuberculosis pandemic, the spike in the price of oils caused by the war in Ukraine, and rising energy, packaging and transport costs.

Amid rising costs, food labelling consultants Ashbury report that consumers are shunning stronger cheeses in favour of milder varieties, which are more versatile.

Ashbury analysed Google Keyword Planner data from the UK from over the past year, to determine which types of cheeses saw the biggest rise or fall.

Which cheeses are falling by the wayside? 


YoY Change









Munster cheese



Which cheeses are growing in popularity? 


YoY Change

Swiss cheese








Goat Cheese


People are most likely to turn their nose up at Roquefort – which saw the biggest fall in recipe searches at around a third along with piquant Provolone. Parmesan was next on the list with 18% fewer searches compared to last year, followed by the famously-smelly Munster which declined by 12%.

Searches for Camembert-based recipes also dropped by 18%, even though the appetite for its milder cousin Brie remained the same. 

Other mild cheeses saw a jump in popularity – with Swiss cheese ranking top at 49%. Versatile, creamy and easy to melt, Swiss cheese can be used in a wide range of dishes from chicken cordon bleu and fondue to toasties. 

Despite the rising cost in supermarkets, demand for Cheddar cheese is higher than a year ago.

The household staple saw a 23% uplift in searches, followed by Gruyere, Mozzarella and Goat Cheese (all up by 22%).

Cathy Lane, Senior Regulatory Advisor at Ashbury, said: “Our research shows how quickly tastes can change, especially as the cost of cheese and other dairy products continue to rise. Stinky cheeses seem to have taken a particular tumble. 

“There could be any number of reasons why people seem to prefer milder varieties over stronger ones at the moment. 

“Cheddar was weighing in at £9.40 per kilo in April this year compared to £6.40 for the same month in 2022. Even so, the jump in popularity revealed in our research could be down to cash-strapped households choosing a variety they know the whole family will enjoy, or which can be used across a number of different dishes.”

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