We are very happy to tell you that our Raw Milk Cheese Consumption and Attitudes survey, conducted online from September 19 to October 23, 2015, was a big success. We received almost 2600 responses from around the world. The consensus is that raw milk cheese is good and should be available for consumers in the U.S.
An overwhelming 83% of respondents live in the U.S., of which 84% reported purchasing raw milk cheese at least once a month and 20% reported that they purchase raw milk cheese more than once a week. 55% purchase it regularly — at least once every week or two.
We learned that consumers buy a lot of cheese, including raw milk cheese, and that they understand its beneﬁts and the basic diﬀerences compared with pasteurized cheeses. Our respondents are informed consumers, with 70% conﬁrming that they are aware of FDA regulations, especially the 60-day aging rule. This is encouraging news, because it proves that consumers have a complex knowledge of the foods they eat and of ways to keep food safe and healthy. Almost 90% of all respondents agree that consumers in the U.S. should have the choice to choose raw milk cheese.
We also conducted follow-up interviews with many of you, and if you haven’t heard from us we may still contact you in the upcoming weeks. The results from the small sample of follow-up interviews conﬁrmed that 25% of those consumers prefer raw milk cheeses made in the U.S. This is exciting, as the artisanal cheese movement is growing in our country. We also learned that at-home cheesemaking is of special interest to many of you and we will be looking into sharing resources.
To ﬁnd out more about our work promoting artisan cheeses and traditional cheesemaking techniques, sign up for Cheese Matters Quarterly, or even better, become a member. For as little as $35 dollars a year, you can ensure that we continue engaging with regulators to make sure that raw milk cheese is available in the United States.
Carlos Yescas - Oldways Cheese Coalition Program Director