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French people eat 23,9 Kg of cheese per capita per year, and are one of the most important consumers of cheese in the world. In 2003, the French households bought 589 473 T of cheese, which was a 6,8% part of their food budget.

Who eats cheese?

96% of the French people between 2 and 75 years eat cheese, 47% each day. We observe differences depending on age and gender: the consumption steadily increases since childhood, faster for men.

For the CNIEL, there are 3 types of consumers:

-   27% of big consumers, eating cheese at lunch and dinner.
-   42% of medium consumers, eating cheese one or two times a day.
-   31% of little consumers, eating cheese less than one time a day.

Big consumers are generally mature men, and little, women and young people.

(Source: CNIEL)

What kind of cheese do they eat? According to the SOFRES, 4 kinds of cheese’s consumers exist

The experts (19% of the consumers): most are mature men, 50 - 75 years old. They are interested in the consumption of various cheeses and are looking for high quality. They usually buy organic food and cheeses with an AOP, even if they are strong.

The casuals (20% of the consumers): most are 36 - 49 years old, coming from the upper class. They eat a lot of cheeses with a cooked pate to the detriment of the others, especially soft pates with washed rind and pates with markings. They may sometimes pay to have a high quality cheese.

The basics (26% of the consumers): most are men from the lower class. They eat a lot of soft pate cheeses (especially Camembert) and few of the other kinds. They want to buy cheap and easy to find products.

The low-fat maniacs (36% of the consumers): most are young women, 15 to 25 years old. They eat few cheeses and prefer light cheeses, fresh cheeses or cheese spreads. They also eat a lot of yoghourt.

(Source: Cerin - Nutrinews)


Cheese is a picture of pleasure, conviviality and is very appreciated during a dinner with friends. It has the image of a healthy product, which contains calcium, proteins and vitamins. However some people consider it as a fat product (women and old people especially), and slow down their consumption. For them, a yoghourt or a milk-based dessert takes the place of cheese.

On one hand, 7% of French people claim they wish to eat more cheese: they look for pleasure and want simple and quick-to-eat food. On the other hand, 8% claim they wish to eat less cheese: they are anxious about their diet and want to reduce fat into.

(Source: Cerin - Nutrinews)