Say Cheese: Aussie Cheese Lovers want Locally Made but Internationally-Inspired Varieties

Say Cheese: Aussie Cheese Lovers want Locally Made but Internationally-Inspired Varieties

The market for dairy products is highly saturated, and driving new growth can prove challenging. Nielsen Homescan shows that cheese is purchased by 98.7% of Australian households and is growing at a modest 1.5% in dollar sales for the 52 weeks ending 15 July 2017 versus the previous year.

In a low growth environment, it is imperative that you have a deep understanding of your core consumer base. Results from Nielsen’s Consumer & Media View Survey show that Australian consumers who purchase cheese on a weekly basis have a very distinct profile and appealing to this group of cheese lovers could uncover new growth opportunities.

Weekly cheese buyers are more likely to be young, single and earning an average income of $50-$95K p.a. They like to keep healthy and fit, but are also passionate foodies – open to trying new products and international foods. They are also more likely to be brand-conscious, look out for Australian-made products, and are willing to spend more on well-known brands.

When it comes to product innovation ideas, marketers could consider creating cheese products that are Australian made, but internationally inspired; with premium packaging that is eye-catching, attractive and clearly states its local origins.

Finding new ways and occasions for cheese lovers can also create new growth avenues. A great example of this is the significant growth recorded by the Adult Snacking segment within the cheese category. This segment includes products with pre-packaged cheese and crackers/biscuits designed to be a convenient, on-the-go snacking option for adults. Adult Snacking in cheese is growing almost 40 times faster than the category – with sales up by 43% in the 12 months to July 2017. It is an area that has unlocked hidden demand with innovation.

Finding the best ways to reach and connect with your consumer base as part of your broader marketing and promotional strategy will maximise your chances of sustaining and growing category and brand sales.

Social media is key to engaging with this group of cheese lovers. More than half (52%) use social media to stay connected, and they are frequent users of Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Around two-in-five (38%) use social media as a way of engaging with and finding out more about grocery brands and products. Weekly cheese buyers are also more likely to respond to online and outdoor advertising and make impulse purchases at the point-of-purchase while shopping.

Media strategies to effectively connect with cheese consumers could involve ​a multi-media approach with interactivity at its core, e.g. interactive outdoor ads to directly start conversations with brands over social media. Facilitating user-generated content and adopting a mobile-first design is also important for engaging with this group who are more likely to share branded content and post photos on social media platforms such as Instagram.


Nielsen Consumer & Media View is a rolling survey of more than 20,000 Australians aged 14 and above. It captures their lifestyles, behaviours, passions and attitudes towards almost every aspect of their life.
It’s great for helping advertisers understand the everyday Australian consumer that they want and need to communicate with.

We also include media consumption data with the fusion of official TV, radio and digital audience ratings to get a rounded view of how brands can best target and reach their target audiences. To find out more about how CMV can help you more effectively plan your marketing, contact


Measuring what consumers buy is at the core of Nielsen’s 90 year history. Our Homescan Shopper Panel was established in 1986 and is robust, trusted, credible, and one of the biggest shopper panels per capita in the world. It monitors shopper behaviour across a panel of 10,000 households which is projected to accurately represent the Australian population and retailing landscape.

When integrated with retail sales data, the powerful insights drawn from our Shopper Panel enables you to identify the ‘why’ as well as the ‘what’ behind your brand sales allowing you to fine-tune your marketing strategies.