While sales of camembert have been declining in France for several years, those of mozzarella are booming and exceed for the first time in 2021 those of French cheese.
Camembert is softening in France. Sales of the country’s emblematic cheese have been crumbling by 3 to 4% per year for years. The French still consumed more than 55,000 tonnes at the start of the 2010s, or the equivalent of 3.5 camemberts per French person per year. And despite a rather good year 2020 for soft cheese (+ 2.2% in 2020), it is no longer the favorite in the hearts of the French.
Hexagonal pride will take a hit since the most consumed cheese now in the country comes from the other side of the Alps. This is the mozarella as revealed Le Figaro.
“Since the beginning of the year until September 11, we sold 29,230 tonnes of camemberts in France against 33,170 tonnes of mozzarella,” says Fabrice Collier, president of the Norman Union of Camemberts Manufacturers (SNFC).
Italian cheese is growing steadily at 5% per year in France. Even with a peak of + 21.2% in 2020 according to FranceAgriMer.
This demotion of Camembert in favor of mozzarella is however above all symbolic. The two cheeses having very different consumption. French is consumed on a platter when Italian is mainly used in cooking.
However, the manufacturers have tried to get the Camembert out of the platters. New packaging (bells, lids, mini-pie charts), new recipes (with pepper at Coeur de Lion) or even more organic offers. But in vain. The French are consuming cheese more and more as an aperitif, as a snack or as an ingredient in recipes, and Camembert has less and less its place.
What worries the industry.
“In the 1980s, 180,000 tonnes of Camembert were produced in France, part of which was exported, which is twice as much as today,” recalls Fabrice Collier in Le Figaro. With the ban on any reference to Normandy for pasteurized camemberts, we are particularly worried about the future of the industry. “
Since January 1, in fact, only manufacturers benefiting from the PDO can claim the mention “Made in Normandy” on their product. This is only 10% of the 60,000 tonnes of pie charts produced each year in the country.