New Zealanders are buying better quality cheeses and love exploring different speciality cheeses, including locally made takes on classics such as Feta, Halloumi and Parmesan.

Nielsen Supermarket Sales [MAT to 14 July 2019], show specialty cheese has grown by 7.3% in value and volume compared to the corresponding time last year. The same data shows the total value of sales of cheese in New Zealand is up by 2.9% compared with the same time the previous year, with a value growth of 6.3%.

These figures were released by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA), which hosts NZ Cheese Month every October to celebrate the hard work and dedication of this country’s cheesemakers.

NZSCA Chair, Neil Willman, says: “As well as making the traditional cheddar we’ve grown up loving, NZSCA members are making speciality cheeses which haven’t been seen before in New Zealand such as; Mexican cheeses like Cajeta and Oaxaca, or Italian favourites such as Mozzarella, Ricotta and Mascarpone and interestingly other Italian styles which are less familiar in New Zealand such as; Scamorza , Stracciatella and Stracchino .”

He says it’s wonderful to see the growth in sales of New Zealand-made cheese – and this October he’s encouraging Kiwis to put even more New Zealand-made cheese on their plates!


Farro Deli Manager, Charlie Cai says: “We’ve been really excited with the variety and number of non-cows’ milk cheeses being produced locally. We’re seeing the likes of marinated buffalo cheese from Clevedon and seasonal fresh goats cheese from small herds in Marlborough and Wairarapa. Overall we’ve noticed customers’ taste for sheep, goats and buffalo milk cheeses continues to grow.”

Meanwhile, New World Category Manager Delicatessen and Meal Solutions, Rebecca Tuhakaraina picks Cheese Platters as a top trend: “Prepared or convenience foods are sparking huge interest with New World customers. One of these is our of range of delicious Cheese Platters, from the tried and true tasty classics in the Classic Cheese platter to the locally crafted Kiwi Cheese platter. As well as receiving a great solution to help cater for groups, customers can also receive advice on serving suggestions and the best beverages to pair with cheese from our friendly deli staff.”


In a first for Cheese Month, the NZSCA is working with Barker’s of Geraldine to find Kiwis’ favourite NZ Cheese Company this October.

Voting will be promoted via CheeseloversNZ Facebook and Barker’s of Geraldine social media.


Every October, cheesemakers are hosting tastings across New Zealand and the Highlights include:

  • Ferment Fest, Hamilton, Saturday 28 September 2019, 11:00am – 5:00pm
  • Main Course Cookery School Cooking with Cheese, Thursday 10 October 2019, 6pm
  • Main Course Cookery School Cheesemaking Class, Saturday 19 October 2019, 10am – 1pm

To keep up to date with other cheese tasting and experiences during NZ Cheese Month check out CheeseloversNZ Facebook page.


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