Every year, National Cheese Day is celebrated in the US on June 4. On the occasion, a wide variety of initiatives are organized to celebrate cheese in all its forms and varieties: workshops, seminars, cooking classes, point-of-sale promotions, local fairs, and tastings.
The big stars of the day will be Italian cheeses. Official statistics from the US Census Bureau state that in 2021 the US imported more than 36,000 tons of cheese from Italy. Paolo Zanetti, President of Assolatte, the Italian dairy industry association, says, “We account for almost 20 percent (coming from shares of 33 percent in fresh and as much as 43 percent in grated) of total imports. These figures place us firmly at the top of the list of countries from which the USA buys cheese.” France and the Netherlands have shares of 10.8 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
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The widespread trend of Made in Italy is to present products whose high added value is appreciated and recognized by local consumers. Americans are no exception, reserving for Italian cheeses almost 30 percent of what they spend on importing cheeses from abroad ($432 million out of a total of about $1.5 billion).
“The tariff truce ushered in by the Biden administration has, if possible, favored us more than other major competitors, both European and non-European,” – says Zanetti. “That mix of quality, tradition, and innovation that distinguishes our dairy excellence has done the rest. As a result, we managed to fully recover the drop in sales volumes recorded in 2020, even exceeding the sales levels of 2019 thanks to a +32.3 percent growth.”