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DBIA Market Report Provides Valuable Insights to U.S. Goat and Sheep Cheese Manufacturers

Opportunities abound for U.S. goat and sheep cheese manufacturers to successfully compete with imported products through packaging improvements and retailer education, according to new market research released by the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA). A full analysis is available online at

“Though it’s clear that American goat and sheep cheesemakers face stiff competition from imported products, these challenges also represent opportunities – opportunities that are ripe for action by our nation’s dairy processors,” said John Umhoefer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), which administers the DBIA in partnership with the Center for Dairy Research.

WCMA and CDR partnered with global market intelligence firm Mintel to produce the report. Combined with a sensory review of 27 goat and sheep cheeses from around the world, the report reveals a wealth of valuable insights, including:

  • Sensory panelists preferred labels with simplistic, clean designs that concisely and clearly communicated the product’s identity through text or simple goat or sheep imagery.
  • Panelists favored packaging that allowed them to see the cheese. They also appreciated labels that described the product’s flavor notes or profiles and offered pairing suggestions.

“This report is part of our strategy to increase domestic production of goat and sheep milk cheeses,” said CDR Director John Lucey. “This information will assist our cheese makers in understanding existing products and will provide helpful insights into the consumers of these specialty products.”

The new report advances DBIA’s mission to support small and mid-size dairy processors across its 11-state service area of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The DBIA is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was created in the 2018 federal Farm Bill. Since then, the DBIA has administered over $13 million to 129 Midwestern dairy farms and businesses. The program also offers technical assistance to dairy farmers and processors in participating states.

Posted 3/5/2024

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