What comes to mind when you think of spreadable cheese?

We’re guessing it’s probably either the almond-covered log your parents would break out for guests during the holidays or the herby stuff in the plastic tub.

cheese trend

The Spreadable Cheese Trend

This article was originally written in April 2016. Updated December 2022.

We’ve noticed a recent explosion of different spreadable cheese products coming onto the market. As with many things, millennials are the driving force behind the trend, and the new cheeses appeal to the way people are eating now.

We believe that today’s spreadable cheeses are a convergence of some of this year’s other hot food trends. Look out for these…

High-End And Spicy Flavors

Consumers want the best ingredients, innovative flavors, and more than a few of them like it hot. Look for flavors using ghost peppers, wasabi, peppadew peppers, craft beer, wine, truffles, bacon, and regional or gourmet cheeses.

Full-Fat Dairy Cheese Spread

The bad old days of low-fat everything are over. Today’s spreadable cheeses go far beyond low-fat cow’s milk. Now you can dive into varieties made from ricotta, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, and Greek yogurt labneh (a Middle Eastern style fresh cheese).

Protein-Packed Cheese Snacks

Healthy and gourmet snacks are big. Consumers want protein wherever and whenever they can get it. The word “Greek” is synonymous with protein and health, and it is everywhere these days. (FDR talks more about the protein obsession trend in the blog post from 2017.)

Companies like Kraft Foods and Franklin Foods are jumping on the bandwagon with Greek cream cheese (similar to Neufchatel cheese), so you can expect to see even more like it on grocery store shelves.

2022 UPDATE: The Greek cream cheese idea didn’t take off like some expected (or hoped). Green Mountain Farms is one of the few CPG companies with a product featured in a quick Google shopping search.

Dairy-Free Cheese

In the past, dairy-free cheeses were a barely palatable substitute for vegans or those who couldn’t eat dairy. As dairy-free lifestyles have evolved, so has dairy-free cheese. Nut-based spreadable cheeses are delicious in their own right and are increasingly popular. Treeline Treenut Cheese is making French-style soft cheeses in interesting flavors. And…have you tried cashew cheese? Even avid meat eaters can enjoy it.

2022 Spreadable Cheese Trend Update

When looking at Google Trends (a Google tool that provides analytical data of top Google search queries across various regions and languages) there has been a 130% increase in “spreadable cheese” search queries since 2015 proving there is a clear interest in the food product, at least as far as individual online interest goes. Other food industry experts have continued to tout spread popularity in the years since our original food trend prediction, but now in 2022 prognosticators are pointing to butter boards and flavored butter as an emerging trend in spreads.

130% increase in “spreadable cheese” search queries since 2015

– Google trends

For More Food Trends…

This blog post on the spreadable cheese trend is part of a series of posts on current food trends. For the latest in hot food trends go here.

Thanks for stopping by and reading the Food & Drink Resources blog. Here we talk about food trends, culinary innovation, and the work of our team.