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.

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.
cheese trendWe believe that today’s spreadable cheeses are a convergence of some of this year’s hottest food trends. Look out for these…

High-end, ethnic, 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. 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 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. Companies like Kraft Foods and Franklin Foods are jumping on the bandwagon with Greek cream cheese, so you can expect to see even more like it on grocery store shelves.

Dairy-free. 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.

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