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Dairy Defined:

All the Cool Kids (and Their Parents!) are Eating Cottage Cheese

September 26, 2023

For those of you not yet in the know, cottage cheese is the It Dairy Product of 2023. That may be hard to believe, since it seems like only yesterday that Korean music group BTS was making “Butter” ubiquitous — but like milk, the zeitgeist flows. So move over, K-Pop superstars – curds and whey haven’t been moving this fast since the spider sat next to Miss Muffet.

The hype is significant, but the product lives up to it. We’ve read about it in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. We’ve seen it on TikTok, where the high-protein snack is being featured in all sorts of creative recipes, like cottage cheese and mustard, cottage cheese in cookie dough, and cottage cheese as a base for ice cream. But most importantly, we’ve seen it in sales, and in new consumers, as shown via some number-crunching from our friends at Dairy Management Inc.:

Revenues are up, and that’s not just due to inflation – consumption is rising as well. Most importantly, more people are eating cottage cheese, period, and that builds a base for continued growth.

Breaking it down further: Cottage cheese’s success isn’t merely a media perception. It’s real, and it’s broad-based. While nearly half of all new consumers are coming from the social-media-savvy Gen Z and Millennial sets, the other half comes from older generations, with the most growth by far coming from Generation X, a cohort decidedly less dedicated to TikTok than their younger counterparts. (Why Gen X? Is it an attempt to gain a tasty dairy fix with less fat, right at the age where waistlines are more difficult to tame? Nostalgia for their childhoods in the 1970s and 1980s, the last time cottage cheese was so central to American diets? Maybe they’re just smarter than other generations – after all, You Live, You Learn.)

In any case, cottage cheese is reasserting itself in ways not seen in decades. The cool kids are eating it – and so are their parents. Its success shows yet again how dairy remains resilient, adaptable, and innovative. And with that, we can only wonder, what’s next?

Anyone care for a glass of whole milk?