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We are very happy to tell you that our 2015 Raw Milk Cheese Consumption and Attitudes survey, conducted online from September 19 to October 23, was a big success. We received almost 2600 responses from around the world. The consensus is that raw milk cheese is good and should be available for consumers in the U.S.

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An overwhelming 83% of respondents live in the U.S., of which 84% reported purchasing raw milk cheese at least once a month and 20% reported that they purchase raw milk cheese more than once a week. 55% purchase it regularly — at least once every week or two.

We learned that consumers buy a lot of cheese, including raw milk cheese, and that they understand its benefits and the basic differences compared with pasteurized cheeses. Our respondents are informed consumers, with 70% confirming that they are aware of FDA regulations, especially the 60-day aging rule. This is encouraging news, because it proves that consumers have a complex knowledge of the foods they eat and of ways to keep food safe and healthy. Almost 90% of all respondents agree that consumers in the U.S. should have the choice to choose raw milk cheese.

We also conducted follow-up interviews with many of you, and if you haven’t heard from us we may still contact you in the upcoming weeks. The results from the small sample of follow-up interviews confirmed that 25% of those consumers prefer raw milk cheeses made in the U.S. This is exciting, as the artisanal cheese movement is growing in our country. We also learned that at-home cheesemaking is of special interest to many of you and we will be looking into sharing resources.

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To find out more information from our survey and our work promoting artisan cheeses and traditional cheesemaking techiniques, sign up for Cheese Matters Quarterly, or even better, become a member. For as little as $35 dollars a year, you can ensure that we continue engaging with regulators to make sure that raw milk cheese is available in the United States.

Carlos, Oldways Cheese Coalition, Program Manager

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