An appetite for specialty cheeses
Canadian dairy producers make a wide variety of specialty cheeses today, but this was not always the case. Three decades ago, cheddar cheese production exceeded that of all specialty cheeses combined.
Production of specialty cheese—and Canadians' appetite for it—has increased considerably. From 1980 to 2010, production of specialty cheese (dairy cheeses other than processed or cheddar) more than tripled to 245,324 tonnes—this was roughly 55% greater than cheddar production of 137,304 tonnes in 2010. The most-produced specialty cheese that year was mozzarella, at 112,212 tonnes.
Cheese production is concentrated largely in Quebec and Ontario. In 2010, these two provinces accounted for 83% of Canada's cheddar and 85% of its specialty cheese production. Most was destined for the domestic market. Nearly 1,700 tonnes of cheddar and 20,300 tonnes of other types of cheese (excluding processed) were imported in 2010.