Swedish cheese in Sweden and in the world
Production of Swedish cheese
In Sweden there are 30 larger dairies of which 13 are having a cheese-making facility. These 13 dairies belong to the 8 largest dairy companies in Sweden and they make up for 99% of all the production of cheese. The total production of cheese reached 114 200 tonnes in 2008. The export of Swedish cheese is relatively small. Only 20% of the production output is exported.
The 8 largest manufacturers of hard cheese (market shares)
Except these 8 companies there are more than 100 dairy farmers that produce their own cheese in a small scale. However, they make up an insignificant share of the total production.
Swedes love hard cheese
Swedes are eating more and more cheese for every year. According to the international cheese statistics Swedes are eating 18.5 kilo per person per year. Sweden is ranked as number 7 in Europe. The cheese consumption in Sweden has increased by more than 2 kilo per person between 1997 and 2006. The hard cheese makes up for 13 kilo from the total amount of 18.5 kilo. The majority of the consumed hard cheese is made in Swedish.
The cheese consumption in Sweden per person annually
The business intelligence company United Minds carried out a survey in 2007 where the results showed that the most common way Swedes consume cheese is on sandwiches. 50% of the respondents are having cheese on their sandwiches every day. Cheese is also the tastiest food product to put on the sandwich.
The most popular Swedish hard cheeses
Grevé®, Herrgård®, Präst®, Svecia, Hushållsost and Västerbottenost are the six most famous and popular Swedish hard cheese. All of these (except Västerbottenost) have more than one manufacturer and are produced on several places. Herrgård®, Präst®, Grevé® and Västerbottenost® are registered trademarks.
Herrgård® was developed 1786 at the castle Marsvinsholm in southern Sweden.
The Swiss Emmentaler cheese serves as a model for Herrgård cheese. The taste for a ripped Herrgård is characterized by a fine and distinct taste of nut. Präst® is originally a specialty from Småland and Skåne (south of Sweden) from the 18th century. Präst cheese was the best cheese you could make since that was used to pay the church tax. Präst has a pungent taste and it is excellent for cooking purposes.
Grevé®, was created as late as 1964. The cheese has taste of nut and slight sweetness and fits perfectly into the Swedish cheese tradition. Svecia, originate from the 13th century and carries the Latin name for Sweden. The taste is fresh, rustic and juicy and is manufactured according to the original recipe. Svecia has received "Protected Geographical Indication" designation from the EU. Hushållsost got its name in the end of the 19th century. The Hushålls cheese has an unique course of ripeness that created aromas which you can not find in other cheese sorts. Hushållsost has received the designation “Traditional Specialty Guaranteed” from the EU.
Västerbottenost®, was developed 1872 by the dairymaid Ulrika Eleonora Lindström. The cheese was made accidently due to a milkman flirting with Ulrika so she lost control over the cheese making process. The taste is pungent i.e. a mix between sweet and bitter.
There are naturally many other Swedish hard cheeses except the ones mentioned above. When it comes to the choice of cheese, the most sold Swedish hard cheese is Hushållsost.
Consumption of the most popular Swedish hard cheeses in 2006, thousand tonnes
Swedish cheese export & business opportunities in Russia
Total Swedish export of cheese reached 71 mln EUR or 19 thousand tonnes in 2007, where Finland and Denmark stood for nearly 70% of total trade amount. Russia imported 940 tonnes of Swedish cheese in 2007, which corresponded to 3.5 mln EUR in terms of value or 5% of total Swedish export of cheese.
Swedish export of cheese to Russia, mln EUR
We strongly believe that there ought to be a possibility for Swedish dairies to grow on the Russian market, since Sweden is treated by Russians like a safe country with high living standards, inspiring respect. Swedish products are valued very high by Russians, because of high quality, good value for money and innovation. Even though prices for Swedish products are perceived as considerably high, Swedish products are not treated as overpriced in comparison price/performance.
The Swedish Trade Council
The Swedish Trade Council promotes Swedish exports on behalf of the Swedish industry and government. We have offices in more than 50 countries and work closely with trade associations, embassies, consulates and chambers of commerce around the world.
The Swedish Trade Council supports Swedish companies to grow internationally. Along with providing consulting services for Swedish enterprises the Swedish Trade Council is arranging bilateral events such as seminars, fairs, trade delegations and matchmaking projects.
The Swedish Trade Council in Moscow has successfully conducted several assignments within food industry like Swedish food campaigns together with retail chain 7th Continent in 2007 and 2008. 10 larger Swedish food producers participated in 2008 in the campaign including – degustations, PR and marketing activities.
Swedish Trade Council, www.swedishtrade.se
Swedish Dairy Association, www.svenskmjolk.se
Tthe trade organization for cheese producers in Sweden Ostfrämjandet, www.ostframjandet.se
Cheese Forum, www.ostforum.se