Saturday, September 23, 2023

The US eats 30% of the cheese exported by the region

“He left and came back with all my favorite foods: manchego cheese and chocolate truffles and a cold bottle of Sancerre wine.” This menu was enjoyed at a crucial moment in the story by the protagonist of “Lost”, a bestseller by American actress Gillian Flynn, which Hollywood filmed in 2014 with Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris.

It’s not uncommon for a piece of Manchego cheese to feature in an American bestseller, as Uncle Sam’s country is the main market for this iconic product of the region. This idyll even survived the chaos of Trump-era tariffs.

Currently, one in four cheeses sold abroad by the region is eaten by an American. This summer, the regional delegation of the Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) published an industry report on this product. With data for 2022, the most recent year closed, Castilla-La Mancha invoiced 204.2 million euros for its cheese sales abroad, and of this, 59.6 million euros came from the North American market, or 29 percent.

The same is not true at national level, where the main markets are France and Portugal, two neighboring countries. In third place are sales to the USA with a total of 90 million. Two-thirds of this is due to the success of cheeses from Castile-La Mancha on the other side of the Atlantic.

In 2022, sales of cheese exports from the region exceeded 200 million. The numbers haven’t stopped rising for the past five years, although they increased by 27% in 2022. In this year 2023, 59.8 million have already been reached in the first four-month period.

And also in Portugal, France and Germany

Portugal is the second most important market for Castilla-La Mancha cheese, with sales of 28.4 million, at least according to 2022 data. Germany follows with 21.5 million and then a very “cheese” country: France with 18.9 million. Despite Brexit, sales in the United Kingdom also exceed the 10 million mark. And vice versa? Castile-La Mancha imports cheese for 88 million, mainly from France, followed by Belgium with 27.7 million and Germany with 20.7 million.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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