MRV BLOG: It Is Easy Being (Cottage) Cheesy!

Have you heard about the curd?  What has long been a fairly staid product is seeing a rebirth lately. Cottage cheese has suddenly become the popular product.  It’s always been healthy—a four ounce low-fat serving has 85 calories, four grams of carbohydrates, two grams of fat and more than 11 grams of protein (verywellfit.com). But lately, cottage cheese has become trendy.

And literally trending.  As in, it has been a popular trending hashtag on TikTok with #cottagecheese generating more than 240 million views (abcnews.com).

Two hundred and forty million.  The good news for cottage cheese champions is that the average age of a TikTok user is 21 years old. Even if ninety percent of people who saw those cottage cheese posts ignore the curd forever, that’s still 24 million people who won’t.  For a while.  That’s a decent increase in cottage cheese awareness and interest short- and long-term. And that’s even before brands look to capitalize on those saying please to this cheese.

Cottage Cheese Yielding Leads to Yogurt Yields

Many blame the demise of cottage cheese’s former relative ubiquity on yogurt usurping the crown as 80’s trendy food king. Early credit goes to the fruit on the bottom yogurts, then yogurt with add-ins on top, and the Greek yogurt emergence (Vox). Packaging, both aesthetically and functionally, gave yogurt another boost. Concurrently, consumers were finding—and enjoying—frozen yogurt at every corner and store.  If there were protein grams hidden somewhere beneath the caramel and brownie toppings, pass me a spoon, please!

Some say that yogurt’s sugary composition appealed to kids and therefore adults more, making protein more palatable. Others say yogurt had better marketing.  And today’s marketing often starts with social media. TikTok might have facilitated the recent flag-waving for more cottage cheese consumption, but others have taken note, too.

Modern Media Marvel

The New York Post claimed “It’s a retro food that’s made a comeback…” and The Washington Post added that “influencers have been discovering the long-uncool dairy product.” The Food Network featured some of the latest cottage cheese trends, asking “Is TikTok’s viral cottage cheese ‘ice cream’ as healthy as it seems?” Thrillist claimed in an article earlier this year “Cottage cheese is making a comeback.” And even US News & World Reports sees it, too, saying in an April 2023 story, “Now cottage cheese is the new Greek yogurt.  Or maybe it’s the new cauliflower because there’s nothing these curds can’t do.”

Whether it’s a “food hack” like cottage cheese ice cream or a conduit for roasted vegetables and fresh herbs, there are many ways being touted as a reason for cottage cheesin’.  And millions more are trying it right now. So, if you’re hungry, grab a spoon!  And if you’re selling, grab some inventory and keep those shelves stocked!

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