For the first time, mozzarella outsells camembert in France, delivering a blow to a French gastronomic emblem. Mozzarella sales soared during the pandemic.
The adoption of fast food, restaurant fashion and easy home cooking are said to be responsible for the shift towards the Italian product. Last year saw a 21% rise in mozzarella sales during the pandemic. This is the first time that mozzarella outsells camembert.
Camembert producers “very worried”
The president of the Norman union of camembert producers (SNFC), Fabrice Collier, expressed concern. As he explained to Le Figaro, the sales of camembert have been decreasing by 3% a year for some time. Collier said, camembert figures “have been exceeded by the sales of mozzarella, which instead grow by 5% per year”.
“From the beginning of the year until 11 September we sold 29,230 tons of camembert in France against 33,170 tons of mozzarella sold”.
The French still consumed more than 55,000 tonnes at the start of the 2010s. That equates to the equivalent of 3.5 camemberts per French person per year. And despite a rather good year 2020 for soft cheese (+ 2.2% in 2020).
Mozzarella most popular cheese in France during pandemic
In reality, the French love Made in Italy food produce. Pasta, cheeses, baked goods and dairy products are among the Italian gastronomic delights gracing French tables. Demand for Italian food grows year on year.
This demotion of Camembert in favor of mozzarella is however above all symbolic. The two cheeses are consumed differently. The French cheese is ordinarily part of a platter whilst the Italian is mainly used in cooking.
However, manufacturers have tried to get camembert off the platters and into the dish with new packaging, recipes and more organic offers. But so far it is all in vain.