The inhabitants of traditional cheese producing countries, e.g. Holland, Denmark and Switzerland, are not quite as dedicated cheese eaters as many would imagine. According to a recent survey by the Danish Dairy Board, the Dutch and the Danes averaged 16.6 kg and 16.4 kg respectively in 1998. In both cases this is below the European average of 17.4 kg.
Renowned for its cheese and cheese dishes, Switzerland, too, falls below the European average. The Swiss consume an average of 15.5 kg cheese per year.
Topping the list is Greece with a consumption of no less than 23.8 kg per inhabitant per year followed by France with 23.6 kg per year.
The statistics also show that Arla Foods' largest export market for cheese, Germany, has a high average consumption, 20.5 kg per inhabitant. At the other end of the scale, with 9.7 kg, the British are among Europe's most reluctant cheese eaters.
Although Japan is one of Arla Foods' important cheese markets, the average consumption of Japanese consumers is as low as 1.6 kg per year. Fortunately, there are a great many of them.