How Big is the U.S. Cheese Stockpile?
As of August 2022, the U.S. had 1.5 billion pounds of cheese in cold storage across the country. That’s around $3.4 billion worth of cheese.
Using data from USDA, this graphic looks at just how big the U.S. cheese stockpile has gotten over the last few years, and compares it to notable landmarks to help put things into perspective.
But before diving into the data, we’ll take a step back to quickly explain why America’s cheese stockpile has gotten so big in the first place.
Why So Much Cheese?
Over the last 30 years, milk production in the U.S. has increased by 50%.
Yet, while milk production has climbed, milk consumption has declined. In 2004, Americans consumed the equivalent of about 0.57 cups of milk per day. By 2018, average milk consumption had dropped to 0.33 cup-equivalents.
In response to this predicament, the U.S. government and dairy companies have been purchasing the extra milk and storing it as cheese for years.
So, where does one store such a large amount of cheese? A sizable portion of the stockpile is stored in a massive underground warehouse (a former limestone quarry) outside of Springfield, Missouri.
The Stockpile Keeps Growing
Apart from a small dip in 2021 during the global pandemic, America’s stockpile of cheese has increased steadily over the last five years:
|Date||Total cheese in cold storage (billion pounds)||Y-o-y change (%)|
|April (Read more…)|