Industry Data

The American artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheese industry has been growing for decades, with more producers venturing into cheesemaking to meet growing consumer demand for unique, local, natural cheeses made using traditional methods.

Key Statistics

  • In 1983, the 1st ACS Conference welcomed 150 attendees. Since that time, the Conference has grown to be the industry’s premier educational event, with approximately 1,400 industry professionals in attendance.
  • The ACS Judging & Competition has grown from just 89 entries in 1985 to over 2,000 entries today.
  • ACS membership now includes more than 1,800 people.
  • Cheese was the top category of specialty food sales in 2015, at more than 4 billion dollars—a 15% increase from 2013, according to the Specialty Food Association.
  • There are 900+ artisan and specialty cheesemakers in the U.S., according to ACS’s inaugural 2016 “State of the U.S. Artisan/Specialty Cheese Industry Survey.”

State of the U.S. Artisan/Specialty Cheese Industry Survey

The biennial State of the U.S. Artisan/Specialty Cheese Industry Survey provides critical data about the small businesses that make up the community of artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheesemakers in America – a community that has been growing for years, with very little real data available to provide greater insight into this market segment. The 2018 State of the U.S. Artisan/Specialty Cheese Industry Survey is underway, with data and key findings to be released in early 2019.

Review the Report of Key Findings from its inaugural 2016 State of the U.S. Artisan/Specialty Cheese Industry Survey