Bega investigates Australia’s cheese lovers

Bega has released a new report that examined over 1000 Aussies and found that 9-in-10 are eating cheese more than twice a week.

Of those surveyed, 40% consume cheese two to four times per week. One quarter of respondents eat cheese three to five times a week, while 15% eat cheese five to seven times per week and 8% eat cheese more than seven times a week.

According to the study, Millennials were found to be among some of the biggest spenders, with more than half of the respondents spending between $10 and $20 every week and 6% spending $20 or more. Boomers came in a close second, with 4-in-10 spending over $10 weekly.

The science behind cheese

As a result of the report findings, and with National Cheese Day on Friday 4 June, Bega has partnered with experts from Deakin University to investigate the science behind cheese and how our sensors respond.

Professor Russell Keast, Head of Deakin’s CASS Food Research Centre, believes one of the reasons why Aussies enjoy eating cheese so much is due to its broad spectrum of intensities and flavours.

“Cheese has a really interesting composition, and this influences how it tastes in your mouth,” he says.

“Whether it crumbles or melts on your tongue is a result of the cheesemaking process. You can condense proteins and calcium, remove water and alter pH, which results in different varieties of cheese – from a soft brie to sharp cheddar.

“Then, you’ve got what’s known as kokumi, which is a relatively new discovery that can be described as richness that enhances tastes. Compounds that elicit kokumi are a result of fermentation and the aging process, which plays a huge role in many cheeses.

“Over the next few years we’ll learn more about how it may help develop the liking of a food and also how it makes us feel after consuming.”

When it came to how cheese makes Aussies feel, over half of the respondents (58%) reported that cheese made them feel content or satisfied, with 19% citing happiness or joyfulness and 18% reporting feeling relaxed or calm.

Interestingly, says Bega, what Aussies loved most about cheese was its texture (34%), including smoothness and crumbliness. This was followed by creaminess (27%), sharpness (24%), saltiness (6%) and smell (3%).

Cheddar came out on top as Australia’s favourite cheese (44%). This was followed by brie (17%), mozzarella (12%), blue (9%), parmesan (8%) and goats (4%).

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