Parmesan Cheese Prices Expected to Skyrocket This Year

Parmesan is expected to be the next cheese to experience a big price change amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Although cheese prices overall increased by 160 percent over the summer due to supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, parmesan buyers have yet to experience a dramatic shift since the cheese takes around 10 months to age before hitting shelves. 

However, experts told Eat This, Not That that starting in April 2021 prices are expected to skyrocket, and remain high for at least 6 months.  

By April 2021, the price is expected to increase by $1.50-$2.00 per pound, the outlet reported. 


"Back in April 2020, cheesemakers were feeling the enormous loss of retail and foodservice business due to COVID," The Book of Cheese author Liz Thorpe told the outlet.

Due to subsequent changes in the available milk supply, cheese became significantly more expensive to make, with the outlet reporting that the cost of producing parmesan at Wisconsin's Schuman Cheese plant increased by between 40 to 60 percent last year. 

"Younger, fresh, cheeses like mozzarella, cream cheeses, and things like that would have gone up in price pretty much in tandem with these increases nine to 12 months ago," said Schuman Cheese Chief Customer Officer Neil Cox, noting that parmesan produced early last year is just now being shipped to distributors.  

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According to Business Insider, the increase in the demand for cheese over the summer caused the product's price to reach record highs, especially as many of the restaurants that remained open with takeout and delivery were big cheese users.

On June 8, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange saw that a price of a block of cheddar cheese was selling for $2.585 a pound, a 160 percent increase from April.

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Additionally, retail demand for cheese when the pandemic struck went up between 20 to 30 percent as people were forced to stay home and cook, the outlet added.

Until the supply chain is able to get back on track, these high prices might stick around.

"It becomes an issue of, 'If you want this, you're going to have to pay more for it,' " Thorpe told Eat This Not That.

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