In 2014 the average Swiss resident ate 21.37 kilograms of cheese according to recent calculations done by the Swiss Farmers Union. A 1.6% increase on 2013 consumption, this is equivalent to two portions of fondue a week, and weighs more than the heaviest suitcase many airlines will check in for free.
Around half of Swiss milk is turned into more than 450 different cheese varieties. To make 21.37 kilograms of cheese requires around 200 litres of milk, so every forty Swiss residents needs one cow working full time to satisfy their cheese demand. In total this represents 23,000 of Switzerland’s 700,000 cows working at 100% to feed the population’s cheese appetite.
Swiss residents ate mainly Swiss-made cheese, which accounted for 70% of the 2014 total, down from 2008 when it was 76%.
Somewhat surprisingly the Swiss are lightweights when it comes to cheese eating. The website cheeserank.com places Switzerland in only eighth position, well behind the French who top the scale at a whopping 26.3 kilograms of cheese per year, equivalent to one fondue a fortnight more than the Swiss.