WASHINGTON — American cheese has been a staple in U.S. kitchens for decades, but Bloomberg reports its fortunes appear to be heading south.
There’s one big reason why: Millennials aren’t interested in buying or eating the processed stuff, preferring instead natural cheeses that taste more distinctive even if they are pricier.
Chains such as Wendy’s, Cracker Barrel and Panera Bread are either ditching American cheese — a champion melter — or at least offering alternatives.
It’s “an ingredient we’re looking to less and less in our pantry,” said Panera executive Sara Burnett of American cheese.
There’s even more evidence in economic stats, including one that notes U.S. sales of processed cheese are on track to dip for the fourth consecutive year.
Prices for American cheese are down, too, and the number of specialty cheesemakers is surging.
A solid 40 percent of US households still buy Kraft Singles, but sales are flat, a company executive tells Bloomberg, whose story traces the cheese’s origins back to World War II.
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