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14 Popular Cheese Brands, Ranked

Variety of cheese brands
Variety of cheese brands - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

For thousands of years, cheese has found its way into the homes and kitchens of people all over the world. Even though it's unknown exactly how, when, or even why cheese was first crafted (or by whom), cheese is loved by so many people that there are more than a few dozen types of cheese to enjoy. From classic English cheddar to French brie, and Italian romano to Greek feta, your options for indulging in cheese just might be limitless.

But when you're perusing the grocery store shelves and deli section for just the right cheese to go with your dinner or to accompany snacks or dessert, what brand do you reach for? Which brand should you reach for? We decided to rank some popular and mass-produced grocery store cheese brands so you have a better idea of what brand or type of cheese may go best with your recipe. Though we considered a number of qualities — from variety to taste to texture to meltiness and more, we're a big of fan of cheese and really don't think you can go wrong with any of these popular cheese brands.

Read more: 12 Popular Grocery Store Butter Brands, Ranked

14. Publix

Publix cheddar cheese slices
Publix cheddar cheese slices - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Publix ranks high for a number of foods across the board, but cheese just isn't one of them. Disappointing, although not surprising, Publix cheese is fine for a no-frills cheese you might add to other ingredients, but it left a lot to be desired just snacking on it. Still in demand, though, Publix is a popular chain grocery store for cheese since it offers more than a few dozen brands of cheese to choose from. But up against brands such as Kerrygold and Cabot, Publix doesn't deliver the bite of cheese most cheese lovers are looking for.

We chose the regular block of cheddar cheese for this write-up. And as already stated, we weren't fans of eating it as-is. So we shredded the block (which shredded nicely) and added it to an omelet for breakfast and a cheeseburger casserole for dinner. Publix cheese melted well and delivered a rich, cheesy cheddar flavor you typically want in a recipe.

13. Land O'Lakes

Land O'Lakes cheese, casserole
Land O'Lakes cheese, casserole - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

American farmer-owned, Land O'Lakes has been crafting dairy products since 1921. Sourcing from over 1,000 dairy farmers, Land O'Lakes prefers to use family-owned farms where farming is their passion. Perhaps most known for its butter, Land O'Lakes also makes cheese, milk, and cream, and supplies eggs as well. Featuring block cheese that you can request freshly sliced at your deli counter, or prepackaged in slices, shreds, chunks, cracker cuts, cubes, and even snack-ready packets, Land O'Lakes offers a variety, such as cheddar, provolone, colby-jack, mozzarella, Swiss, and more.

This writer grew up eating Land O'Lakes butter and fresh, deli-sliced cheddar. (And hey, Land O'Lakes ranks fairly high for most popular butter brands.) So though we're partial to the brand, the cheese is not as popular as some of the others. Having tried most of the cheese options in the past, we chose the convenient, snack-ready colby-jack pieces for this write-up. And while we weren't that thrilled with eating them as just a snack option, they melted well when added to a casserole.

12. Président

Président feta cheese eggs olives
Président feta cheese eggs olives - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

The No. 1 brand of brie in France, Président was founded in 1933. This popular, award-winning company offers other soft cheeses, such as Camembert, feta cheese, blue cheese, and goat cheese. Focusing on specialty cheeses, Président also makes Comté, a cheese originating in the French Alps that ages for six months. It features a nutty taste reminiscent of hazelnut. Another cheese from France, madrigal is a French version of Swiss cheese that's aged for eight weeks, resulting in a sweet, nutty flavor. And the Spanish manchego is a buttery, nutty cheese made from sheep's milk that's aged anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. The results range from semi-soft to crumbly. Président also makes butter, whipped cream, fondue, and spreads.

Because we were shopping in local grocery stores, we didn't have much option when it came to Président's varied offerings. We chose the popular feta cheese, which was only available as fat free, and picked up some Kalamata black olives to accompany it. Being a fan of pork rinds as well, we created a little snack bar to taste test the feta. We scooped the feta with the pork rinds, and the cheese was tangy and salty but dry since it was lacking fat. Then we drizzled olive oil over the feta to enhance the combination. This made for a tasty, filling snack.

11. Babybel

Babybel cheese bacon cutting board
Babybel cheese bacon cutting board - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Babybel, sometimes referred to as mini Babybel, is a very popular cheese snack that comes in cute, little, wax-covered rounds. A miniature version of the large French cheese wheels, Babybel is inspired by Dutch Edam cheese, which is a somewhat soft white cheese crafted from cow's milk. But there are other Babybel cheese products as well, such as white cheddar, mozzarella, and gouda.

The original Babybel cheese is encased in a red wax that you peel to reveal the soft cheese inside. The wax is to help preserve the cheese for a longer life. But really, how long does cheese stay around when it's in your fridge? We purchased some original mini Babybel cheese rounds, and yep, they didn't last long since they were so convenient to snack on. We enjoyed the soft, mild cheese alongside some bacon. The sweetness of the Babybel went well with the smoky saltiness of the bacon.

10. Sargento

Sargento pepper jack cheese sticks
Sargento pepper jack cheese sticks - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Sargento is another popular cheese brand commonly found in your local grocery store. Similarly to Kraft, Sargento offers a wide variety of types and styles of cheese for the everyday cheese lover. Its cheese items come in slices, shreds, sticks, cubes, and blocks, and are available in styles from cheddar to mozzarella to Swiss. You can even find ricotta cheese and grated parmesan and romano. If you want to experiment with some of the best cheeses for mac and cheese recipes, Sargento features shreds and blocks in cheddar and mozzarella.

Family owned since 1953, Sargento was named after the two founders by combining their last names. Designed to give Americans a taste of Italian cheese in ready-to-go sizes and styles, Sargento has been a go-to cheese for decades. Though we've eaten Sargento many times in the past, for the purposes of this write-up, we purchased the convenient pepper jack snack sticks. The package didn't last long. Delivering a nice hot bite, the cheese sticks were easy to grab and go, simple to unwrap, and made for a filling snack.

9. Aldi Happy Farms

Aldi Happy Farms cheese slices
Aldi Happy Farms cheese slices - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Whether you're looking for the best grilled cheese around or are sticking to a budget and want to make grilled cheese at home, there are options for both. The Aldi brand Happy Farms is another popular choice selection of cheese. The entire deli section of Aldi showcases a number of cheese types and styles, including charcuterie combinations. From your standard cheddar to provolone to pepper jack, Aldi offers slices for your grilled cheese sandwiches, sticks and cubes for snacking, and shreds for cooking.

We've had our share of Aldi Happy Farms cheese in the past, but we picked up some slices of provolone (a favorite), pepper jack, and muenster to try out against the other brands. We took the opportunity to roll the slices in prosciutto (this also happened to be purchased at Aldi) to snack on. Though they resemble most processed cheese slices, and the pepper jack isn't as hot as we'd like, Aldi cheese comes through in a pinch when you're on a tight budget.

8. Kraft

Kraft shredded mozzarella, cheese soup
Kraft shredded mozzarella, cheese soup - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

When you're looking for cheese at your local grocery store, there's a good chance you might reach for the popular brand Kraft. Founder of the iconic, individually wrapped American cheese single, Kraft has the widest variety of cheese types and styles to choose from. Though the processed American cheese Kraft single will always find love from grilled cheese aficionados, Kraft offers cheese lovers a number of other cheesy styles like cuts, chunks, shreds, crumbles, sticks, and grated.

Offering various types of cheese from sharp cheddar to hot habanero, Swiss to provolone, and muenster to havarti, Kraft's cheese selection also includes blue cheese and feta cheese. With so many choices to select for this write-up, we went with a favorite of many: shredded mozzarella. Who doesn't like the mild, creamy, cheesy taste of mozzarella with its melty, stringy goodness? We topped a bowl of beef and egg soup with the mozzarella, and it didn't disappoint.

7. Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel cheese slices prosciutto
Cracker Barrel cheese slices prosciutto - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Cracker Barrel cheese should not be confused with the Cracker Barrel old country store. Though each share a similar name, it's actually two separate entities. The cheese, which is out of Canada and was introduced by Kraft in 1954, came out before the country store opened in 1969. But the term originates from a long-gone tradition in which shoppers would chit-chat while snacking around saltine cracker-filled barrels. These hangouts were seen as a way to connect with others and have a good time.

Cracker Barrel cheese features blocks, slices, cracker cuts, cubes, sticks, shreds, bites, and pairing boards. The blocks feature artisan flavors such as truffle cheddar and dill havarti, as well as mild, sharp, and extra sharp white or yellow cheddar. The varied selection also offers marbled, sharp Vermont, asiago, baby Swiss, and gouda. Shreds include double cheddar, three cheese blend, and mozzarella. We enjoyed some Cracker Barrel sliced havarti rolled up with prosciutto.

6. Collier's

Collier's cheese block, casserole
Collier's cheese block, casserole - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

A good choice for block cheese and founded in South Wales in 2004, Collier's is a cheddar crafted from Welsh milk and then aged for up to 20 months. Featuring a less powerful bite than other extra sharp cheddars, Collier's delivers a slightly sweet and tangy taste. Though the cheese is crumbly like aged cheddar, it's creamy as well. Developed specifically with the traditional diets of Welsh coal miners and the shared moral values of their communities in mind, Collier's offers Welsh and Celtic cheddar blocks, sliced Welsh cheddar, and churned butter.

Collier's cheddar is known for containing crunchy little bits in its cheddar squares. Though you may think they're salt crystals, the little crunchy bits are actually calcium lactate grains that developed through the aging process. We tried Collier's, and it does indeed have crunchy little bits in the block of cheddar that adds to your snacking experience. This writer also created a cheesy, sirloin steak, bacon, and egg casserole to try Collier's in a recipe. The extra mature cheddar was shredded and sliced, and then layered in the casserole. True to a deep cheddar, Collier's added flavorful depth and creaminess, which held up to the strong combo of steak and bacon.

5. Old Croc

Old Croc cheese chocolate pieces
Old Croc cheese chocolate pieces - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Old Croc is a cheese brand popular among the cheese crowd. But it could be easy to overlook if you're not familiar with the brand. If you have never tried it, you're missing out. Straight from Australia, Old Croc is grass-fed cheddar cheese that exhibits bold, sharp flavor, perfect for snacking or combining with other bold flavors, such as those you find in the best chocolate and cheese pairings. Also perfect for displaying on a charcuterie board, Old Croc cheddar elicits a rich, tangy, cheesy taste.

Because the heavy rainfall in Australia results in fertile soil and pastures, dairy cows feed on the best grass that grows, producing high quality milk. This, in turn, creates high-end dairy products like Old Croc cheese blocks, bites, slices, and spreads. Choose from sharp, extra sharp, smoked, or grand reserve for snacking or adding to recipes. We recommend spreading the port wine cheddar or bacon and jalapeño cheddar on either pork rinds or bacon for a crunchy, salty, savory treat.

4. Tillamook

Tillamook cheese selection
Tillamook cheese selection - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Tillamook is a favorite in cheese circles, and it's a popular brand that's been around for over 100 years. Co-op farmer-owned, Tillamook is named for the Oregon valley European settlers discovered, which made for a fine pasture for dairy cows. Though its cheese has nabbed countless awards in state, national, and international competitions in the decades since, the company also makes ice cream, sour cream, yogurt, butter, and cream cheese.

Naturally aging every cheese, Tillamook offers cheese lovers a wide range of cheesy choices, from blocks and baby loaves to shreds, slices, and snacks. The Tillamook farmers' collection includes block cheeses like smoked black pepper white cheddar, spicy habanero jack, hickory smoked cheddar, garlic chili cheddar, and English-style sweet cheddar. The shredded cheese selection features cheddar jack, colby-jack, Italian blend, Italian four cheese, Mexican blend, parmesan, and mozzarella.

When we requested samples, Tillamook was very generous, which gave us the opportunity to test a variety of cheese and styles in a number of recipes. Another solid delivery, Tillamook cheese melts as you would hope and lends the flavor you would expect cheese to.

3. Cabot Creamery

Cabot Creamery cheese varieties
Cabot Creamery cheese varieties - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Cabot Creamery is a farm-owned co-op with award-winning, minimally processed products from hundreds of family farms. Available in blocks, shreds, slices, or cracker cuts, Cabot cheese is a top favorite, especially among Vermonters. Offering a plethora of cheese styles from mild cheddar to extra sharp cheddar, as well as flavored cheese from pepper jack to horseradish cheddar, Cabot Creamery covers your cheesy needs. The company also offers a legacy collection featuring one of our favorites: farmhouse reserve cheddar, which provides a rich, sharp bite of creamy cheddar.

Alpine, another cheddar from the legacy collection, is also a popular favorite -- particularly in the Northeast U.S. It has a sweet but nutty taste, featuring a cross between cheddar, parmesan, and Swiss cultures. We received such a large sample of cheese from Cabot Creamery that we had the opportunity to try it in many forms, flavors, and variations. Having lived in Vermont for a while, this writer admits to having her share of Cabot in the past. Always a solid hit for any recipe that calls for cheese or just for snacking, Cabot Creamery's cheese ranges from sharp and crumbly to sweet and creamy.

2. Kerrygold

Kerrygold cheese block, casserole
Kerrygold cheese block, casserole - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Kerrygold is a popular brand of cheese found in most grocery stores that's imported from Ireland. A favorite go-to for a number of cheese lovers, Kerrygold offers cheese in blocks, slices, and snacks. Choose from options such as aged cheddar, reserve cheddar, Skellig, Blarney, Swiss, and even blue cheese. You can also indulge your taste buds with an aged cheddar with Irish whiskey or a Dubliner cheese with Irish stout.

Made from award-winning, family-run farms, Kerrygold likes to keep to tradition, using dairy farms that have been in the same family for generations. Admittedly this writer's favorite cheese brand, it's also well-loved in the carnivorous community. Contributing a sharp bite of cheddar that's both creamy and dense, Kerrygold can be used in any number of recipes that highlight cheddar cheese, such as casseroles, burgers, omelets, and more. Even if you don't want to cook up a dish, Kerrygold is a great contribution to your charcuterie board.

1. Truly Grass Fed

Truly Grass Fed cheese, casserole
Truly Grass Fed cheese, casserole - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Imported from Ireland, Truly Grass Fed offers a range of dairy products from soft and hard butter to cheese blocks and slices. Sporting a non-GMO verification label, Truly Grass Fed provides its customers with dairy products that are growth hormone and antibiotic free. Cows are fed a 95% grass-fed diet, made up of mostly clover, while living their life outside roaming in green pastures. Originating from Irish family farms that practice regenerative farming, each cow has approximately two acres for grazing. What makes grass fed better? According to Truly Grass Fed's website, compared to cows that are fed grain, those that are grass fed produce nutritionally superior milk.

We tried Truly Grass Fed sharp and aged cheddar, and the attention to quality from raising the cows to the final dairy product shows in the taste and texture. Aside from snacking on the cheese, this writer made a cheeseburger casserole that included both shreds and slices from the aged and sharp cheddar blocks. Understandably popular among those who eat cheese regularly, Truly Grass Fed cheddar provided a rich, hearty flavor and creamy, pleasing texture to the dish.

Methodology

Selection of popular cheese brands
Selection of popular cheese brands - Nicole Adams/Tasting Table

Full disclosure: We love cheese. What makes a cheese brand popular? It can depend on who you talk to, which cheese circles you're in, and what purposes or recipes you want the cheese for. Therefore, it was difficult to rank these brands in any particular order. That said, Tasting Table compiled a list of popular cheese brands by perusing a few grocery stores, asking cheese lovers online, and combing through reviews. I narrowed down the list based on what was available to me and then reached out to the U.S. brands to request samples. Only a few brands (Cabot Creamery, Truly Grass Fed, and Tillamook) responded (and each were incredibly generous).

Cheeses were sampled as-is and then added to a recipe or paired up with other foods. But it wasn't just taste, texture, or flavor we were paying attention to. We also looked at where the cheese comes from, as cheese brands are often popular based on smart farming practices and sourcing.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.