World Championship Cheese Contest Boasts 3,302 Entries

Global dairy product entries for the 35th biennial World Championship Cheese Contest has reached 3,302 cheeses, butters, yogurts and dairy ingredients, according to event host Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA). 

“In the U.S. and around the world, the Contest’s gold medal seal on the labels of award-winning products drives consumer purchases and boosts sales,” said WCMA Contest Director Kirsten Strohmenger. “Our Contest offers entrants the chance at a coveted title, as well as valuable impartial technical feedback from a team of internationally renowned judges.” 

More than 400 dairy manufacturers from 25 countries and 32 American states submitted entries to vie for the coveted title of World Champion. 

Countries represented in the World Championship Cheese Contest include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, and United Kingdom.   

American dairy manufacturers entered in the competition hail from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

“It’s a truly global competition, with the best makers entering their best products – so a win at our Contest means the world,” said Strohmenger. 

On March 5 and 6 at Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin, dairy processing experts from all over the world will carefully evaluate each Contest entry, considering products’ flavor, body, texture, salt, color, finish, and packaging. These Preliminary rounds of judging will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (CT). Gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded to the three highest-scoring entries in each of this year’s 142 distinct classes. 

On March 7, the gold-medal cheeses will be evaluated again by the entire panel of international judges to determine a single World Champion.  Cheese lovers everywhere can watch the announcement of the World Champion Cheese live online at and on Facebook at 2:00 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, March 7. 

Hosted biennially by WCMA since 1957, the World Championship Cheese Contest is the world’s premier cheese, butter, yogurt, and dry dairy ingredient competition.