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In 2009, U.S. cheese availability (a proxy for consumption) stood at 32.8 pounds per person. Mozzarella edged out cheddar as America’s favorite cheese, with the two cheeses together accounting for 63 percent of cheese availability in 2009. Per capita cheese availability has almost tripled since 1970, when it was 11.4 pounds per person. Cheese owes much of its growth to the spread of Italian and Mexican eateries in the U.S. and to innovative, convenient packaging, such as shredded cheese for recipes and string cheese for lunch boxes.