A selection of cheeses on a cheese board
Why Cheese Is Stolen More Often Than Any Other Food
Cheese was dubbed the "most stolen food on Earth" by Time magazine in 2011. From shoplifting to large-scale heists, cheese theft is a serious issue in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
The appeal is obvious, as cheese is expensive, delicious, and easy to hide. Shoplifting reports increased by over 60 percent in New York City and Los Angeles from 2019 to 2023.
Some supermarkets have been tackling the issue by adding security tags to cheese, although such measures wouldn’t have done much to deter the perpetrators of massive cheese thefts.
For example, in Wisconsin in 2016, heisters stole a truck containing $46,000 worth of cheese. In 2023 in the United Kingdom, cheese valued at £50,000 was stolen from a trailer.
In Italy, Parmigiano Reggiano is considered valuable enough to be stored in bank vaults and recognized as collateral for loans. Millions of dollars' worth is stolen annually.