Global Retail Survey Finds Cheese is the Most Stolen Food Item in the World

Posted on October 22, 2011

A study, called the Global Retail Theft Barometer 2011, has found that cheese is the most stolen food item in the world. 1,187 retailers in 43 countries were surveyed by the massive survey conducted by the The Centre For Retail Research.
Shrink varies according to business type, vertical market and country. In 2011, some of the highest average shrink rates were found in apparel/clothing and fashion/accessories (1.87%) followed by cosmetics/perfume/health & beauty/pharmacy (1.79%). Among the highest shrink items was cheese (3.09%). Shrink for health and beauty items such as mascara, eye liner and eye shadow increased globally by 30% to 2,14% and outerwear shrink increased by 15,3% to 2,94%. Meanwhile, footwear shrink increased by 1% to 0.99% globally.
The study found that one of the reasons cheese is a frequent target for thieves is that it comes in "small, mobile formats that make it easy to conceal by thieves." Another reason is that cheese is delicious.

This video, from June 2011, shows women stealing $600 worth of gourmet cheese from an Oregon Whole Foods store. Take a look:

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