When we think of theft, we may think of diamonds, or watches, or cars… but it seems that, according to a large-scale survey¹ carried out by the UK’s Center for Retail Research in 2011, it is actually cheese that “takes the biscuit”. 😉
Apparently, cheese shoplifting has become more and more common over the last few years (e.g. see here). According to Professor Lorraine Gamman, Director of the Design Against Crime Research Centre, cited in a 2012 Guardian article, cheese conforms to the criminological classification of CRAVED items (Concealable, Removable, Available, Valuable, Enjoyable and Disposable).²
It does not only involve “shrinkage” however, but major crime. Recent reports worldwide include: Time on Operation Wine and Cheese, a sting operation in Italy to apprehend thieves of 168 wheels of Parmesan; NBC on cheese pirates who hijacked a truckload of 20,000 pounds of cheese in Wisconsin; not to mention cheese burglars in rural France.
¹Global Retail Theft Barometer (2011, 5th edition), Centre for Retail Research, Nottingham, UK.
² Sutton, M. (2010). Product design: concealable, removable, available, valuable, enjoyable, and disposable (craved), and value, inertia, visibility, and access (viva). In B. S. Fisher & S. P. Lab (Eds.), Encyclopedia of victimology and crime prevention (pp. 673-676). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. doi: 10.4135/9781412979993.n225.