- Schreiber Foods in Wisconsin, which makes cheese slices for most of the top hamburger chains in the US, had to close for days in October after hackers attacked factories and distribution centers.
- Many bakeries and hamburger shops have had to temporarily close due to a shortage of cream cheese.
Schreiber Foods in Wisconsin, which makes cheese slices for most of the top hamburger chains in the US, had to close for days in October after hackers attacked factories and distribution centers. Although the incident was short-lived, it could affect the entire US market.
The attack took place right at the height of the Christmas and New Year seasons, when the demand for cream cheese has increased sharply. Besides, the shortage of labor and the barriers of logistics activities make the shortage of cheese even worse.
Cyberattacks have added to the chaos that has hit the global food supply chain during the pandemic, with inflation pushing prices to a decade high. Hackers have also targeted attacks on meat giant JBS and a grain cooperative in Iowa this year.
It is known that cream cheese is a product susceptible to supply chain problems. According to Andrew Novakovic, an agricultural economist at Cornell University, some producers are having trouble getting their starches, thickeners, as well as packagings like plastic films and cardboard boxes. This has affected the production and distribution of cream cheese.
Cream cheese is a fresh product that cannot be stored for long and does not hold large inventories, while demand for it continues to grow. Schreiber Foods was operating at full capacity at the time of the cyber attack. The company’s October production fell 6.9% from a year ago, according to government data.
Kathy Krenger, a spokeswoman for Kraft Heinz, said that homemade cream cheese consumption was up 18 percent compared to 2019, and foodservice demand in November was up 75 percent year-over-year.
Many bakeries and hamburger shops have had to temporarily close due to a shortage of cream cheese. If the situation does not improve, it is likely that Americans will spend Christmas and New Year without cream cheese or at a more expensive cost than usual. The supply chain crisis during the pandemic has impacted all aspects of life, from the smallest products.
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