Schmear campaign

A cyberattack laid waste to the U.S. cream cheese economy

“Without it we can’t make a cheesecake. There’s no substitute.”

Alan Rosen, owner of Junior's Cheesecake

And lo, the mountains trembled as the oceans roiled: our supply chain woes have reached the hallowed cream cheese industry, and cyberattacks are partly to blame. Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Wisconsin-based Schreiber Foods, a cheese company rivaling Kraft’s reach, “closed for days in October after hackers compromised its plants and distribution centers.”

“While that may not sound like a long time, the company is big enough that the lost production shook U.S. markets,” the article explains, and there is not a damn thing we can do about it.

The issue has been exacerbated due to the soulless hackers’ seasonal timing. Cream cheese is in peak demand during the holidays, so the additional consumer desire further depleted our dairy reservoirs. “All this together has aggravated the cream cheese situation in the country,” said Franklin Foods CEO Emma Aer. “We just can’t keep up with the demand.”

Please pray for our tired nation.

Simpler times.Shutterstock

A delicate dairy ecosystem — According to Bloomberg, the whole cream cheese industry is a pretty delicate affair, with multiple manufacturing points that can create headaches for the larger market. Starch, used in cream cheese thickening, has already become scarce due to supply chain problems, while packaging materials like cardboard and plastic film have also been hard to find. One of the biggest factors comes from the cheese itself, which must be made and delivered to market fresh — aged cream cheese isn’t exactly a thing, so it’s difficult to store reserves in case of emergency.

The latest cyberattack — Hackers’ breach of our beloved cream cheese culture is only the latest in a long line of cyberattacks in recent months. Back in October, a huge amount of Twitch user data was leaked online, while just last month a hacker used an official FBI email account to spam thousands of people while simultaneously smearing one of their critics. Of course, none of this compares to the current cream cheese debacle... but they still probably bear mentioning.