The Real Reason You Might Have Trouble Finding Your Favorite Cheese At Costco

Costco: that magical, magical place where 2019 brides-to-be bought their five-tiered wedding cakes, crafted entirely out of cheese: Red Leicester, Danish Blue, Murcia al Vino, Tuscan Sheep's Cheese, and Brillat Savarin Triple Cream Brie (via Today). Costco: where you can buy to this day, if your heart and pocketbook desires, a 50-pound wheel of Pecorino Roman Argitoni cheese for the modicum price of $329.99 (via Costco). Costco: the vendor of a delicious English cheese with a sexy, lumberjack appeal, going by the name of "Coast Rugged Mature Cheddar" that Reddit says you, "can't live without."

Costco: a grocery store whose once glorious cheese aisles may soon look a lot emptier than you're accustomed to, and that's not because we've lost our taste for the dairy product – quite the opposite. As of 2020, Dairy Industry International reported that the United States consumes 24 percent of all cheese eaten globally, assuming it's really possible to measure such things. And the International Dairy Foods Associations' data suggests our per capita demand for the dairy product will only keep climbing. If Costco doesn't work something out, soon, we'll have to search somewhere else to satiate our needs. 

Why Costco is having trouble stocking its cheese shelves

Costco is trying to deliver its cheese to your supermarket shelves. But, says CNN, minutes from the company's recent call with analysts suggest that the company is having a hard time with logistics. What, exactly, is holding your favorite Costco cheese up? "Overseas freight has continued to be an issue in regards to container shortage and port delays," Richard Galanti, Costco chief financial officer, said on the call. 

You can blame container shortages, COVID-19 lockdowns, and increased consumer demand for everything we use at home, including food products. Jon Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation told CNN that US ports not only have more shipments coming in, but due to COVID-19, port workers are falling ill at higher rates. That means that fewer workers are available to handle higher volumes of shipments.

Galanti hopes that Costco's shipment complications will resolve themselves in "the coming months." Until then, you may be limited to buying cheeses that don't require overseas transportation to make it onto your supermarket shelves. We hear Vermont makes a lovely cheddar. They even top their apple pies with it.