High lumber prices have affected cheese and it's weird
August 13, 2021 | 10:18 am CDT
Cheesemaking

The soaring lumber price saga of 2021 will forever live in infamy. We wrote about the topic quite a bit on Woodworking Network - covering the controversy, the speculation on what caused prices to skyrocket, and the effect it had on the woodworking industry.

But one repercussion we haven't yet touched on: How it affected the price of cheese.

Yes, cheese.

Well, many cheesemakers use wooden boxes to ship their cheese, but high lumber prices have made them expensive to produce. So many have switched to barrels instead.

But "barrels" really aren't the barrels one would normally think of - they're more likely "a plastic bag and a corrugated box with multiple dimensions" - Ohio-based cheesemaker Kurt Epprecht told trade publication Hoard's Dairyman. 

These vacuum-sealed "barrels" usually store processed cheese, like Kraft Singles, Velveeta, and Cheese Whiz. 

That has caused a surplus of processed cheese to flood the market, causing prices to drop to a 15-month low.

It's also caused a slight uptick in the prices of unprocessed cheese, according to the Cheese Reporter. 

Epprecht said that companies that use barrels often don't use boxes, and vice versa - as specialization helps companies ensure safety at their facilities. 

This is probably the last time you'll hear about cheese on Woodworking Network.

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About the author
Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at robert.dalheim@woodworkingnetwork.com.