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Cheese is the most stolen food in the world, according to a new market research.

The UK's Center for Retail Research has found that the cheese and meat aisles are popular stops for thieves in grocery stores around the world with retailers reporting four per cent theft in cheese every year.

The 2011 study traces retail theft in 43 countries across more than 250,000 stores and reports that retailers suffered millions of dollars of losses in food products.

"The biggest threats for retailers are employees and shoplifters. It's not just grannies saying, I need some cheese I'll just go and steal it. A lot of the theft is for resale and a lot of this cheese will be resold into other markets or to restaurants," Dr Joshua Bamfield, Director of the Center for Retail Research told The Huffington Post.

Other foods to make the most-stolen list include fresh meat, chocolate, alcohol, seafood and infant formula.

According to the report, the annual amount of stolen retail goods has increased by 6.6 per cent since June 2010 and the theft has added an extra $200 to the global average family grocery shopping bill.