Bon Appetit Magazine gives Cougar Gold a glowing review

Cougar Gold cheese briefly taken off website due to influx of orders

Cougar+Gold+Cheese+is+made+by+student+workers+at+the+WSU+Creamery.+Cheeses+of+all+flavors+come+in+tins.

COURTESY OF JOHN HAUGEN

Cougar Gold Cheese is made by student workers at the WSU Creamery. Cheeses of all flavors come in tins.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Evergreen reporter

WSU Creamery received a substantial increase in Cougar Gold cheese sales after Bon Appetit Magazine published an article about the cheese on Jan. 14. 

According to the article, the cheese is absolutely incredible. The author wrote that it has a silky, creamy texture to it that is excellent on macaroni and cheese.

“It’s a big publication that people rely on and trust, and the author was very complimentary of Cougar Gold,” said WSU Creamery Manager John Haugen. 

When the article was published, about 24,000 people visited the Cougar Gold website, Haugen said. This is a substantial increase in visitors compared to the amount normally seen this time of year.

The creamery would not have had enough product in stock to ship out if everyone who visited the website made an order, he said.

“We saw about 3,000 orders from that Thursday, when that article came out, through about Tuesday,” he said. 

The creamery received twice as many orders during this time frame, compared to the holiday season, he said. They usually receive 300 to 400 orders a day, but they received over 1,000 orders on Saturday alone. 

The creamery did not expect that many orders, so they were not able to ship the cheese out as they hoped, Haugen said. The creamery will fulfill the rest of the orders later this week. 

“We got to the point where our entire call center basically shut down and the servers went out just because so many people were placing orders for Cougar Gold,” said senior employee Andrew Walker. 

Haugen said the only time he had seen a spike like this was back in 2000 when the “Food Network” came to the creamery and produced a half-hour show on it. 

“Every time they ran that show, we would see a spike in orders,” he said.

In 2000, the internet was not as popular as it is today. This presented challenges for the creamery because they were unsure when the next spike in demand for Cougar Gold would happen, Haugen said. 

The majority of sales in a regular year come from the holidays, Haugen said.

“People start buying it in September to ship in December, because they know we often run out,” he said.

Cougar Gold was removed from the website on Dec. 4 because the cheese was already sold out, he said.

There was a spike in orders this year during student arrival in August, as well as when students were picked up for Thanksgiving, Walker said. 

It is usually students’ parents who purchase the cheese, he said.

“I mean you definitely get students picking it up for their parents, but you can usually tell, no student buys six cans of Cougar Gold for themselves,” Walker said.

According to the article’s author, Jessica Kelly at Bon Appetit, WSU creamery has gained another Cougar cult member.