We could be facing a Cream Cheese Shortage

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen no shortage of shortages. Halloween came with a pumpkin shortage. Thanksgiving had a turkey shortage. And good luck drinking away your sorrows: Both the beer and wine industry are dealing with shortages, too. At a time when literal maple syrup reserves are being tapped, even oddly specific items are not exempt from being in short supply — so it’s actually not surprising at all that New York City is facing a cream cheese shortage.

Now, The New York Times reports that institutions are struggling due to supply chain issues:  Bagel shops across the city told the paper that they can’t find enough cream cheese to keep their products schmeared.

“I’ve never been out of cream cheese for 30 years,” Joseph Yemma, who owns the Brooklyn-based distributor F&H Dairies, told the paper. “There’s no end in sight.”

Another enlightening fact from the report is that many bagel shops actually use the Kraft-owned brand Philadelphia cream cheese as the base for their own spreads, but unlike the rest of us, bagel makers buy raw, unprocessed, and unwhipped version of Kraft’s cheese to work with. Even that is hard to come by.

“We continue to see elevated and sustained demand across a number of categories where we compete,” a Kraft spokesperson was quoted as saying, that shipments were up 35 percent from last year. “As more people continue to eat breakfast at home and use cream cheese as an ingredient in easy desserts, we expect to see this trend continue.”

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