Kraft is trying to make up for the shortage of cream cheese this Christmas season by helping customers purchase or make a replacement for their traditional cheesecake dessert with a $20 giveaway.
Kraft, which owns the Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand, announced today that it will reimburse 18,000 customers $20 for a holiday dessert through its Philadelphia Spread the Feeling offer. Whether you use that refund to buy a store-made dessert or make your own at home is completely up to you.
For a chance to be one of the recipients of the $20 digital reward, visit SpreadTheFeeling.com starting Friday, December 17th, at 12 p.m. ET and sign up for the promotion. There will be 10,000 slots available on Friday, and then 8,000 additional slots will open on Saturday, December 18th, beginning at noon.
Those who are able to reserve a slot will have to submit a store or restaurant receipt dated between December 17th and December 24th with a dessert or dessert ingredient identified to be eligible for the reimbursement.
“This is not an empty shelf, it’s a holiday tradition waiting another year,” Philadelphia Cream Cheese said in a YouTube video about the $20 giveaway. “This year, turn that famous cheesecake into those famous brownies. … Share some cookies, anything that will make you feel anything in that cheesecake-shaped hole in your holiday heart.”
The ongoing supply chain disruption of cream cheese in the market is partly due to a spike in the demand for the key cheesecake ingredient during the pandemic. According to Kraft, with more people baking and eating at home, the demand for cream cheese jumped about 18% in 2020 compared to 2019. And despite the recent reopening of several businesses, the company noted that the demand for the dairy product has stayed at that high level this year.
Like household consumers, several restaurants are also struggling to get enough supply of cream cheese. For instance, Junior’s Cheesecake, which sources its cream cheese from Philadelphia, was recently forced to its cheesecake production at its New Jersey-based facility twice because it didn’t have enough cream cheese. The cream cheese shortage is also hurting the business of many bagel shops in New York City.
To remedy the supply problem, a spokesperson for Kraft told USA Today that the company is maximizing its production to meet the unprecedented demand. The rep for the company said in an email that they are now “shipping 30-35% more product to foodservice partners vs. a year ago.”
Kraft is also investing more funds into the Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand. “As we continue to see elevated and sustained demand, we want to want to ensure that there’s enough cream cheese for bagels, cheesecakes, and everything in-between,” Oguz said in a statement. “We’re excited to share that we’re investing millions of dollars so Philadelphia Cream Cheese will be available to anyone that wants it, wherever they like to shop, for the next 150 years and beyond.”
Oguz also shared that Kraft has temporarily stopped producing “a very limited number” of Philadelphia products so it can dedicate the bulk of its raw materials to the production of its more popular items.