There’s a cream cheese crisis — and bagel shop owners are panicking

There’s a cream cheese shortage, and bagel shop owners are struggling to find supply.

Supply chain issues have claimed a new victim — breakfast.

Bagel shop owners from New York City to the Carolinas are struggling to find cream cheese and fear the supply shortage could continue leaving bagels high and dry, per The New York Times.

So where’s the schmear?

Many bagel shops use Kraft Heinz’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese as a base for their own in-shop flavors, ordering supply in bulk that gets delivered on massive pallets.

Kraft has experienced a spike in demand, resulting in a 35% jump in what they’ve shipped to customers this year — diminishing the company’s inventory and leading to empty pallets.

But it’s not just Kraft — shop owners report struggles with other suppliers, caused by a flurry of shortages, including:

  • Labor shortages at factories
  • The national truck driver shortage
  • A shortage of packaging supplies

So what’s a shop owner to do?

The raw cream cheese that bagel shop owners purchase is unwhipped and unprocessed, which means they can’t just raid the shelves of local grocery stores.

While some shop owners make do with lighter orders or lower-quality products, others have considered raising prices, temporarily removing less popular flavors, and putting limits on orders.

Some New Yorkers have even gone as far as making the trek to *gasp* — New Jersey — to replenish their stash.

Bagels are only the beginning

While bagel shops are feeling the shortage most acutely, many bakeries use cream cheese for cheesecakes and other holiday-themed desserts.

Given the uncertainty of supply going forward, it might make sense to stock up now — lest you end up with dry bagels for New Year’s brunch.

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