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Kraft’s Cream Cheese Shortage Can Win Some Americans $20

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A bagel with cream cheese on a plate and a bite taken out | Kraft’s Cream Cheese Shortage Can Win Some Americans $20 | featured

Food giant Kraft Foods is turning its cream cheese shortage into a marketing opportunity. For a limited time, Kraft will give $20 to lucky Americans who can’t make cheesecake due to the shortage.

The company wants to give the money so people can buy an alternate baked good instead.

RELATED: America Is Facing A Ketchup Shortage

Kraft Will Give Away $20 To Lucky Americans

Photo of Kraft Foods homepage | Cream Cheese

For a few days this Holiday season, Kraft will give away $20 to Americans so they can buy a dessert. Kraft hopes this money can help offset its customers’ frustration of not finding Philadelphia cream cheese on store shelves nationwide.

The promotion’s premise is simple. People who can’t bake cheesecakes because of the cream cheese shortage can get another dessert compliments of Kraft. 

However, the mechanics involve some online registration. Americans who want to join the promo will need to visit a special website created by Kraft, spreadthefeeling.com.

There, hopefuls can sign up for one of 18,000 slots. Kraft will accept 10,000 reservations on Friday, December 17 starting at noon Eastern Time.

Another 8,000 will become available the following day at noon also.  According to the rules, lucky winners of a slot will need to submit a store or restaurant receipt dated between December 17 and Christmas Eve. The receipt should contain a dessert or dessert ingredient identified.

Addressing The Cream Cheese Shortage

The promo is Kraft’s unique way of deflecting the issue brought about by a nationwide cream cheese shortage.

The company wants people to continue thinking of Philadelphia brand cream cheese, but without the negative association brought by the stockout.

Instead, they aim to provide a pleasant alternative by giving out free $20 desserts. According to a Kraft YouTube video, empty shelves only delay the inevitable cheesecake.

“This is not an empty shelf, it’s a holiday tradition waiting another year,” Philadelphia said in the video. “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.” 

At present, cream cheese is one of the hardest food items to spot on grocery store shelves. Demand for the product increased since last year.

Many household members who stayed indoors during lockdowns began making their own desserts. Cheesecake remains one of the easiest baked goods to make.

At the same time, many restaurants are also coming up with cheesecake products, so demand remained steadily high. In fact, cheesecake purchases increased by 18% in 2020 compared to 2019 levels. 

Cream Cheese Is An American Staple For 150 Years

Meanwhile, Philadelphia marketing director Basak Oguz said that Philadelphia cream cheese is an American household staple for over 150 years.

“As we continue to see elevated and sustained demand, we want to ensure that there’s enough cream cheese for bagels, cheesecakes, and everything in-between.

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 said. 

In order to meet demand, Kraft said that they are maximizing their production. “We’re shipping 30-35% more product to foodservice partners vs. a year ago,” a company spokesperson said. Kraft also noted that at-home consumption remained steady at 18% higher vs 2019 levels. 

Bagel Shops and Cheesecake Bakeries Running Out of Cream Cheese

Across the nation, bagel shops and cheesecake bakeries are dealing with the product shortage. In fact, Junior’s Cheesecake, a popular New York brand of dessert, had to stop production due to a lack of its basic ingredient. 

Oguz assured the public that they will continue to seek ways to increase production capacity. “We’re investing millions of dollars on Philadelphia cream cheese,” she said.

In addition, the company also stopped production on other Philadelphia products so it can focus on producing its flagship cream cheese. 

Watch the CBS news video reporting that Kraft Foods will pay $20 to customers who buy desserts other than cheesecake:

Will you join the Philadelphia promotion that will give away $20 dessert vouchers in lieu of a cream cheese shortage?

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