Cream Cheese: Bagel-loving New Yorkers face supply chain nightmare

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One of New York’s biggest companies has developed a disturbing hole: bagels.

Bagel store owners are facing a shortage of cream cheese, according to the New York Times, a culinary calamity that could change the way tens of thousands of New Yorkers start their day.

“It’s bad,” Pedro Aguilar, manager of Pick-a-Bagel, told the newspaper. ” It is very bad. “

On Friday afternoon, Pick-a-Bagel predicted its supply of schmear would only last until Monday.

Zabar’s, a delicatessen on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, only had enough cream cheese to last 10 days.

“Begging is one of my plans, which I did, and it helped me,” said Scott Goldshine, CEO of Zabar.

Goldshine said he recently contacted eight distributors, to no avail.

“If anyone has it,” he said of the edible creamer, “give me a call. “

The cream cheese crisis comes amid supply chain issues that have rocked the United States throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, disrupting the availability of items ranging from home appliances to clothing.

Some New York City bagel stores have also reported problems finding sandwich meats, including ham and beef tongue, the Times said.

Many bagel stores in New York City use Philadelphia-branded cream cheese as their base – made by food conglomerate Kraft Heinz. Unlike Philadelphia available to most retail consumers, it is sold “unprocessed and not whipped,” allowing stores to add their own flavors, the Times said.

But in recent weeks, the companies that supply bagel stores have said, manufacturer orders have not kept up with demand, putting bagel’s most beloved filling at risk, the ring-shaped bread synonymous with New York.

“I’ve never been out of cream cheese for 30 years,” Joseph Yemma, owner of F&H Dairies, which distributes products to many New York bagel stores, told The Times. “There is no end in sight. “

Kraft-Heinz said there has been an increase in demand and that it has increased its shipments by 35%.

“We continue to see high and sustained demand in a number of categories where we compete,” the company said. “As more and more people continue to have breakfast at home and use cream cheese as an ingredient in easy desserts, we expect this trend to continue. “

Frank Mattera, one of the owners of Bagelsmith in Brooklyn, was among the owners chasing cream cheese in other states. He told The Times he plans to pick up 2,000 pounds in neighboring New Jersey.

“I’m going to jump in my truck and drive up north to Jersey and pick it up, but I usually wouldn’t have to go that far,” said Mattera. “You make a phone call and it’s dropped off for you. “

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