If your holiday baking recipe includes cream cheese, you may have to hold off making them this year. Kraft-Heinz, which owns Philadelphia Cream Cheese, started their campaign, Spread the Feeling. The campaign would give $20 vouchers to 18,000-holiday bakers to purchase a replacement dessert. The reason for this campaign is due to a nationwide cream cheese shortage.
People who cannot find cream cheese for their baked goods can redeem their offer this week. Beginning at noon EST on Friday, bakers can go to spreadthefeeling.com to redeem their $20 digital reward. The first 10,000 will be awarded on Friday, with an additional 8,000 awarded Saturday at noon EST.
The fine print details say those who receive a voucher have to submit a store or restaurant receipt between December 17-December 24 with a dessert, or dessert ingredient, identified to qualify. It doesn’t matter if you spend $10 on the item or $40 on it; you’ll be eligible to receive the $20 digital reward.
The demand for Philadelphia cream cheese has increased 18% since 2020. The company said last week, “[We’re] maximizing our production to meet unprecedented demand. We’re shipping 30-35% more product to foodservice partners vs. a year ago.”
Andrew Tobisch, a spokesperson for Schreiber Foods, acknowledged that every cream cheese brand is struggling to keep up with demand. In an email, Tobisch wrote:
“While that demand has been steady, it’s really world events that are the biggest driver. Things like the pandemic, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions are all hurdles that everyone is having to overcome.”
In the marketing video for the promotion, Philadelphia cream cheese shared this message:
“This is not an empty shelf, it’s a holiday tradition waiting another year. 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 brand’s marketing director said that cream cheese has been an American household staple for 150 years. He shared, “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.”
Amidst the shortage, the famed restaurant, Junior’s cheesecake, had to halt production twice because of the lack of cream cheese.