The supply chain crisis all over the country is now impacting traditional New York food item bagels, as the cream cheese shortage continues to worsen. Meanwhile, shopkeepers claim they do not see the shortage going away any time soon.
New York City faces a chronic shortage of cheese cream
While bagels were supposedly invented in Poland, New York City is considered a home for tasty bagels all over the world. However, going into the winter season when the demand for the commodity is usually higher, the shortage is impacting shop owners and hence the consumers.
Our greatest fear is here — we’re running out of schmear. https://t.co/fKjZquEe1y
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 4, 2021
According to the Kraft Heinz Company, the current recipe of the bagel was derived in New York, which comprises only three core ingredients, i.e., pasteurized milk, lactic acid, and cream.
Most of the shops start the process with cream cheese, which makes it the most important ingredient of bagel making. A staffer at the Absolute Bagel, Nick Patta, who has been working for 11 years in the industry, said their supplier is reporting the shortage of cream cheese for the first time he could remember since the start of his career.
Some bagel shops are on the verge of closure, including Absolute Bagel, which said it could only serve its consumers until Thursday. Patta noted he is not sure when the next shipment of cream will come to his store.
Patta also added he decided to contact other suppliers once his main supplier stopped delivering, but still, he is hearing unwanted things regarding the commodity. Absolute Bagle’s employees also portrayed the sense of uncertainty that they do not know what they would do if they failed to find another supplier soon.
Many consumers at the outlet also noted they would stop ordering from Absolute Bagel if they could not get cream cheese on their bagels.
Similarly, Pedro Aguliar, a manager at one of the branches of the Pick-a-Bagel franchise, portrayed his dissatisfaction over the shortage, noting his store could stop supplying bagels as soon as Monday.
The cream cheese shortage will kick off the chain reaction
Shopkeepers noted pallets of bagels are not just filled with Philadelphia cream cheese in its raw form. Thus, once the unprocessed cream comes to bagel shops, they are processed before filling up in the pallet.
Every shop owner has a different recipe to process cream, which distinguishes every brand from others. According to shop owners, they are unable to consume other ingredients that are used to process cream because they cannot get the raw cream in the first place.
This, in turn, is kicking off the crisis for other businesses that could not find markets to sell their products.
Here's how NYC bagel shops are dealing with the cream cheese shortage https://t.co/yU9JHjM8Vw
— Time Out New York (@TimeOutNewYork) December 8, 2021
The owner of F&H Dairies in Brooklyn, Joseph Yemma, noted he never faced a cream shortage in 30 years of his career, further adding he cannot see the problem going away soon.