A Cream Cheese Shortage Has Struck New York City Bagel Shops

The shortage is just the latest consequence of the nationwide supply chain crisis.


Argue all you want over New York versus Chicago pizza, but don't even attempt to slander the great name of the NYC bagel. It is an unmatched delicacy that—while try as other places might—will never fall rank to another city. That is, of course, if they can survive the current crisis: A cream cheese shortage.

According to the New York Times, bagel shops across the Big Apple are tapped out on cream cheese, with famous places like Absolute Bagels left with only five days worth of the stuff. NYC bagel shops can go through thousands of pounds of cream cheese in a few weeks, the outlet reports.

"This is bad. This is very bad," Pick-a-Bagel manager Pedro Aguilar told the New York Times Friday, noting that the chain only had enough cream cheese to get them through Monday. 

Meanwhile, Brooklyn-based F&H Diaries owner Joseph Yemma said this is the first shortage he's experienced in his three decades at the bagel shop. "There's no end in sight," he added. 

The shortage marks just the latest consequence of the country's continued supply chain woes. Kraft Heinz, the producer of those massive cream cheese pallets used in many bagel shops, gave an overwhelmingly vague response to the crisis. 

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

Since bagel shops use raw, unwhipped cream cheese which they then customize themselves, they can't just head to the nearest supermarket to stock up. In order to keep up with demand, bagel shop owners have resorted to driving out of state for supplies while others have turned to smaller dairy farmers in the interim.

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.