Kraft to America’s pastry chefs: Forget the cheesecake this Christmas, and we’ll pay you $20

There’s a cream cheese shortage in the U.S. right now—and Kraft Heinz, owner of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, isn’t about to pass up that sort of marketing opportunity.

The company is offering $20 to up to 18,000 people if they’re unable to find cream cheese and make a holiday cheesecake, it announced in a YouTube video. The money, technically, is a reimbursement that can be used to buy other baked goodies.

Of course, the news was greeted on social media with equal measures curiosity and incredulity.

To qualify, shoppers can sign up at the company’s website starting at noon ET on Friday. The company will open up 10,000 slots that day, and another 8,000 starting at noon Saturday.

If you’re among the lucky ones, you’ll have to submit a store or restaurant receipt for a dessert purchase between Dec. 17 and Dec. 24 before Kraft will hand over the 20 bucks.

“You make it, we’ll buy it,” Kraft said in the video. “Or, get it store bought, pretend you baked it and we’ll buy that too.”

Cream cheese is one of the more unusual items to fall victim to the 2021 supply-chain crisis. Stores have had trouble keeping it in stock as more people bake and eat at home. Even New York’s famed Junior’s Cheesecake has been affected, pausing production at its Burlington, N.J., plant because it didn’t have enough on hand. New York bagel shops are also running low. That too has been all over Twitter.

Kraft says it’s increasing cream cheese production and is currently shipping 30% to 35% more of the coveted spread than it was a year ago, but that’s still not enough to keep up with demand.

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