Cream cheese shortage creates stress for NJ cheesecake makers
The Great Cream Cheese Shortage will not get in the hold up the delivery of New Jersey bakers Junior's Cheesecakes or Maddalena's in time for the holidays.
Junior's, the Brooklyn born cheesecake baker that makes its treats in Burlington Township, had to shut down production for two days after their supply of Philadelphia brand cream cheese ran low, according to Alan Rosen, third-generation owner of Junior's
"So far we are getting by. We are fulfilling our orders. Last week we missed two days of production and this past week we missed Thursday but we made it up on Sunday," Alan Rosen told New Jersey 101.5.
Rosen said that while you can have a bagel without cream cheese, it is the central ingredient in Junior's cheesecakes
"You cannot have cheesecake without cream cheese — 85% of what we put in our cheesecake is cream cheese," Rosen said. "Cream cheese, fresh eggs, sugar, heavy cream, a touch of vanilla."
Rosen said the company has used Philadelphia brand cream cheese since it first opened in 1950.
'People are eating more comfort food, they're having more cheesecake, people are baking more at home'
Other cheesecake supply chain issues
Cream cheese is one of many products affected by the supply chain shortage created by the pandemic and a pickup in the economy.
"There's a labor shortage at the plant and number two usage is way up, ours included. Our business is probably up 43% year to date on the cheesecake side. People are eating more comfort food, they're having more cheesecake, people are baking more at home," Rosen said.
Rosen is confident Junior's will be able to fulfill their holiday orders. The deadline to order for delivery in time for Christmas is Monday, Dec. 20.
Other ingredients used by Junior's like chocolate and fruit have not been in short supply but packaging is another matter.
"Earlier in the year we had issues with packaging supplies like corrugated boxes and plastics but right now that is leveling off," Rosen said.
Rosen said Phialdelphia'a manufacturer, Kraft, thinks the cream cheese shortage will level off in the next two or three months as the holiday demand dies down.
Smaller baker, same problem
Janet Maddalena, the co-owner of Maddalena's Cheese Cake and Catering in the Ringoes section of East Amwell, while a smaller company is having similar supply issues as Junior's. She anticipated the shortage and ordered early.
"We ordered ahead as far as we can so we don't get caught at the last minute," Maddalena said. "We placed an order three months ago and asked them to plan on us for a pallet a week,"
There was also slow delivery of boxes that make Maddalena nervous but everything was received at the last minute.
"Things have gone up, things have slowed down. We tried to anticipate shortages this year and fortunately it's worked out to our advantage," Maddalena said.