Just when you think our pandemic, supply chain-ravaged world couldn't get any worse - or stranger - comes this:  Kraft Foods is paying people to not use their Philadelphia cream cheese product this holiday season.  Yes, you read that right, the Kraft Heinz company - which owns the Philadelphia cream cheese brand - is "offering to reimburse thousands of [customers] for each dessert they bake or buy that [doesn't] contain any cream cheese".

Let's back track to figure out how we've gotten to this point.  Early in December, a supposed cream cheese shortage arose on the East Coast, driving many delis and bagel shops to ration the supplies they had.  That meant alternative toppings (or "schmears") for bagels and high prices at bakeries that offered cheesecakes.  Soon, any supply issue that might have been small for the dairy product was made only larger when people and businesses started hoarding it.

To head off the issue, Kraft decided to make light of it and came up with the "Spread The Feeling" promotion.  With it, customers were able to pre-register a spot online for a link that let's them "buy any dessert or dessert ingredient from a store or restaurant between [December 17] and December 24 and use that link to submit their dated receipt for reimbursement by the end of the day on January 4." For their "troubles", Kraft will send a $20 check to them within a month.

Cream Cheese Is Latest Product Coming Up In Short Supply Due To Supply Chain Issues
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Okay, so first things first - I recognize and celebrate a marketing campaign.  While I'm sure Kraft was sincere in their original intent to ease the pain of any supply chain issues for their customers, I also sincerely believe that the marketing minds at the company saw a way to make light of a situation for the promotion of their company.

So here we are - Christmas 2021 - and people are getting paid by a company to not use their products.  This year it's cream cheese.  What's next?

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