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December 16, 2021

Philadelphia Cream Cheese will pay you $20 to not make cheesecake for Christmas

Supply-chain issues have caused product shortages, so the company is helping 18,000 lucky customers buy other desserts

Food and Drink Cheesecake
Philadelphia cream cheese shortage Richard B. Levine/Sipa USA

Another popular product hard to find during the holidays due to supply chain issues: Philadelphia Cream Cheese, a key ingredient in cheesecake. So brand is encouraging people not to make cheesecakes paying 18,000 lucky schmear lovers up to $20 so they can buy an alternative dessert.

The supply-chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have created a long list of shortages in grocery stores nationwide. One of the most notable products that may be hard to find this holiday season is Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

Instead of pouting, the brand is taking a unique approach to keeping customers happy. The company will pay 18,000 lucky schmear lovers up to $20 to buy a replacement dessert for their Christmas cheesecakes.

However, the offer does involve some legwork on the part of customers.

Kraft is giving out 10,000 vouchers online Friday and another 8,000 on Saturday. To get one, cream-cheese lovers must visit the promotional website starting at noon on either day. One voucher is allowed per household.

Participants will receive a unique link that can be used one-time where they can upload a photo of an itemized receipt of a purchase made between Dec. 17 and Dec. 24 that includes a dessert. The link won't work until Dec. 28 and participants will have until Jan. 4 to upload their receipt.

Despite the name, Philadelphia Cream Cheese – the most popular version of the product in the country – actually has little to do with this city.

The product was created in upstate New York in 1872 and got its name in 1880 as part of a bold new marketing strategy. At the time, it was widely believed the Philadelphia-area produced the best dairy in the nation.

The product's inventor – Alvah Reynolds – was one of the first American entrepreneurs to brand a food product, a practice that's now universal in the industry.

Although Philly can't lay claim to Philadelphia Cream Cheese, residents do have a unique opportunity to learn about a different version of the product: The National Museum of American Jewish History has a collection of old containers from Breakstone's Dairy, another Kraft-Heinz brand which makes Temp-Tee cream cheese. The company was founded by Jewish Lithuanian immigrants Joseph and Isaac Breakstone in 1897.

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