The United States is currently in the midst of a cream cheese shortage, putting many people's dairy-centric holiday menus at risk. If you were planning to make cheesecake for Christmas, Philadelphia Cream Cheese has a proposition for you. Skip the dessert this year and the cream cheese maker will pay you $20, as Today reports.
Instead of baking a cheesecake—which requires four packages of cream cheese, according to the recipe from Philadelphia's owner Kraft Heinz—the brand is encouraging would-be customers to serve cookies, brownies, pies, or any other item that doesn't include their signature product. To receive a reimbursement worth $20, you need to claim one of the limited dessert reservations Philadelphia is offering starting at 12 p.m. EST on December 17 and at the same time on December 18.
After securing your spot, purchase the ingredients for your non-cream cheese dessert between December 17 and December 24 and save the receipts. Using a unique link sent to you by the brand, you can submit your receipts between 9 a.m. EST through 11:59 p.m. EST from December 28 through January 4 to claim your $20 digital reward. The promotion isn't limited to people who bake their holiday desserts from scratch. If you plan on picking up a pre-made item from a restaurant or grocery store, you're still eligible for a reimbursement.
By asking average customers to steer clear of its products, Philadelphia is hoping to conserve some for the businesses that need it most. Supply chain issues, increased demand, and a cyber attack at a major dairy processor in October have added up to an unprecedented cream cheese shortage. Junior's Cheesecake had to pause production for the first time in its 71-year history on December 3, and some New York bagel shops have resorted to hoarding whatever cream cheese they can find. The holidays could put an even tighter squeeze on the industry, and Philadelphia's new reimbursement campaign is its way of getting ahead of the issue.
To learn more about how you can get paid to go cream cheese-free this Christmas, visit SpreadtheFeeling.com. Here are some traditional dessert options if you're looking for holiday baking inspiration.