[Caption: I can’t believe it’s not silicone!] [Referring to the bottom.] [The second bottom.]
Remember that Velveeta shortage? If not, here’s NPR from back on January 8:
According to an AdvertisingAge , Velveeta may be a little hard to come by in some areas over the next few weeks.
Ad Age reports that an employee of a Brooklyn, N.Y., area grocery has been told that shipments of Velveeta won’t come until February. And the publication says there are reports about shortages from a few other grocery stores on the East Coast.
A Kraft spokesperson cites high demand as a factor. “It’s … amplified by the fact that this is a key time for the brand,” Jody Moore told Ad Age.
We asked Kraft if it has any plans to get the production chain moving a little faster, and we heard back from Moore, who told us in an email that it is “possible that consumers may not be able to find some Velveeta products on store shelves over the next couple of weeks.”
It always seemed a little too convenient that the “shortage” was set to occur right around the time of the Super Bowl. A cheap way to get your brand in the headlines. Kind of like announcing heavy R&D in doorstep drone delivery erev Cyber Monday.
Though he was on break at the height of the furor, Jon Stewart rightfully called out the media for giving Kraft all that free airtime last night. And since this is the same media that covered the Velveeta shortage, it should come as no surprise that it also reported on what the late-night comedian had to say. Here’s one synopsis of the above clip:
How can anyone get excited about the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII when there is a major food shortage plaguing the country, Jon Stewart wondered on Monday night.
Stewart was referencing rumors of a “Velveeta cheese shortage” being played up by the media. Stewart called out Fox News in particular for its overhyping of the shortage. The network has reported that the lack of Velveeta cheese is “raising big concerns” while another anchor said that “cheese lovers everywhere will be watching NFL playoffs with just plain cheese.”
“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” Stewart yelled.
. . .
“I know what you’re saying, this is not real,” Stewart said. “Are you implying the makers of Velveeta would attempt to pass off as real some sort of blatantly artificial, clearly unnatural, synthetic creation? You sir clearly don’t know Velveeta.”
. . .
“Something about this Velveeta shortage feels a little — what’s the word I’m looking for — bullsh*t,” Stewart said.
Here’s the funny thing, though — turns out it’s not: Yesterday, Kraft announced the recall of 1.77 million pounds of Velveeta “products”. We might have a Super Bowl Velveeta shortage on our hands after all.
And this is where the mystery deepens — if the recall threatening our nation’s Velveeta supply was only announced yesterday, how did Kraft know to alert the media all the way back in early January? Have they been sitting on this information all along and only just decided there was some concern over unlabeled allergens in its product? Or was something more sinister going on?
Time to get all Scooby Doo. The facts were these:
- The synthesizer of Velveeta: Kraft Foods.
- The owner of the New England Patriots: Robert Kraft, CEO of The Kraft Group.
- Outcome of Sunday’s AFC Championship game: Broncos, 26 – Patriots, 16.
- Monday morning announcement: 1.77 million pounds of Velveeta taken off the shelves.
The disappearing act was no coincidence; this was blackmail. You’re familiar with the story: “Hey, lovely Super Bowl party you got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.” Once the NFL refused to hand his team the victory a la SB XL, Kraft had no choice but to follow through on its threat. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those darn Broncos. Now, come February 2, no one will get to have himself a Scoopy Snack.