Skip the Cheesecake This Year and Philadelphia Cream Cheese Will Give You $20

The $20 offer is open to the first 18,000 people who agree to buy another holiday dessert instead.

Unless you've been living in some sort of blissful haze, you've inevitably noticed that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a laundry list of shortages, with some grocery stores limiting the number of certain items customers can purchase or even covering empty shelves with photos of food.

Last week, bagel-loving New Yorkers found themselves lamenting a cream cheese shortage, though the issue went beyond those in need of a shmear. For instance, the bulk of cheesecake is also made from cream cheese, meaning the dessert could potentially be in short supply this holiday season.

So Philadelphia Cream Cheese — which beyond being the most recognizable grocery store brand also supplies cream cheese to plenty of restaurants and bakeries — has come up with a novel approach to assure there's enough cream cheese to go around for those who absolutely, really need it: Pay people to not make cheesecake.

Slice of classic cheesecake on a white dessert plate
Getty Images

"Unprecedented demand has left cream cheese shelves in grocery stores noticeably empty as people continue to use cream cheese as an ingredient in easy desserts and recipes — and at breakfast time," an announcement from Philadelphia stated. "So, buy any dessert — cookies, brownies, cupcakes — and Philadelphia will reimburse the cost to replace your homemade cheesecake up to $20."

Of course, terms and conditions apply: Interested parties have to head to starting at noon ET on either December 17 or December 18 to reserve a spot to claim their digital reward. These spots will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis with 10,000 spots being given out on the 17th and another 8,000 on the 18th.

Once that's locked in, customers will receive "a unique one-time use link." From there, buy any dessert — either in a store or restaurant '— and make sure to get an itemized receipt, naming where it was purchased, and dated from December 17 to December 24. Then, finally, from December 28 until January 4, the unique link can be used to receive a $20 digital reward — and, according to the official rules, that's "no matter if you spend $10 or $40" on your dessert. The deal is limited to one per household.

"For the past 150 years, Philadelphia cream cheese has been a staple in American households, especially around the holidays," Basak Oguz, marketing director for Philadelphia, stated. "As we continue to see elevated and sustained demand, we want to want to ensure that there's enough cream cheese for bagels, cheesecakes, and everything in-between. We're excited to share that we're investing millions of dollars so Philadelphia cream cheese will be available to anyone that wants it, wherever they like to shop, for the next 150 years and beyond."

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