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The great Eggo waffle shortage of 2009
The toasted treat won't be widely available until mid-2010. Who's to blame?
 

In a tizzy over news that Eggo waffles will be in short supply nationwide through mid-2010, lazy breakfasters have begun hoarding and protesting. "What will America run on?" says Hamilton Nolan at Gawker. "America doesn't run on Dunkin...To remove Eggos from our morning routine...threatens the American Morning." (Watch a local report about customers dealing with an Eggo shortage.) Kelloggs cites factory difficulties to explain the sudden dearth of toaster-ready waffles, but conspiracy theories abound. What's behind the shortage?

Global Warming: This isn't a laughing matter, says the Economist.  "Production problems at key Kellogg facilities…are directly related to the epic flooding that recently plagued the area. That flooding has in turn been linked to a warming climate."
"Food for thought"

Pestilence: Kellogg's Eggo FAQ blames the Atlanta plant's shutdown on heavy rains, "but that's only part of the story," says ABC News' Brian Hartman. The plant shuttered last fall after inspectors found potentially harmful Listeria bacteria in the waffles. The company has confirmed this, but there's still "no mention of Listeria" in Eggo's formal press release.
"Eggo waffle shortage" Bacteria first forced plant closure"

Corporate Ineptitude: The company is "doing damage control…directing the waffle-mad masses to its company hotline," but the uproar would have "dumbfounded" Eggo's small-town founders, says Patrick May at Mercury News. The confluence of events leading to this crisis would never have occurred had Kellogg's not gobbled up the once-efficient company.
"Eggo uproar would have dumbfounded San Jose creator of the popular and now scarce frozen waffle"


Corporate Greed: Again and again, says Addie Broyles at Austin 360, companies have found that there's no better way to sell what they do have than to announce an impending shortage. One way or the other, the "collective freak-out" over the waffle shortage will be good business for Kellogg.
"Canned pumpkin shortage? Don't bet your pie on it"

 

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