Cookies in Short Supply This Season, Milano-Maker Campbell Warns

A U.S. cookie shortage could leave Santa’s plate bare.

Campbell Soup Co., the maker of Pepperidge Farm cookies, warned it’s working through “supply constraints” in its cookie division, which makes familiar packaged varieties like Milano and Chessmen.

A combination of labor shortages due to Covid-19 and elevated demand as people stay home are driving the cookie-sector “challenge,” Campbell’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Clouse said on an earnings call Wednesday.

Food makers are no stranger to shortages this year, with Campbell already beefing up soup and Goldfish production to meet elevated demand. But it’s harder to ramp up production of cookies like its Bordeaux or Linzer shapes, since it doesn’t use third-party manufacturers to make them.

Cookies in Short Supply This Season, Milano-Maker Campbell Warns

“This portfolio is unique with proprietary recipes, and therefore we do not outsource production,” Campbell said in a statement to Bloomberg News. “We’ve prioritized increasing supply and are already leveraging capacity opportunities across the network to meet increases in demand and maximize availability.”

The supply constraints are hitting at the same time demand skyrockets. Pepperidge Farm cookie demand was up 8.7% in the 13 week period ending on Nov. 1, Campbell said, calling consumption “sustained and very strong.”

Cookie demand in the U.S. has surged by 25% during Covid, with one in five Americans consuming more than three cookies per day, according a report by Top Data, a data analytics agency. About one third of Americans eat between 24 and 48 cookies a month, with nearly 40% eating more than that.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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