Winter is in, but delicious Krembos are out

Krembo's stocks in supermarkets are at a dramatically low level, with some stores not offering any of the chocolate-coated marshmallow cream and wafer snacks at all.

Krembo. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
As the first signs of winter start to show after months under the implacable Middle Eastern sun, Israelis, like every year, are rushing to enjoy their favorite cold season treat, the iconic fudge-coated marshmallow cream and wafer snack, otherwise known as Krembo.
However, as reported by Yediot Aharonot, many of them are facing a bitter surprise, as stocks of Krembos in supermarkets are at a dramatically low level, with some stores offering none at all.
The current shortage is not limited to the snack whose name in Hebrew means "cream in it" – many products by the food industry giant Unilever are currently low on shelves, including several types of morning cereals.
"Every year, we experience a shortage of Krembos at the beginning of the season, but the beginning of the season was September and we are in November," a source from a supermarket chain told Ynet.
According to the report, the cereal shortage is partially due to the fact that Unilever is working on new packaging for several products. In spite of looking very similar to the current ones, the new packaging will include a reduced amount of product per unit. As a result, prices will increase by up to 17%.
Moreover, new Israeli legislation, which will go into effect on January 1, requires products that contained a high level of saturated fat, salt or sugar to carry a label that says so.
According to Unilever, the shortage of cereals is attributed to the reduced number of working days during the period of the Jewish holidays – which this year went from the end of September to the end of October – and to the necessity of changing the packaging of the products as required by the new law.
"It's a broad and very complex logistical process," the company stated. "We believe we will be able to catch up in the coming weeks.
"Regarding Krembo, like every year, the demand for Krembos in winter is very high. We are producing it at a fast pace and trying to satisfy it."
In the meantime, Unilever's competitor for the Israelis' favorite snack, Feldman, which produces Manbo, announced they are experiencing no shortages at all and are ready to satisfy consumers.
Whether this will be enough to persuade Israelis to switch from the more iconic brand remains to be seen.