Matza shortage reported in the US

NY Times cites manufacturing problems, reduced demand and retailers discontinuing product.

Matzah Factory 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Matzah Factory 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A nationwide Matza shortage has befallen the US, the New York Times has reported. Jason Hodges, manager of a Whole Foods grocery store in Florida was quoted as saying that, "it seemed like the whole region had a problem getting [matza]." Having received many inquiries related to the shortage, one grocery store manager lamented, "We heard there was a strike or something. The first shipment we had was a month ago, and we never got another one." The problem has been attributed to a wide array of problems including the decision of some outlets not to carry the product, manufacturing problems at Manischewitz, and nebulous rumors of possible labor issues among matza producers. Large suppliers of Passover products, including Manischewitz and Streit's, were unavailable for comment regarding the shortage and have yet to respond to the situation. It should be noted, however, that the executives were off over the weekend in observance of the holiday. Manischewitz has told the New York Times that complications with a new hi-tech oven system in its New Jersey plant were responsible for the decision to pull its popular "Tam Tam" Passover crackers this year as well. Costco representative, Bob Nelson said in response to many of his company's stores having chosen not to carry the item that "it's not a huge item for us." Trader Joe's - a natural and gourmet specialty foods store - opted not to sell matza at all this holiday season.