The Great Matzah Shortage of 2008
This week I received a couple of interesting phone calls/emails from various friends who complained that they have run out of matzah. It surprised me as more often than not I hear stories about families that have too much matzah.
Well it seems that there might be more to the story than I realized. I just stumbled across a story on the New York Times about this very topic.
“The reasons behind the matzo shortage range from manufacturing problems, decisions by some stores not to carry the product this Passover and vague talk of a possible work stoppage.
â€œIt seemed like the whole region had a problem getting it in,â€ said Jason Hodges, a supervisor in the grocery department at a Whole Foods in Miami. A person who answered the phone at a ShopRite in Philadelphia said stores there were sold out, as was the Food Emporium in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., in Westchester County.
â€œWe heard there was a strike or something,â€ said the Food Emporium manager, Frantz Baptiste. â€œThe first shipment we had was a month ago, and we never got another one.â€
Phone calls and e-mail messages to the largest suppliers of unleavened bread products, Streitâ€™s, Manischewitz and Yehuda, brought no response on Monday, possibly because executives were off for Passover, which began Saturday night.
But Manischewitz officials have said that problems with a new state-of-the-art oven in its only New Jersey plant caused it to scrap this Passoverâ€™s supply of Tam Tam crackers, its little six-sided matzo morsels, as well as some less popular matzo varieties.
Trader Joeâ€™s stores opted not to sell Passover matzo this year, as did some Costco stores. â€œItâ€™s not a huge item for us,â€ said a Costco spokesman, Bob Nelson.”