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Not a stunt: Kraft confirms Velveeta shortage

by Ben Popken /  / Updated 
Velveeta box and loaf.
Kraft Foods, the maker of Velveeta, says there is a shortage of the cheese product in some areas.Scott Olson / Getty Images

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It's not a cheesy gimmick. There really is a shortage of Velveeta, and thanks to corporate streamlining and increased seasonal demand, you might not be able to get some kinds until after the Super Bowl.

In two memos from earlier this fall received by NBC News from sources in the wholesale grocery industry, Kraft warned customers to expect limited supplies of Velveeta in the coming months. 

"We have recently moved our Velveeta production lines from one Plant to another Plant this summer," read one. "During this transition we have run into production challenges." 

One of the memos, dated early October, said the 8 oz. Velveeta loaf would be unavailable October 10th through December 28th, 2013, and have limited availability December 29th, 2013 through January 11th, 2014.

Another memo from December detailed limited availability for 16 oz. varieties until February 23rd, 2014. The memos were provided on the condition that the sources not be named as they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Those dates are well after the big game. During that time, and the playoffs leading up to it, the processed cheese product is a popular base for dips. Affected consumers can pursue alternate recipes.

Kraft confirmed the authenticity of the memos.

"We informed our retail customers a few months ago about the supply challenges and we’ve been working hard to adjust distribution accordingly," said Kraft spokeswoman Jody Moore. 

In October 2012, Kraft announced it was moving Velveeta production lines out of a factory in New Ulm, M.N. and consolidating them in Champaign, Ill. to increase efficiency.

Contact Ben Popken at ben.popken@nbcuni.com, @bpopken, or benpopkenwrites.com.

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