Eggo waffle shortage could create a sticky situation

Flooding and mechanical problems have stalled some of Kellogg's Eggo plants.
Flooding and mechanical problems have stalled some of Kellogg's Eggo plants. (Petula L. Dvorak/the Washington Post)
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By Petula Dvorak
Friday, December 4, 2009

There is a crisis in the frozen-food aisles of America.

After many miles and lots of bad impulse buys in the freezer section, I confirmed it.

In eight grocery stores across Maryland, Virginia and the District, I found warnings of a dire situation and a tough year ahead. Signs taped to the freezer doors warn of a "shortage" and allude to a "situation." A Giant supermarket in Rockville said it best in two, purple-markered words written next to a column of empty shelves: "Eggo problem."

Because of a flood in the Kellogs's bakery in Atlanta and ongoing repairs at their Tennessee waffle factory, Eggo waffles will be out of production until sometime next year, the company announced recently.

So of course, America reacts appropriately: A case of Eggos is going for $60 on eBay.

A Facebook page has folks posting eulogies to the American toaster breakfast, and wafflers trade their tales of woe.

"OH MY GODDD!!!!!!!! EGGO WAFFLES ARE GOING TO HAVE A SHORTAGE UNTIL MID 2010!!!!! I am gonna go CRAZY if I don't get my waffles!!!" one wrote.

They are issuing reports on waffle conditions across the nation: "We already cannot get HOMESTYLE in MD" and "pelham nh hannaford has nutrigrain and homestyle eggos only."

One of my colleagues, a father of two from McLean, is worried about how his children will react when he serves up the generic waffles he was forced to buy. He has asked to remain anonymous because of domestic security issues should his offspring realize the depth of his deception.

And he is treading into this territory slowly: "I went with Aunt Jemima frozen pancakes. . . . Not a big hit," he reported yesterday.

I've tried not to let my kids get hooked on a freezer breakfast habit. I'll admit, however, that my boys adore the Eggos that are shaped like Legos. They don't really stack like Legos, unless the syrup holds them together. And that's the kind of mess that can bring on tears (mine) during the get-to-school-and-work rush.

But every so often, when I'm feeling the need for some extra Mommy points, I'll buy them and let my boys believe that I've done something monstrously cool.


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