The nation is in the grips of a whipped cream shortage heading into a holiday season that relies heavily on this fluffy topping for pies, hot chocolate, and so much more. Customers around the country are discovering that grocery stores and coffee shops have diminishing stocks of canned whipped cream like Reddi-Wip on account of a widespread shortage of nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide fuels the expulsion of whipped cream from spray cans, but with the substance in short supply following a plant explosion in Florida earlier this year, companies are pausing production. ConAgra reportedly halted the making of its real cream and non-dairy Reddi-Wip products, according to the Purchasing Association of Private Clubs. Reached by phone, ConAgra’s consumer affairs department confirmed the shortage, noting the company is working with its suppliers to find a solution.
Market Basket, a popular grocery chain in New England, posted a memo informing customers there will be a minimal supply of nitrous-fueled whipped cream for more than a week as the nitrous oxide producers look to secure supplies from Europe, according to Universal Hub.
Consumers are feeling the ripple effects and taking to Twitter to lament the absence of their favorite whipped topping:
@Xerone No lie, my whipped cream distributor can't supply us with whipped cream because of a nitrous oxide shortage. I blamed Vin Diesel.— Marty McFly (@McFlyGold) December 12, 2016
Supermarket has sign posted stating due to nationwide shortage of nitrous oxide they are low on whipped cream.— wsmco (@wsmco) December 11, 2016
PSA: there is a shortage of Whipped Cream in the US and Canada. Idk who this affects but I'm sorry for your loss— Kyler Robinson (@Backstage_SVCC) December 10, 2016
@ChicwithShic Unfortunately. There's a nationwide shortage of nitrous oxide, the gas used to propel whipped cream.— The Coffee Bean (@TheCoffeeBean) December 11, 2016
Nitrous oxide shortage causes interruption of supply for aerosol whipped cream. Better break out the whisk, then!— Gordon Brooks (@GordonStories) December 5, 2016
As of now, remaining nitrous oxide supplies are reportedly being reserved for medical purposes only. The substance, also known as “laughing gas,” is commonly used as a sedative in dental procedures.
Whipped cream lovers, do not despair. With a little bit of sugar, some heavy whipping cream, a whisk, and a little elbow grease, you can make your own whipped cream without the help of nitrous oxide.