ATLANTA - Dear Kellogg: Leggo my Eggo!
Kellogg Co. says there will be a nationwide shortage of its popular Eggo frozen waffles until next summer because of interruptions in production at two of the four plants that make them.
The company's Atlanta plant was shut down for an undisclosed period by a September storm that dumped historic amounts of rain in the area. Meanwhile, several production lines at its largest bakery in Rossville, Tenn., are closed indefinitely for repairs, company spokeswoman Kris Charles said in an e-mail.
It will take until the middle of 2010 before shelves around the country are stocked at pre-shutdown levels, Charles said.
Already customers are noticing near-empty Eggo shelves on the freezer aisle at many grocery stores.
Stay-at-home mom Joey Resciniti says she bought one of the last two boxes of Eggos at a Walmart in Cranberry Township, Pa., on Monday. The frozen waffles are a favorite of her 4-year-old daughter, Julia.
"We have eight of them, and if we ration those - maybe have half an Eggo in one sitting - then it'll last longer," said Resciniti, who blogs about being a mother. "I told my husband that maybe I need to put them on eBay."
Charles didn't know how long the Atlanta plant was shut down, but said that it's back at full production now.
The existing stock of Eggos will be distributed nationally based on stores' sales histories of the waffles, Charles said.
"We are working around the clock to restore Eggo store inventories to normal levels as quickly as possible," she wrote in the e-mail.
Eggo first hit the shelves in 1960, and its cult following grew in the following years. Kellogg started using the famed slogan "Leggo my Eggo" in 1972. For years, the waffles have been a staple for busy moms and college students looking for a quick breakfast.
This week, news of the shortage spread quickly on Twitter as shoppers reported not being able to find the breakfast food. Fans of Eggos lamented their scarcity on the waffle's Facebook page, which has more than 400 members.
Eggos are also made at plants in San Jose, Calif., and Blue Anchor, N.J.