Like to Whip It? Your Holiday Desserts May Look a Bit Bare

Blame 'the Great Whipped Cream Shortage of 2016'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2016 1:09 PM CST
Like to Whip It? Your Holiday Desserts May Look a Bit Bare
Buy it while you can.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

Your favorite whipped desserts might be a little less whipped this holiday. A deadly explosion back in August at a nitrous oxide plant home to North America’s largest producer means the gas used in aerosol toppings is in short supply, reports the Chicago Tribune. Reddi-wip—with $278 million in annual sales—is just one of the products affected, with maker Conagra Brands claiming it won't be producing its usual supply of the whipped topping until February, per the Boston Globe. "It's in stores now, but we're encouraging people to buy it early," a rep says. "There will be a shortage if people buy at the typical levels during the holidays."

It isn't clear what caused two gas tankers and a nitrous oxide holding tank to explode at Airgas' plant in Contonment, Fla., killing a worker. Production is back to normal while an investigation continues, but Airgas is focused on getting nitrous oxide—also a general anesthetic—to medical customers before food manufacturers, reports the Los Angeles Times. That doesn't mean your holiday pies and frothy drinks must go without whipped cream. Popular Science notes it's possible to survive "the Great Whipped Cream Shortage of 2016" simply by making your own using heavy whipping cream and elbow grease. (At least there isn't a toilet paper shortage.)

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