The days have gotten extremely hot and humid. What a bad time for an egg shortage you say? Well, it is if you are a fan of Rita’s Italian Ice’s frozen custard. Rita’s said they are no longer able to service their frozen custard due to an egg shortage. The cool treat is popular for those who already enjoy their refreshing water ice. And, summer is obviously the company’s biggest season.
As a replacement for the cold treat, The Philadelphia-based company announced on their website they will be replacing their custard with soft-serve ice cream. As supplies run out at its 600-plus stores, Rita’s will sub soft-serve ice cream, which is eggless, a spokeswoman said. The soft-serve has a “similar flavor profile,” CEO Jeff Moody said. “It’s as close as we could get.”
Moody said it was not an issue of cost. Rita’s yolk supplier announced that it would suspend production for now, he said.
The reason behind the shortage stems from an outbreak of avian bird flu affecting the country’s egg-laying hens, making less eggs available nationwide, according to ABC6 News.
Rita’s says all of their signature menu items will still be available during the shortage.
“We will bring back our award-winning Frozen Custard as soon as we know that we have access to a sustainable supply of eggs,” said the company. “In the meantime, we’ll continue offering our soft-serve ice cream so guests can still enjoy their favorite ‘cool treats.’”
Rita’s admitted that there is a “slight difference in taste and texture” between new soft-serve ice cream and the original custard, but promised that the soft-serve “comes pretty darn close.”
As of June, the avian flu had killed up to 47 million egg-laying hens, making it the worst avian flu pandemic in American history. The crisis has sent egg prices skyrocketing; American consumers will spend roughly $ 8 billion more on eggs this year, a 75% increase from last year’s spending, according to Time.
Will this affect whether you go to Rita’s for a treat this summer? Any suggestions for a suitable replacement?