Thursday, April 25, 2024

Supply chain issues stall booming G-House market

by TYLER WILSON/Special to The Press
| December 20, 2020 1:00 AM

Hermey Elrond purchased a new construction home on Gumdrop Avenue back in July.

“It’s the most in-demand neighborhood in town. The views of the Northern Lights are spectacular,” Elrond said.

But Elrond hasn’t been able to move in yet. Originally slated for completion in October, his sprawling, 55 sq. ft. gingerbread house should finally be turnkey on Christmas Eve. The key is a candy cane, obviously.

Despite the delays, Elrond remained cheery, and he praised the design and construction team at Kringle Kreations for staying as close to the original schedule as possible. The nearly-complete edible craftsman is full of customized flourishes and decadent treats.

“The Lindor light fixtures are my favorite,” Elrond said.

Kringle Kreations, despite a record year in sales, continues to be disrupted with pandemic supply chain issues. Though all North Pole residents are completely immune to COVID-19, the pandemic has stalled the acquisition of certain building materials, including gingerbread.

“Everybody wants gingerbread, but outbreaks keep popping up at some of these factories outside the region,” said Pollina Arwen, a VP of manufacturing at Kringle Kreations. “We’ve redirected all of our outsourced orders to a supplier in New Zealand, but as you might expect, they’ve been inundated with orders from around the world.”

Other supplies experiencing delays this year include gumdrop buttons, peppermint hard candies and Skittles.

Acquiring Skittles, a popular choice for G-house shingles and gutters, continues to be an issue for Kringle Kreations. Back in October, the Wrigley Co./Mars Inc. mistakenly filled Kringle Kreations’ entire holiday order with the company’s divisive Halloween-themed “Zombie” variety. While a normal order of Zombie Skittles contains mostly delicious fruit flavors, there are sporadic, unmarked individual candies in the bag that taste like “rotted flesh.”

“Look, I love Skittles as much as every other living creature on this planet, but nobody wants that nonsense,” Arwen said. “You’re supposed to be tasting the rainbow, not rancid meat.”

Elrond’s home missed its completion date, in part, because he wanted to wait for a shipment of his preferred Skittle variety — Wild Berry.

“I gave the Zombie Skittles a chance,” Elrond said. “They’re delicious, mostly, but then you encounter one of the Zombie pieces, and it’s like being punched in the mouth with a sack of reindeer droppings.”

When asked for comment, Brian “Bitey” Mcbraindead, the marketing exec at Wrigley Co. in charge of the Zombie Skittles rollout this year, refused to acknowledge any shipping mistakes.

“Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmuurrrrrrrgggggggggg,” he said.

Elrond did eventually get his Wild Berry Skittles, and now he’s making plans to eat Christmas dinner at his brand new home.

“I just hope I don’t eat myself out of the place before New Year’s,” Elrond said.

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