A tragic accident that killed one worker this past August in a Florida chemical plant triggered the explosion of a giant nitrous oxide holding tank, thus bringing the production of more of the gas to a crawl. The Cantonment, Fla. facility—Airgas—is the largest North American producer of the nitrous oxide, which is integral in the production of that fluffy, canned whipped cream that is wildly popular for the holidays.
"Due to an industry-wide supply issue, there is currently a shortage of some whipped toppings, including Reddi-wip," a spokeswoman for Conagra Foods told The Washington Post. The spokeswoman added that a number of other private label whipped toppings were also in short supply.
NBC's "The Today Show" reported Friday morning that some grocery stores and coffee shops were also hanging signs, warning customers of the shortage.
@ChicwithShic Unfortunately. There's a nationwide shortage of nitrous oxide, the gas used to propel whipped cream. 😓— The Coffee Bean (@TheCoffeeBean) December 11, 2016