Grape-Nuts Shortage Led to Frenzied Fans Buying Boxes for $100 – Now It’s in Stock and Anyone Who Overpaid Can Get a Refund

Bowl of grapenuts with spoon on white background.
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Grape-Nuts fans, rejoice: The nationwide shortage that kept the breakfast cereal in limited supply during the COVID-19 pandemic is officially over.

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As CNN Business reported on Wednesday, Grape-Nuts is once again fully stocked across the country, according to an announcement from parent company Post Consumer Brands. Post also said it might reimburse Grape-Nuts consumers up to $115 if they overpaid for the iconic cereal during the pandemic.

That should come as a relief to dedicated fans of Grape-Nuts (which famously includes neither grapes nor nuts). Supply-chain problems, coupled with unusually high demand from locked-down consumers, halted production of the cereal during the pandemic. Some fanatics went searching for Grape-Nuts on the secondary market and paid up to $110 per box, Post said.

To win back favor from its customers, Post is offering to reimburse anyone who paid $10 or more for a box of Grape-Nuts between Nov. 1, 2020, and March 15, with partial refunds available up to $115.

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In addition to Grape-Nuts, other popular cereal brands that faced shortages during the pandemic include Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes.

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Meanwhile, another cereal brand – General Mills’ Cinnamon Toast Crunch – has had a very tough week. On Monday, news began circulating that a consumer of the cereal found a shrimp tail in his box.

The consumer, Los Angeles-based comedian and writer Jensen Karp, told The New York Times that “something plopped out of the box” as he was pouring a second bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and that something “was clearly a shrimp tail.”

After Karp tweeted about what he found, General Mills responded that “it appears to be an accumulation of the cinnamon sugar,” and that “there’s no possibility of cross contamination with shrimp.”

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However, Karp stands by his story, and the matter is still being investigated.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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