The Great Grape-Nuts Shortage Is Coming to an End
The beloved cereal has been absent from some store shelves due to its very specific production process.
The sudden shifts in consumer buying habits and supply chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to shortages of a slew of products. The reasons vary: Some items, like yeast, simply saw massive surges in demand; other products, like Marmite, saw reduced availability of key ingredients. For Coca-Cola, an aluminum shortage even left the soda giant with the tough choice of choosing which products to keep and which products to cut back on, leading to a Caffeine Free Coke shortage.
For Post, the cereal maker is apparently facing pressure from multiple sides, and as a result, we're currently in the midst of a shortage of one of their most oddly beloved products: Grape-Nuts.
The pandemic has driven up sales of packaged goods like cereal as people hunkering down at home search for simple meals. Then add the previously mentioned supply chain issues, and the results have been troublesome for the breakfast in the abnormally small box. "People may continue to see shortages and temporary out-of-stocks on Grape-Nuts as we continue to work through supply constraints and higher cereal demand amid the pandemic," Kristin DeRock, Grape-Nuts brand manager, told USA Today.
But don't have total panic attack: She also stressed that Post has "absolutely no plans to discontinue Grape-Nuts cereal."
Part of the reason Grape-Nuts has a cult following to begin with is that the delightfully teeth-testing little nuggets are unlike other cereals. In this case, however, their individualism also appears to be part of their downfall: DeRock said that Grape-Nuts use "proprietary technology and a production process that isn't easily replicated, which has made it more difficult to shift production to meet demand during this time." In plain English, you can't just whip up a box of Grape-Nuts in your garage; the stars need to be aligned to nail this cereal.
And though official news of the shortage has only hit the media this week, customers have reportedly known about it for months, with communities on social sites like Reddit and Facebook discussing how boxes have been harder to come by since the fall. Third-party sellers have noticed too, with stashes of the cereal being reportedly be listed for as much as over $100.
However, relief is on the horizon. According to DeRock, Grape-Nut Flakes should be returning to store shelves now while the beloved original Grape Nuts cereal should be "fully back on store shelves" this spring.