Grape-Nuts shortage over, brand offers to pay back those who overpaid for cereal
At long last, Post's Grape-Nuts are back in stock nationwide. The pandemic had shunted production and caused a shortage.
Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press
A global shortage of semiconductor chips, driven by limited supply and skyrocketing demand, is hitting not only the electronics industry but automakers as well. As cars have evolved to include more electronic features, they’ve relied on more semiconductor chips to produce. Demand for new vehicles has bounced back quickly from pandemic lows in early 2020, and the ongoing shortage could trickle down to consumers. Experts have said it could become more difficult for car buyers to find specific models or colors.
2020 was the biggest year for video game hardware sales in a decade, according to a recent NPD Group report. But a combination of insatiable demand and supply chain issues, similar to what automakers are seeing, have limited the availability of new video game consoles, including the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5. Both Sony and Microsoft released their next-generation game consoles in late 2020. To the dismay of fans, they sold out almost instantly. Two months later, consumers are still scrambling to get their hands on the consoles, which can sell out online in a matter of seconds after new stock is posted. The boom in consumer electronics sales as more people stayed home during the pandemic is partially to blame, but Sony and Microsoft recently said they're both struggling with shortages of computing hardware as well. Earlier this month, Sony said the shortage of new consoles could get worse before it gets better and may continue through 2021.
Waiting lists to purchase popular Trek bikes at local shops have hundreds of names on them, and some models can take three to eight months to arrive, even at the company’s branded stores. Demand for outdoor exercise blossomed during the pandemic and hasn’t waned.
Furniture retailers are encouraging shoppers to first shop in-stock products because of unpredictable delivery dates. That’s the message at Nebraska Furniture Mart, which says that because of the COVID-19 crisis, “manufacturing delays with many of our vendor partners are causing inventory shortages and shipping delays.”
Fred Squillante/Columbus Dispatc, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
A confluence of political turmoil, pandemic hoarding and manufacturing problems has made firearm ammunition tough to find. There are shortages of rifle, shotgun and pistol ammo at some of the bigger stores such as Bass Pro Shops and Academy Sports. Some stores have dialed back on firearms and ammunition sales under political pressure at the same time that FBI statistics indicate a record number of gun sales in 2020.
Finally, after a nationwide shortage forced fans to begrudgingly slurp bowls of other bran cereals, Grape-Nuts has reclaimed its place on grocery store shelves.
The fibrous cereal is once again fully stocked nationwide, signaling the official end to the pandemic Grape-Nuts shortage, parent company Post Consumer Brands announced on Wednesday. And to repay Grape-Nuts fanatics for their brand loyalty, Post may reimburse them up to $115 if they overpaid to get their cereal fix during the shortage.
Grape-Nuts, the cereal made of neither grapes nor nuts but wheat and barley, were nearly impossible to find in early 2021. Disappointed consumers had the pandemic to thank. Supply chain constraints and higher-than-usual demand for cereal halted production.
In January, Post assured Grape-Nuts nuts the brand would return to shelves in early spring as production returned to pre-pandemic levels.
But the wait was too long for some particularly fervent fans, some of whom turned to the secondary cereal market to get their Grape-Nuts fix, paying up to $110 per box, according to Post.
The company is offering to reimburse anyone who paid $10 or more for a box of Grape-Nuts between Nov. 1, 2020, and March 15. They can submit their receipt to Post to receive a partial refund of up to $115, “a way to show our appreciation and thank these fans for their dedication,” Grape-Nuts brand manager Kristin DeRock said in a statement.
Cereal had a big year in 2020, as more folks stuck at home turned to cereal for breakfast. But high demand set it up for scarcity in 2021, and Grape-Nuts wasn’t the only casualty: Popular brands like Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes have been harder to find this year, too.
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