Feeling buyer’s remorse for that $100 box of Grape-Nuts? Help is on the way.
The maker of the cereal has pledged to reimburse shoppers who paid exorbitant prices for black-market boxes during a months-long supply shortage.
Post Consumer Brands declared that shortage officially over Wednesday by announcing that it’s once again shipping Grape-Nuts at full capacity to stores across the US.
But fans who turned to the secondary market during the drought faced prices as high as $110 for a single box of the high-fiber breakfast staple, the Minnesota-based company said.
“It became abundantly clear during the shortage that Grape-Nuts fans are ‘Nuts for Grape-Nuts,’” Kristin DeRock, the Grape-Nuts brand manager at Post Consumer Brands, said in a statement. “So much so that some of our loyal super fans were willing to pay extreme prices just to ensure they wouldn’t be without their favorite crunchy cereal.”
Post has reportedly blamed the shortage on a combination of supply constraints and high demand for Grape-Nuts — which is made from wheat and barley, but no grapes or nuts — amid the coronavirus pandemic.
DeRock told news outlets in January that Post makes the mealy cereal with “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.” The company said last month that “healthy inventory levels” would return by mid-March after it ramped up production.
The shortage was a big enough deal among Grape-Nuts superfans that the brand acknowledged it in several social media posts, including one spotlighting an 89-year-old man who scoured supermarket shelves for the “biggest box of Grape-Nuts he could find.”
But many people on Twitter were shocked to learn that there was a black market for a cereal that tastes like cardboard to its detractors.
“Grape nuts being sold on the black market is a string of words I never thought would coexist together,” one person tweeted Wednesday.
“If you bought a box of GRAPE NUTS on the black market, I personally don’t think you should be reimbursed,” wrote another user named Parker Padgett.
Post Consumer Brands, however, does think you should be reimbursed. It’s offering up to $115 to anyone who paid at least $10 for a box of Grape-Nuts between Nov. 1 of last year and March 15.
The conglomerate says it will pay the difference between the inflated price and the suggested retail price — $4.29 for a 20.5-ounce box, $4.99 for 29 ounces or $6.49 for 64 ounces.
But the offer comes with some caveats — eligible consumers have to submit a receipt through Post’s website by April 15, and payments are limited to one per household. The company will only pay out a total of $10,000 in reimbursements, so it’s possible that not everyone will get some money back.