Students seriously want their cereal back

Lydia Ettinger, Social Media Manager

Since the beginning of the school year, Masters has faced a series of shortages of cereal availability. Due to supply chain issues, student favorites including Lucky Charms and Coco Puffs have been scarce. 

Lee Bergelson, General Manager of Dining Services, has heard students’ grievances, but cannot dictate how much shipping for cereal costs. He said, “What used to be common, that you could get pretty much any cereal that you could think of directly from our supplier, [most cereals] are out of stock or only available through direct ship.” 

Direct ship is delivery by mail, received separately from what Brock, our food service, receives in trucks through its supplier. According to Bergelson, direct shipping is costly and fairs the same per pound as beef or chicken, $8 per pound, which is double the price of cereal compared to Masters’ regular supplier, at $4 per pound. Additionally, he said that students tend to ravage through two boxes of individual cereal flavors per day (four-six flavors are usually available per day but five are currently on the counter) which means eight pounds of cereal per box are consumed.

Bergelson said that Apple Jacks are coming back this Monday, but flavors such as Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles are sparse and most likely will not be back at Masters for a while. The change in cereal  price has increased 16.4% from the beginning of the 2021 school year, reflecting national issues of inflation caused by sanctions on Russia which increased gas prices as well as  supply issues stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Albeit Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Cheerios, and Raisin Bran have remained stocked, the shift from availability of popular flavors has provoked some students to call it quits.  For cereal aficionado and junior Theo Knauss, this means going home instead of facing the bare cereal levers which previously contained his delight.  

He said, “I’ve stopped eating at Masters as frequently because of the change in cereal. Because I’ve recently moved next to campus,  I’ve actually started having most of my meals at home. I rely on cereal incredibly heavily.”  He explained, “ I ate too much cereal last year bottom line, now I have been stripped of my joy.”

Junior Romy Girzone, an avid Special K® Red Berries fan , agreed with Knauss. She said, “If they are going to have cereal at all, why not have cereal that people will actually eat?” 

As Bergelson has found a substitute for the lack of cereal, he explained the new challenges presented. He said, “Now Masters goes through twice as many bagels per day, which is even more costly due to the price of Nutella and peanut butter, which are now used more frequently, but at least they are more accessible.” Bergelson said he hopes that prices will come down so everyone can enjoy the cereal, but students are still left bereft of their daily munch.

 Senior Camilla Arthur is saddened by the loss of cereal, but she has found ways to compromise. She said,  “Although I’m genuinely saddened I find other ways to suffice. Sometimes I go for a [Chobani] yogurt. It’s not the same but it works.”