I have been a Wheaties fan all my life, from the time I started eating solid foods to now, 78 years later. The moment I was allowed to pour my own cereal, I would add sliced banana and top it all with dark brown sugar--lots of it. When I was in Italy for my junior year of college, my Uncle Don sent me a box. A dish a day continues to be part of my daily menu, although this ‘breakfast of champions’ is now often my ‘lunch of champions.’
Whenever I feel like a champion I give credit to those brown flakes inside the orange box. I remember when the first champion appeared, and since then the featured champion has continued to stand tall and encourage me on. I did notice, however, when you, General Mills, added more sugar to the recipe, but I’ve always had faith that I could count on that recognizable Wheaties box and all that was in it.
I am writing you in desperation, however, because I fear you are undermining my days as a champion, and I must admit that as I age I need all the help I can muster to keep winning. Here’s my story.
Four days ago I went to buy Wheaties at my local supermarket. The little space, way up high, where I always find them, was vacant. “Not to worry,” I told myself, “you always have a couple of boxes in the pantry.”
Two days later I was back at the store, this time shopping for myself and a friend in her 90s who has also been a Wheaties fan for her entire life. The space was still vacant so I asked the manager when they would be coming in. Now, General Mills, normally I wouldn’t be telling you this, butsince the reason is so incredible (as in not to be believed), I pass it on in case you want to clean up the mill in any way.
Here’s what I was told. I paraphrase: The company is changing the packaging, and they don’t want to have the old and new packaging together on the same shelf. So, until they can get all the orange boxes of champions off the shelves of grocery stores all over the country, and, out of all their warehouses, they will not be supplying Wheaties to any store. This will take at least a couple of months.
I can’t believe that Wheaties are going to disappear until way into the fall. It makes me wonder about the future of the breakfast of champions. It makes me wonder if the only champions left are old folks (hmm, is this ageism creeping in). It makes me wonder if you, General Mills, have given up on champions. I figure you are older than me. I bet you love Wheaties. If you wait too long to get those boxes back on our shelves, we’ll all be dead.
As I get older, my needs are simple. What if my dying wish is to have a dish of Wheaties, topped with banana and dark brown sugar? How are you going to feel about that?
Your Wheaties friend,