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Post Screws Around With Grape-Nuts

August 2, 2013

Most cereal is candy masquerading as breakfast. Mrs. Fussy and I were running errands together yesterday and found ourselves in the cereal aisle. She doesn’t get out much, and was shocked to see how much food wasn’t actually food.

It was difficult for her to find a box of something boring. She loves boring cereal.

The game I play with the kids when we shop together is to look for a box of cereal that looks like the least fun cereal in the entire store. They are remarkably good at finding something that will suit their mother.

I’m trying to eat healthier too. But when I’m in rural PA and can’t find lightly sweetened organic flakes made from heritage grains, my fall back option has always been Grape-Nuts. Except there was a problem. As I was giving Mrs. Fussy the business about why she should read the ingredients on her generic bran flakes, I remembered to take my own good advice and double checked that the ingredients on this 116 year old brand remained unchanged.

After reading the label, I put the cereal back on the shelf, and walked away crestfallen.

The front of the box should have been a clue. But boxes have callouts on them all the time. About some promotion, or highlighting some benefit of the cereal. So at first, I didn’t pay much attention to the green bar along the top edge that read, “Now with 8g of protein.”

Now? Why now? Oh Post! What have you done?

There wasn’t anything wrong with the protein in the original formulation. The natural occurring protein in the grains gave a half cup serving 6g of protein. It was protein enough to fuel Edmund Hillary’s 1953 climb to the summit of Mount Everest.

Here’s the lesson. ALWAYS. READ. INGREDIENTS. Read the ingredients on brands that have been selling their original formula for over 100 years. Read the ingredients on those pantry staples you buy week in and week out. Read the ingredients every single time, because those sneaky MBAs in brand management have proven time and time again that they are intent to raise their profits by cutting costs through the use of inferior ingredients.

The added protein in Grape-Nuts now comes from Isolated Soy Protein.

Okay. So why is this a problem? Let me count the ways. For starters you could be allergic to soy and a regular Grape-Nuts eater who only noticed the formulation change by getting sick. Or you could be one of those people who happens to believe that ISP is not good for you at all. Or you might just want to avoid ingredients that require super toxic solvents to extract them for your breakfast cereal. Or you could be opposed to GMOs and recognize that the vast majority of soy requires a technology licensing agreement to plant and grow.

Maybe, just maybe, you thought that 6g of protein was plenty–especially if you were going to enjoy your cereal with milk or yogurt that will add even more protein to your breakfast–and don’t require any more thankyouverymuch.

Most likely if you are eating Grape-Nuts you are a crotchety old person like me anyway. And if that’s the case, you probably simply don’t like change. That’s why you are eating a 116 year old cereal.

Who in their right mind thought this was a good idea?

Luckily I did happen to read the ingredients. So I put the Grape-Nuts back on the shelf. As it turned out there was a generic form of the cereal that still was blissfully Isolated Soy Protein free. So that’s what I bought. Even if they turn out not be as good as the original, they are still better than what Post is putting on the shelf and calling Grape-Nuts today.

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Update: Post has brought back the original four ingredient Grape Nuts. Read more here.
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20 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2013 9:58 am

    Your post has given me a craving for Grape-nuts ice cream…

    • August 3, 2013 12:39 pm

      Grape-nuts Ice cream? OR Frozen Dairy dessert? ;)

  2. Tonia permalink
    August 2, 2013 1:57 pm

    This happens to me all the time. So frustrating. You can always tell to, when a smaller natural and/or organic company has been bought out. They always change the packaging and make it more flashy, no?

  3. Jamie permalink
    August 2, 2013 4:00 pm

    August 02, 2013

    Dear J Thompson,

    Thank you for contacting Post Foods.

    In order to meet the needs of our ‘health conscious’ consumers and given that people are looking for more quality protein at each meal. Post has made Grape Nuts a “Good Source” of protein. In order to do this, Post added the most nutritious plant protein available, soy. All other plant proteins do not have the complete amino acid profile needed to satisfy our nutritional needs. The new Grape Nuts recipe with added protein is designed to be more effective at satisfying the appetite and keeping us fuller longer.

    Quality protein helps the body maintain healthier blood sugar levels, helping to smooth out highs and lows. Protein also helps the body maintain muscle, as well as build muscle, leading to healthier body weight. Grape Nuts is a power-packed cereal that delivers on this nutritional need.

    We appreciate and encourage all consumer questions. Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-431-POST (7678), Monday – Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm EST.

    Thank you again for contacting Post Foods.
    Sandra Meeks
    Consumer Response Representative

  4. Jamie permalink
    August 2, 2013 4:10 pm

    What a load of crap Post!

  5. Grace permalink
    August 2, 2013 6:43 pm

    I’m trying to educate myself on the information provided on the back of boxes since my husband had a heart attack before his 41st birthday this year (genetics being the biggest reason for his cardiovascular disease), so I find your mention of Isolated Soy Protein really depressing. One more thing to consider.

  6. August 3, 2013 12:44 pm

    WHY can’t these companies leave stuff alone? I understand from a profit standpoint mega-companies are always looking to squeeze a few pennies more. But seriously, was there somebody out there crying that there just ‘wasn’t enough protein’ in that bowl of cereal?
    Shaking my head!

  7. Kate permalink
    August 3, 2013 8:23 pm

    As one of those crotchety old people I’m distressed to find out that my grape nuts box has ISP – that will be the last box I buy! I’m at fault for grabbing a box and not reading the label. I know that there’s a recipe out there to make them, it’ll be just one more thing on my to-do list!

  8. Charlie T in In-ger-land permalink
    August 4, 2013 10:17 am

    UK Grape Nuts haven’t fallen into that trap (we no like GMO here) and make no claims on protein levels. Maybe smuggling in foreign Grape Nuts will be new thing — like Mexican soft drinks with real sugar when I was a kid. Guess that I can keep eating Grape Nuts and just have to make sure I top up my protein with the occasional organic Bacon Sarnie — sign, such troubles are life. Ta ta, twin

  9. Michael Summy permalink
    October 1, 2013 1:02 pm

    I just threw out half a box of the “improved” Grape Nuts. I don’t really care about ISP–didn’t even notice the change on the box, but I could sure tell by the taste and texture. So I called Post and told them I’ll never buy it again. I’d encourage others to do the same. Maybe if enough people yell loud enough, the “New Coke” of cereal can be sent back to the marketing hell where it belongs.

  10. Barbara permalink
    February 3, 2014 8:54 pm

    I’ve switched from Kellogg raisin bran because it’s just too sweet. The raisins are COATED WITH SUGAR. S0, Post is a bit better but STILL too sweet. I’ll try the store brand next. These companies are not getting my money or loyalty anymore.
    Grapenuts in vanilla yogurt and adding my own 1/2 banana have been my lunch EVERYDAY as a busy nurse. There’s a joke about me in our locker/break room that I’m so predictable. Good, low fat, high clean burning fuel for me EVERY DAY with this mainstay, natural combination. WHY THE HECK WON’T COMPANIES STOP RUINING OUR CLASSICS??? I’M FED UP, LITERALLY WITH THIS KIND OF CRAP.
    Furthermore, did they think kids were going to start asking for these now? That’s just stupid, plain and simple. (And I DO miss my cereal but it’s not my cereal anymore)

  11. Francesca permalink
    February 9, 2014 8:31 pm

    I just thought I’d mention that Post currently has a “limited edition” of “Grape Nuts Vintage” which is the original non GMO, non Soy ingredient cereal! It looks like it’s only sold through their own website though.

  12. Francesca permalink
    February 9, 2014 8:34 pm

    Just to let everyone know–Post has a limited edition (sigh) of what they’re calling “Grape Nuts Vintage” which is the original non-GMO, non-soy cereal! Unfortunately, I can’t tell if it’s sold anywhere besides their own website. A shame that Post decided to change the recipe and now the original cereal is resigned to be a limited edition vintage thing…

  13. Erin permalink
    March 14, 2014 1:01 am

    I hate soy. It upsets my stomach in a bad way. When I saw the protein banner on the front of the box, I was on alert. I just knew they had added soy. But I thought they would still carry the other kind. I’m so sick of companies sticking soy in everything and then bragging about the protein. Soy is so bad. Even if it was good for you, most people get sick to their stomach when they eat it.

  14. May 7, 2014 11:33 am

    I realize this article is more than a year old but I just came across it and like most here I am a former Grape-Nuts consumer who has become a victim of corporate stupidity. I had been eating Grape-Nuts regularly from 1999 up to 2007 when I had a major life change that resulted in my no longer visiting the gym daily and so my need to energize/fuel my body via Grape-Nuts was no more. About 2 years ago I went back to eating Grapoe-nuts and at some point I realized the cereal was not tasting as it should. I attributed this to a change in my tastes buds as a result of getting older. Now I know that its POST’s corporate idiots that have killed the cereal.

    The supposed new & improved Grape-Nuts is now on par with its grocery store chain knock-off which is equally awful. At least the grocery store chain knock-off is half the price but even at that cheap a rate its not worth eating what is effectively bits of cardboard. POST recently switched the formula back to a GMO free product however it still has the SOY Protein and so it still tastes like crap. Makes me wonder why they bothered switching to a GMO free version if they weren’t going to do anything about the horrible flavor. I also find it equally hard to believe that no one noticed the tastes difference between the pre-soy protein version and the new & improved version. I assume they did Q&A on the new version so how the heck did it get past the QA people? Anyone who has tasted the original Grape-Nuts cereal should be able to easily taste the difference.

    I realize it’s probably a waste of effort but I’m going to write to POST to complain about this atrocity.

  15. Michael Summy permalink
    June 10, 2014 5:02 pm

    I stopped eating it when they changed the recipe also. I’m not that concerned about GMO but the flavor was AWFUL. Good news! I just got back from a shopping trip to Costco, and they had REAL Grape Nuts available again!!! Reading the ingredients, it had no soy!!!

  16. dee permalink
    January 4, 2015 2:56 pm

    what is the last ingredient D002H on Grape Nuts?

  17. October 3, 2015 1:42 am

    Thank you – I’ve been eating Grape Nuys since my grandma told me it’ll help me poop. This was 45 years ago. I get plenty of protein naturally all day long. I don’t care to eat a fabricated form of it for breakfast.

    You messed up POST… you caved into the ridiculous notion that carbohydrates are bad and protein is better. Intelligent people know how to find balance.

  18. October 11, 2016 12:30 pm

    I googled this because I was eating Grapenuts and the past few times it has tasted really weird. At first, I thought my cold had changed my sense of taste, then I thought the fruit I put on it was bad. Then I realized “hey, it’s the Grapenuts that have changed. Ugh – I’ll probably throw or giveaway the rest of the box. Horrible after taste from that soy crap!

    • October 11, 2016 12:34 pm

      The good news is that grape nuts has changed back! Rejoice. And once the anger fades, you may consider buying a new box.

      Just remember… always read the labels.

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