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Where are the Wheaties?

| Tuesday, September 25, 2018

In June of this summer, while slaving away at a long shift at Martin’s Super Markets, an obviously flustered customer approached me, and exclaimed:

“Where are y’all’s Wheaties at?”

“You didn’t find them in aisle eight?” I replied.

“Nuh-uh,” the customer muttered.

“Sorry about that, sir, I’ll check and see if we have any in the back.”

We didn’t. I rang him up anyway, and after he left, disgruntled, I called the stocker; apparently Martin’s didn’t carry them anymore. This was somewhat concerning to me personally, as some of my friends and I were planning on seeing the new critically acclaimed film “Uncle Drew” in theaters, and I wanted to grab a box of Wheaties with the man himself on it. I looked in Meijer for the cereal, I looked in Walmart, I even looked in Aldi, to no avail. It was as if this American staple, this General Mills giant, had disappeared from our society like a ghost. It slipped away in the night, and we hadn’t even noticed. I finally found them from some online research and ordered a modest seven boxes from Target (for the free shipping).

Apparently the reason for the shortage was shipping shortage, but nonetheless, the sad truth is that Wheaties don’t sell like they used to, and therefore take up less and less shelf space.

Needless to say, I was disappointed when I came back to Notre Dame to see that the dining halls still do not carry the iconic cereal. Wheaties have been coming back to several supermarkets recently, but it still has not cracked into the cereal array of South Dining Hall. You would think that with such an abundant and diverse selection of cereal that the dining hall offers, they would find a spot for such a culturally and historically important cereal. Wheaties is too distinctive and essential a cereal to be written off and cast aside. A common counter-argument to the addition of Wheaties to the DH menu is that the Special K Red Berry cereal is close enough a flavor profile to Wheaties as to render the latter unnecessary. However, Wheaties is significantly less sugary, and nutrition aside, the brand and history alone should warrant it to be placed on our trays.

How can we play like a champion today, study like a champion today, if we can’t eat the breakfast of champions? The Wheaties box has featured a host of sporting legends and cultural icons on its front. It has featured Notre Dame great Johnny Lujak, icons Jackie Robinson and Michael Jordan and A-list actor Kyrie Irving, and Wheaties deserve to reside in our blue bowls here at ND.

Maybe this seems like an insignificant plea in the grand scheme of things, and it probably is, but maybe someone in charge of the dining hall meal plans will see this and change their ways. If so, and Wheaties are brought to the dining hall, this just might become the most influential column in the history of The Observer.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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