We’ve received word of a website you just might want to visit. It’s FreeCTC.com. Though this URL might sound like some sort of shady credit score reporting service, “CTC” in fact stands for Cinnamon Toast Crunch, everyone’s favorite breakfast cereal whether they’re willing to admit it or not. And “Free CTC” refers to the fact that, throughout the month of September, the brand is giving away 1 million boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch—a promotion made possible by the fact that just about everyone is buying tons of breakfast cereal during the pandemic, and General Mills is cleaning up.
Technically, this “free” Cinnamon Toast Crunch giveaway is a rebate program. You buy a box of the cereal, upload your receipt, and receive a reward code good for the amount you paid, redeemable as either a Venmo or snail mail payment. The fine print says the rebate will refund up to $6.50 excluding tax, and I sincerely hope none of you are paying more than that for a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch—though if you are, I can’t say I don’t understand you. There’s nothing quite like it.
What’s interesting is that this giveaway is the result of a crazy good Q4 for Cinnamon Toast Crunch parent company General Mills. From March to May of this year, the company’s cereal sales grew 26% in the U.S. “Families are eating cereal now more than ever,” reads a press release on the giveaway, and while there’s no actual mention of a global crisis that’s keeping us inside and seeking the most comforting foods imaginable, that’s definitely the subtext. Can you think of any other reason for marketing emails to include the phrase “now more than ever” in the year 2020?
As for the growth of Cinnamon Toast Crunch specifically, the press release notes that “the brand is on fire.” A dessert classified as breakfast is certainly a perfect fit for the national moment, and it’s hard to say no to free food. (Seriously, though, does anyone actually call it CTC?)