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Facts About Discontinued '90s Snacks We're Still Craving Today

June 22, 2021 611 votes 99 voters 6.8k views10 items

List RulesVote up the most delicious facts about these discontinued '90s snacks.

Ah, to be young again, and with a metabolism that can forgive a breakfast of French Toast Crunch, a lunch of Doritos 3D and WOW potato chips, and a tall glass of Fruitopia with every meal. The 21st century has been a much more enlightened era, what with its reduced servings of sugar and using all-natural ingredients. But for anyone with a sweet tooth, the 1990s offered an abundance of riches.

Many '90s lunchbox items, such as Squeezits and Life Savers Holes, seem to be gone for good. Other discontinued foods, like Crispy M&Ms, Oreo O's, and Surge, have been revived in the 2010s and '20s. The following facts about '90s snacks may make your mouth water with fond memories. Vote up the tastiest trivia of those bygone years.

  • Though Life Savers Holes weren't actually the leftover "holes" punched out of the circular candy, they were at least as popular as their parent product. Released in the latter half of 1990, Life Savers Holes had gained nearly 10% market share of the "rolled-candy breath-freshener business" before they were recalled in January 1991. 

    A telegram released by the company explained that the recall was spurred by consumers "misusing" the packaging. Two toddlers and two teenagers chewed on the Holes' flip-top cap, causing them to swallow or gag on it. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

    Four months after the recall, Life Savers Holes were re-released with new packaging, but the PR damage had already been done. Not even a commercial produced by Pixar could save them.

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    Squeezits May Have Been 'Squeezed Out' Of The Market Because They Were Too Big To Fit In Lunch Boxes

    Squeezits were the sugary fruit drinks in plastic bottles that invited kids to "Squeeze the fun out of it!" from 1985 to 2001. General Mills proudly touts that this was "the only fruit drink in a squeezable bottle" in the kids' lunch market, but their unique shape may have been their undoing. 

    Squeezit differentiated itself from its competitors, Capri Sun, Minute Maid, and Hi-C, with its variety of cartoonishly named flavors and its invitation to throttle the plastic bottle for all it was worth. However, while its flavors may have changed over the years, its packaging failed to adapt to shifting trends. Advertising Age writes,

    In essence, [Squeezit] was squeezed out. Although the company innovated with the plastic "fun bottles" that became a hallmark of the product, it was left behind as the kid-targeted juice drink category shifted toward pouches and boxes, known as aseptic packaging, that have become lunchbox staples.

    In other words, Squeezit was still being sold in tall, uncompromising bottles when other brands offered compact boxes or flexible pouches to cram into kids' lunchboxes.

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  • Photo: u/swingman06 / Reddit
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    Coca-Cola Launched Fruitopia To Compete With The Rise Of 'Healthier,' Non-Soda Beverages

    The New York Times reports that, in the early '90s, soft drink sales for Coca-Cola and Pepsi were "stagnant." By comparison, the "unconventional beverages" market was booming, rising 25% in 1993. These "unconventional" drinks included such "new age" products as Snapple, Mistic, and Clearly Canadian.

    Coca-Cola, searching for a piece of that "new age" swagger, launched Fruitopia with such tongue-in-cheek flavors as Grape Beyond, Total Fruit Integration, Strawberry Passion Awareness, and Citrus Consciousness. One market analyst, Emanuel Goldman, told the Times, "There's no question Fruitopia is very much of a me-too. [...] It's basically a Snapple knock-off."

    The Times did not hold back on its own assessment of Coke's $30 million investment in Fruitopia:

    Fruitopia is a risk for Coca-Cola, in that consumers could perceive it as the equivalent of a 50-year-old pulling his graying hair into a ponytail, donning a flannel shirt and attending a Pearl Jam concert.

    Ultimately, the investment failed to pan out. Coke began phasing out Fruitopia in 2003.

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  • Photo: Amazon
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    Crispy M&Ms Was Never Intended To Be A Permanent M&M Variety

    The Mars company launched Crispy M&Ms in 1998 as a limited-edition variety. They left shelves in 2005, but demand for the crunchy candy never wavered.

    According to a 2014 press release from Mars, Incorporated, the crispy flavor was "the No. 1 Mars variant no longer on the market requested to be 'brought back'" - which is why the company did just that. In January 2015, Crispy M&Ms were re-launched, this time for good. 

    Allegedly, it was the 10 years of "phone calls, petitions, Facebook posts and countless other pleas" that changed the company's mind. 

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