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Facts About Snacks From The '90s That Made Us Want To Go Back In Time

March 31, 2021 6k votes 1.4k voters 200.2k views9 items

List RulesVote up the '90s snack facts you just learned today.

Ask anyone who grew up in the 1990s, and they'll tell you advertisements were wild, colorful, and typically "extreme." This is because the products they were selling were, likewise, wild, colorful, and in some way, extreme. This was doubly true for snacks.

In the '90s, you didn't just munch on some bits of cookie decorated by a friendly kangaroo; you dunked your cookies in rainbow-colored frosting while a kangaroo with a backward baseball cap rappeled down the packaging. You didn't drink green soda; you knocked your playmates across a couch-strewn alleyway to ingest a "fully loaded citrus soda with carbos." You didn't go to McDonald's for a Big Mac; you went there to eat pizza. Extreme!

Not all of these facts about '90s snack foods will make you twist your cap around and reach for the nearest bottle of Pepsi Clear, but they will inspire nostalgia in anyone who did. Vote up the facts that make you hungry for these wild snacks of the past.

  • Photo: Larry D. Moore / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    Doritos Were Originally Created At Disneyland As A Way To Repurpose Unused Tortilla Chips

    Doritos were born at Casa de Fritos, a Frontierland restaurant in Disneyland's early days. According to this 2014 article from Death and Taxes Magazine:

    Casa de Fritos contracted their tortilla production to a company called Alex Foods. One of the salesmen from Alex Foods, making a delivery to Casa de Fritos, noticed stale tortillas in the garbage and gave the cook a little tip: fry them and sell them as chips instead of throwing them away. Casa de Fritos began making these fried, seasoned chips to enormous success...

    One year later, the Vice President of Frito-Lay visited the restaurant and saw how popular the fried chips were. A deal was struck with Alex Foods to mass produce them, and the rest is history.

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  • Photo: Thomson200 / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    While filming Raiders of the Lost Ark in Tunisia, many members of the cast and crew came down with food poisoning. Famously, this led to the iconic scene of Indy taking out the big, sword-wielding baddie in the streets of Cairo with a single shot from his pistol.

    Originally, Indy was going to whip the sword out of the guy's hand. Instead, actor Harrison Ford was so sick that he asked director Steven Spielberg if he could just shoot him.

    Allegedly, Spielberg was one of the only crew members that didn't get sick. The reason? He'd brought his own food from home, which included a suitcase full of SpaghettiOs.

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    Lunchables Were Originally Created For Adults

    For decades, Lunchables has offered parents an organized and entertaining meal to pack in kids' lunch boxes. It may not be the healthiest of repasts, but convenience is king. Ironically, that convenience was originally targeted at parents, not their kids.

    As Greg Guidotti, the head of marketing at Oscar Mayer, told the Atlantic:

    “It was seen as a convenience solution to lunch for working mothers, working dads, and the like,” he says. But the creators of Lunchables aimed younger when they discovered in market research how much fun kids had assembling their meals.

    Oscar Mayer further leaned into the kid category by focusing on the packaging. "[O]riginally conceived of as a sort of wrapping paper," the Atlantic explains, "it was designed to feel like a gift to give to children as they went off to school."

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  • Photo: Smuckola / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    On the surface, Crystal Pepsi seems like a product that was doomed to fail. It didn't taste quite like regular Pepsi, and its main selling point - its translucence - feels wrong somehow. And yet, when it debuted in early 1992, the soda made nearly $474 million in its first months on the shelves, nabbing 1% of the American soda market. Then Coca-Cola released a copy-cat product to bring it down.

    Better Marketing's Toni Koraza describes Tab Clear as "the first kamikaze drink... made with the sole intention to sabotage Crystal Pepsi." According to Koraza, Crystal Pepsi appeared during an era when clear and ostensibly "healthy" drinks were all the rage. Though Crystal Pepsi was caffeine free, it still had about the same number of calories as regular Pepsi. And Tab Clear's high sugar content and caffeine put the lie to the notion that clear sodas were any healthier than their brown counterparts. The blowback tanked both products. 

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