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.
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."Hungry for more?
The Success Of The McDonald's Pizza Was Short-Lived Because It Took Too Long To Make
The McDonald's pizza, or McPizza, was first introduced to the menu in the 1980s, but didn't see a wide release until the early '90s. It was part of a larger effort by the burger chain to diversify its offerings for the dinner crowd, which included such items as "grilled cod served on french bread with sauce, lettuce, and tomato," and "Chicken Zestado," a grilled chicken dish.
The pizza's 11-minute cook time made it a poor fit for a chain specializing in fast food, and the item was eventually discontinued in all but two locations - Pomeroy, OH, and Spencer, WV.
For many years, you could still grab a McPizza in one of these restaurants (making them popular road trip destinations), but McDonald's officially pulled the pie from their menus in 2017.Hungry for more?
In the tumultuous saga that is the "Cola Wars," Surge was basically the extreme super soldier designed to replace the old guard - the old guard, in this case, being Mountain Dew.
Mountain Dew is a product of PepsiCo, so, of course, Coca-Cola wanted a product to compete. Within Coke's offices, Surge was referred to as MDK, or "Mountain Dew Killer."
Released in 1997, Surge (or SURGE) was marketed as the "Fully Loaded Citrus Soda with Carbos." According to some websites, the "carbos" is a reference to its higher-than-average volume of carbohydrates, which was supposed to give it credibility as an energy drink.
The ultimate soda of the '90s - or at least the most '90s soda of the '90s - it boasted 56 grams of sugar per 16 ounce serving, and 69 milligrams of caffeine per 12 fluid ounces. Sales surged, then steadily declined until the product was discontinued in the early 2000s.Hungry for more?
- Photo: Amazon8
Fido Dido Was Originally Just A Doodle On A Napkin
The 7-Up mascot before Spot, Fido Dido was a simple doodle of what appears to be a pretty chill dude. While out with friend Joanna Ferrone in 1985, cartoonist Sue Rose doodled the character on a cocktail napkin. It was the day after that Ferrone came up with the name Fido Dido.
Ferrone wanted to use Dido to express a welcoming, compassionate philosophy. As she explained in an interview,
In the year 1985, there were a lot of things in the US that I wanted to talk about. There were plenty of prejudices, racial, religious and ethnic, to a certain extent, as well. Then there was also class prejudice. Fido was created to say "You are what you are, and what you are is ok."
The character gained PepsiCo's attention when apparel designer Patricia Fields began printing him on her t-shirts. The company licensed Fido Dido in 1988.Hungry for more?