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

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Vote 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.

  • Doritos Were Originally Created At Disneyland As A Way To Repurpose Unused Tortilla Chips
    Photo: Larry D. Moore / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
    3,501 VOTES

    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.

    3,501 votes
  • The Tiny Bagels Used In Bagel Bites Were Custom-Made For The Product
    Photo: Sturmen / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Despite their overwhelming popularity with '90s kids, Bagel Bites did not invent pizza on a bagel. That honor belongs to one of two men, Bruce Treitman or Harry Katz, both of whom claim they created the pizza bagel in the early 1970s. 

    However, the ultimate party snack on a bite-sized bagel was the brainchild of Bob Mosher and Stanley Garczynski, a couple of tennis buddies who noticed there was a tiny hole in the pizza bagel game. They sank $20,000 into their comfort food venture, and contracted with popular bagel brand Lender's to make their tiny bagel bases. In their first year, the duo sold $1 million worth of Bagel Bites.

    Unsurprisingly, it was a recipe on the back of a Lender's bag that gave the men the initial idea for their product.

    1,616 votes
  • 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.

    2,202 votes
  • 4
    1,474 VOTES

    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."

    1,474 votes
  • Crystal Pepsi Was Undermined By A Product Intended To Fail
    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. 

    2,640 votes
  • 6
    1,429 VOTES

    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.

    1,429 votes