Astronaut Food

Astronaut Food

Throughout most of the 20th century, it was no secret that space travel captured the imaginations of just about every tyke in existence. As the 60s arrived and astronauts started venturing out into this vast unknown, one particular area of interest was the food that the space travelers took with them. Realizing some serious marketing potential here, numerous manufacturers decided to give young consumers a taste of what these brave explorers were munching in their zero gravity environment. Continue reading...

Hostess Cupcakes

Hostess Cupcakes

Always moist, always yummy, always with precisely seven squiggles of white icing atop a bed of chocolate icing, filled with a dollop of rich vanilla cream. That’s right, it’s the chocolatey goodness that could only be a Hostess Cupcake, a treat coveted by every youth that ever set eyes on that squiggly stripe that distinguished it from all other inferior cupcakes. And only time will tell if we ever see these beloved snacks occupy a store shelf again. Continue reading...

Chef Boyardee

Chef Boyardee

More often than not, a product mascot is a figment of the imagination of some advertising executive. But once in a while, you get the real deal, such as Ettore Boiardi, better known by the phonetic spelling of his last name, Chef Boyardee. Continue reading...

Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks

Inventing a new candy can be somewhat akin to reinventing the wheel, but when Pop Rocks exploded onto the market in the 70s, they were unlike any confection that preceded them. Word-of-mouth quickly propelled them to the top of the "must have" list among young consumers, and also contributed to one of the most fanciful urban legends of all time. We'll get to that in a moment but first, let's take a look back at the origins of this effervescent treat. Continue reading...

Jiffy Pop

Jiffy Pop

Popcorn has been an American staple since Native Americans brought it to the first Thanksgiving. It grew in popularity throughout the country as street vendors hawked it and eventually became a staple at movie theaters in the 1900s. Once television came into being and attendance at movie theaters waned, so did the popularity of popcorn-- that is, until marketers began tying home television watching with the fluffy snack. And presto! There was once again a niche for those beloved kernels of puffy corn product. Continue reading...

Smarties

Smarties

You've just spent the evening knocking on every neighborhood door within sight, watching your pillowcase or plastic jack o' lantern gradually fill with tasty confections. Returning home, you eagerly dump out the rewards of your labor and scan to see what you've collected. And, much like every other kid who has ever performed this ritual, you are likely to come across a few rolls of little tablet-shaped candies wrapped in clear plastic. Both sweet and tangy, with a distinct powdery consistency, Smarties have been a staple of Halloween for over six decades. Continue reading...

Zots

Zots

There is a segment of the population that has long preferred their candy have a little pucker power. There is certainly no shortage of sour flavors in the sweets aisle, as companies wage battle to deliver the most eye-watering, face-contorting punch that money can buy. And yet, with all of these choices, legions of fans remain loyal to the sour candy that has served them for decades, Zotz. A Trojan horse of the confectionery world, Zotz start out as a seemingly innocent hard candy. But delve a little further and soon, a powdery substance lurking in the center is unexpectedly (at least for the uninitiated) unleashed, prepared to attack the taste buds with fizzy ferocity. Continue reading...

Sugar Babies

Sugar Babies

The offspring of the celebrated confectionery clan we'll call the Sugar family, Sugar Babies are the diminutive nuggets of sweetness that bear genetic resemblance to their proud parents, Sugar Daddy and Sugar Mama. They have satisfied the hunger of sweet-toothed fans for over 70 years and counting. Continue reading...