Now, more than ever, we all deserve our favorite snacks to get us through these testing times. So, which one of these best-selling treats from your childhood do you crave? Whether you prefer savory, sweet, meaty or chocolatey, find out if the ones you grew up eating are still around today…



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These potato chips have been a popular snack since the 1960s and still exist today. The ridges make a stronger chip that’s good for dipping. Aside from original, there’s a range of other flavors which vary depending on the country (sour cream and onion is America’s favorite) and there are baked, thick cut, low-fat and low-salt versions too.



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In the 1960s, one particularly memorable brand of gum was Beech-Nut’s Fruit Stripe Gum. Its strong yet short-lived fruity flavors, brightly colored stripes and Yipes the Zebra mascot have been around ever since.



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For many kids, long, hot summers were filled with ICEEs, Slurpees and Slush Puppies. But these garish beverages, responsible for giving millions brain freeze, are a relatively recent treat. Invented by Dairy Queen owner Omar Knedlik in the late 1950s, the slushy drinks craze began in the 1960s and continues today.



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Now, here’s an interesting fact: Gatorade, the sports drink formulated in 1965, was named after the Florida Gators, the sports teams that represent the University of Florida. At one point it was the market leader in the energy drink category and while it’s generally credited as the first-ever sports drink, the accolade actually goes to British brand Lucozade.



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Doritos tortilla chips have been around since 1964 when Frito-Lay’s marketing vice president discovered the snack at Disneyland, California. The salty chips are ubiquitous today – in 2016 Doritos made $1.42 billion (£1.09bn) in sales.



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Launched in 1960 in the UK as Opal Fruits, the individually wrapped chews in lemon, lime, orange and strawberry flavors were renamed Starburst for the US market when they crossed the Atlantic in 1967. Today, there’s a Starburst range that includes Jellybeans, Minis and Gummibursts.



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Hunt’s Snack Pack’s original aluminum cans of pudding with a pull-tab top were initially marketed as a healthy snack for kids. Although this claim was a bit of a stretch, the desserts are still eaten today (in plastic pots) in a range of flavors from chocolate to banana cream pie.



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Made to look and taste like fried onion rings, Funyuns are a corn snack that graced the lunchboxes of countless school kids from 1969 onwards. They’re still available and come in original and flamin’ hot. Chile and limon, steakhouse onion, and wasabi were discontinued.



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Created by Pillsbury’s chief food technologist Howard Bauman, who was also behind the first solids consumed in space, Space Food Sticks were promoted as ‘nutritionally balanced between meal snacks’ in six flavors including chocolate and peanut butter. A space-obsessed nation embraced them, though they fell out of favor and disappeared in the 1980s, before returning again to be sold at space museums.



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The 1960s and 1970s were the decades of the toasted treat. One example includes Betty Crocker’s sausage and maple-flavored Toastwiches, introduced in 1973 to make hectic mornings easier. They consisted of two slices of bread, filled and dipped in egg. They were discontinued in 1974.



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Nature Valley created the mass-produced granola bar, introducing this fruit, nut and cereal snack to the American public in the mid-1970s. Many granola bars have since faced criticism for their high sugar content, and today there are a plethora of options with varying degrees of nutritiousness.



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Pringles were first sold from 1967 as Pringles Newfangled Potato Chips but it was from 1975, when they were widely distributed, that the brand really took off. The catchy slogan ‘Once you pop you can’t stop’ sealed the snack’s fame as one of the most recognizable potato chip brands around.



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Twix was originally launched in 1967 in the UK but didn’t make it to American shores until 1979. The twin biscuits (hence the name Twix) with soft caramel and chocolate have done remarkably well ever since. In 2015 it was the sixth most popular chocolate candy brand in the United States, hitting sales of $60.4 million (£46.33m).



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Skittles, you may be surprised to hear, are not an American creation but a British one, appearing in UK shops in 1974 and in the US in 1979. These fruity chewy sweets with hard shells have been a runaway success thanks, in part, to quirky ad campaigns that helped to make it the most-liked candy brand on Facebook in 2013.



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Starting with one ice cream parlor in Vermont, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield built up an empire in a few years, thanks to their creative flavors, quirky packaging and ethical stance. By 1981 they were opening their first franchise and by the mid-1980s, everyone wanted to try their ice cream. Now, annual sales exceed $477 million (£366m). Pictured: the first Ben & Jerry’s in an old gas station in Vermont.



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Millions of American kids growing up in the 1980s will remember eating Fruit Roll-Ups and can probably recall the ads too (remember the tagline ‘Fruit Corners Fruit Roll-Ups: real fruit and fun, rolled up in one’?). Misguided mothers in every state presumed the snack was healthy but there was actually very little fruit or nutrition in them, which led to manufacturer General Mills facing a class action lawsuit in 2011.



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Arriving in American grocery stores in 1983, Hot Pockets are a type of microwaveable savory turnover that come in a host of flavors. Once a staple of students, stoners and sleepovers, the snack has seen a drop in sales in recent years but remains a guilty pleasure to many.



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From the mid-1980s, consumers embraced this addictive fruit-flavored juice that had to be squeezed to be drunk. Popular with children, which made it a mainstay of lunchboxes everywhere, it came in crazily-named flavors such as Silly Billy Strawberry and Chucklin’ Cherry. There was even a color-changing version until it was discontinued in the early 2000s. Brits enjoyed a similar version called Twist N Squeeze.



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The sickly energy drink known for its hefty caffeine content was launched in 1987 in Austria, and fast became a favorite with sports players, students and party goers. It’s still the best-selling energy drink in the world – in 2018 more than four billion cans were sold.



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Hubba Bubba gum always had a young following because of its bubble blowing potential. Wrigley struck gold when Bubble Tape was launched in the late 1980s. Its success was attributed to its unique (at the time) tape dispenser packaging and the variety of flavors.



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Legend has it that Lunchables were created as a way to sell more bologna meat and that the pre-packaged lunch idea came about to appeal to time-poor working mothers. Crackers, rather than bread, are used to give the product a longer shelf life. The pack also came with a sugary drink and a dessert of candy, chocolate or – more recently – a healthier option of yogurt. Other versions include pizza, nachos and hot dogs.



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For around 20 years, American kids enjoyed dipping different shaped cinnamon cookies into icing and laughed at the antics of the product’s mascot Sydney the kangaroo. Then Sydney was changed to Duncan the daredevil and General Mills discontinued the product in 2012, though the snack is still available in Canada and on Amazon.



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Following on from the success of chocolate M&M’s (which were inspired by British Smarties and launched in 1941) and peanut M&M’s (launched in 1954), Mars Inc released peanut butter M&M’s onto the market in 1991, possibly in response to the success of Reese’s Pieces.



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Initially regarded as a healthy cookie brand, thanks to a reduced fat content, the product eventually had the dubious honor of inspiring ‘the SnackWell effect’. It refers to the phenomenon where people overeat when food is described as low-calorie or low-fat.



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The 1980s and 1990s saw a sharp increase in fruit-based snacks, such as sweetened dried cranberries called Craisins. Deemed as healthy, Craisins have since been found to be calorific with added sugar though their fruit content still makes them better than many snacks.



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Known as ‘extreme’ candy due to the eye-wateringly strong sour tang, Warheads are a Taiwanese invention that was first imported to the US in 1993. They swiftly became popular, especially among kids competing to see who could eat the most at once. By 1999 they were a $40 million (£30.68m) brand.



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As the public became more health conscious so snacks became healthier. Lay’s launched a baked variety of potato chip in the mid-1990s that contained no saturated fat and 120 calories per serving – 40 calories less than the original. A memorable 1996 ad featuring Miss Piggy and some supermodels promoted the chips as a guilt-free treat.



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Orbitz was a fruity drink and a snack of sorts, thanks to the floating bubbles of gellan gum. Though intriguingly futuristic in design, many people compared the beverage to a lava lamp and it didn’t last. Unopened bottles of Orbitz are now regarded as collectors’ items. The rise in popularity of bubble tea could mean Orbitz have a market if the drinks were to be re-released.



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Known as Tubes in Canada and Frubes in the UK, Go-Gurt – tubes of yogurt squeezed into the mouth – was an innovative invention that has spawned countless copies.



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Convenience food at its most convenient, Uncrustables is a range of ready-made processed sandwiches with popular fillings such as peanut butter and jelly, where the crusts have been cut off so you don’t have to do it yourself.



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OK, so condiments aren’t necessarily snacks but they deserve an honorary mention. The crazy colors of EZ Squirt (pink, purple, orange, green and teal) were a novelty at first and Heinz sold more than 25 million bottles. But interest wavered, possibly because the artificial colorings had parents worried, and the product has since been discontinued.



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Another memorable General Mills product, this snack turned a plain old bowl of cereal on its head by offering cereal bars sandwiched together with a milk filling. In reality the filling is probably more sugar than milk.



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Alongside granola and cereal bars, the last 20 years have witnessed the unstoppable rise of the all-natural energy bar, such as the Lärabar, which was originally created by Lara Merriken from Denver using only raw fruit, nuts and spices. It’s now produced by General Mills.



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They looked like chocolate Pringles, were package heavy and not good value for money. That’s probably why the “indulgent, mouth melting experience” treats from Hershey’s only lasted a very short time, between 2003-2006. They tasted nice though.



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Capitalizing on the obsession with all things Harry Potter, Jelly Belly obtained the licence to sell Muggle versions of the Every Flavour Beans described in the books. Less appetizing flavors include soap, bacon and dirt but that hasn’t put Potter fans off.



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In 2008, a Mintel report stated that 16% of Americans preferred organic chocolate brands to non-organic; in the 25-34 age group that percentage was 25%. Reacting to the demand, Hershey’s and other traditionally non-organic major brands leapt on the bandwagon and by 2012 the global organic chocolate market was valued at $734 million (£563m).



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Potato chips have not only started being cooked in healthier ways, alternatives to potatoes have appeared. Sweet potato, cassava, apple and beetroot chips are just some of the nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits replacing spuds.



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It was only a matter of time before meat treats like pork rinds and jerky were given a modern update and became fashionable again. Producers have seen a rise in sales since high protein diets became more popular, with artisan brands such as Krave and Epic leading the way.



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In 2012, there was an upward spike in pretzel products – 160 were released compared to just 60 in 2009, according to Mintel. Wendy’s pretzel cheeseburger and Starbucks’ Bavarian-style pretzel fueled the trend while pretzel bread showed a 36% leap on sandwich menus from 2011 to 2012.



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Gourmet popcorn was all the rage in 2014. Flavors went beyond sweet and salty with more adventurous varieties such as olive oil, jalapeño and white Cheddar, buffalo and ranch, and dill pickle. With popcorn still one of the nation’s favorite snacks, it’s a trend we’re glad came and stayed.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


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