Thursday, October 9, 2014

From the Snack Aisle: Nabisco Flings

Product: Flings
Company: Nabisco
Years: Late 1960's - 1980's (?)

1960s NABISCO Crackers FLINGS Advertisement Vintage Graphics

Dear Nabisco,

Stop trying so hard. We get it already. You can turn anything, no matter what the flavor, into a delicious chip, snack, or cracker. Here at Gone But Not Forgotten Groceries, we stumble across something new (old/new) from you almost every day, and honestly, I've almost stopped keeping track. You are good at what you do, Nabisco, so why spread yourself so thin? Pick a core group of products and make those products the best damn products we have ever seen....and maybe, just maybe, you are already starting to do that. But in the 60s, 70s and 80s.......well, lets say you were snack aisle whores. You put it all out there year after year, every flavor.....every shape. "Don't like Curls? We have Sticks? Don't like Sticks, we have cones? Don't like cones? We have a goddamn chip shaped like a platypus. "Well that's random", you say? Goddamn right it is, because we're Nabisco, and we can make these chips/snacks and crackers into any M%#$@R F^&%ING shape we want? Got it......GOT IT???"
"Oh, and you can get that Platypus shaped cracker in 5 flavors, Cheese, Ranch, Papaya, Dandelion, and New Car Smell. "But New Car Smell isn't a Flavor" you say.....look, do you want me to lose my shit? Because Nabisco can lose it's shit REAL easy, and one day, when you wake up, all these shape and flavors will be gone.....and all you'll have left are Triscuits, Wheat Thins, and Chicken in a Biscuit. So don't push it, pal."

I'm almost certain Nabisco would say something like that if confronted. Maybe.

Nabisco Flings
Box picture from Dan Goodsell

Flings were a chip that looked similar to today's Cheese puffs, and came in 3 flavors: Chicken, Cheese, and Ham and Swiss. These were mostly around in the late 60's/early 70's, but I did stumble upon a newspaper ad from 1984, where it appears Nabisco tried to bring back Flings, this time in a bag instead of a box.

Like the other hundreds (possibly millions, or possibly less) of Nabisco Products that have appeared on store shelves over the last 50 years, I'm going to guess that very few of you readers out there remember these. I don't. Which is pretty cool when you add it onto the vast sea of groceries that have filled up store shelves over the years...these could have been someones favorite snack to curl up with on a Saturday night. People have a weird nostalgia towards food, especially discontinued food (which is why I started this blog), so it's neat to find stuff like this that might bring someone a smile.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

From the Beverage Aisle - Hubba Bubba Soda

Product: Hubba Bubba Soda
Company: AJ Canfield Company - AKA "Novelty Beverage"
Years: 1988 - ?

If I was playing "100,000 Pyramid" in 1988, and was the one giving the clues, and the category just so happened to be "Things You Shouldn't Put into Your Mouth", you can bet that "Hubba Bubba Soda" would be the first thing I would say (after I had a good chuckle about all the OTHER, much dirtier things I could say, many of which wouldn't be suitable for daytime TV, most of them offensive enough to get Dick Clark to probably ban me from the show indefinitely, or at least until Ed Begley Jr. or Betty White were unavailable.)

Hubba Bubba Soda started to "pop" up (ha! see what I did there???) on shelves in 1988. It was the brain child of Steve Roeder, who concocted the flavor using bubble gum snow cone syrup. Initially released in the Chicago area, it became such a hit novelty drink that it started to have a much wider distribution, reaching most other parts of the US for a limited time. How limited? Good question. I'm not really sure if this soda lasted a year, or possibly 2, but it wasn't around for long. I remember seeing it, but never quite worked up the courage.

Because nobody wants to drink bubblegum. Fact.

Oh, and if it wasn't bad enough, it also came in Diet, because if you saw a Bubble gum flavored soda on the shelves and didn't want all the calories, you are a horrible person and should realize that Hubba Bubba bubblegum was made for children, and is made of 126% sugar. (wait, can something be over 100%? I'm 108% certain that it can...) If they made diet flavored bubble gum, would you buy it? No. No you would not. So why would you even THINK about buying a diet bubble gum flavored soda??? My god, man, take a look at your life, and try to put together the events that led you to standing here in this soda aisle, actually contemplating buying Diet Hubba Bubba Soda. Is this where you want to be in your life? Is it? IS IT?????

Cans of this soda still "pop up" (Boom! I did it again!!!) on Ebay from time to time, so if you've got about $30 or so tucked away for a rainy day and don't really feel like giving it to me, bid away and hopefully you can own one.

Novelty foods aren't meant to last forever, and Hubba Bubba Soda certainly was that. It was possibly created on a dare....I'm not sure. If I had a can right here in front of me, I'd try it, though I'd rather try a Diet one if you have it......I'm trying to lose some of this weight......

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

From the Cereal Aisle: Sweet Wheats!

Product: Sweet Wheats! Cereal
Company: Nabisco
Years: 1971-197?

1971 Sweet Wheats w Kanga-Zoom
Image By Jason B. on Flickr
Come on, Nabisco....quit yelling. There is absolutely no need to use an exclamation point in the name of your early 70's cereal called "Sweet Wheats!". I mean, you even went as far as to not use all caps, instead choosing the subtle approach of using all lower case letters. But then, boom, you drop in that exclamation point all willy-nilly, and damn it Nabisco, it's unnecessary.

But then again, so was your cereal, Nabisco, as it only lasted 2 or 3 years tops.

I know what your all thinking: Kellogg's Mini Wheats.
Yep, I was thinking the same thing too. Mini Wheats were introduced in 1971, same time as Sweet Wheats!!!!!, but the original Kellogg's offering was actually the larger size. The bite size version wasn't around until 1980. So I won't go as far as to say Nabisco copied Kellogg's, or vice versa. They both had an idea for a lightly sweetened wheat cereal. Kellogg's won.

Nabisco did have a cool box design, with a quartet which included 3 children and a blue kangaroo, which from what I understand of the early 70's (mostly from watching Krofft), was completely normal. Willy, Milly, Big Boo and Blue Kangaroo. They would sit around all day, eating cereal, playing jams, playing with the Kanga-zoom that came free inside, and contemplating future career paths once the cereal was discontinued. 3 of them went on to form 80's pop group "Kajagoogoo",  and one ended up in the San Diego Zoo, which if you ask me is a horrible place to keep a little girl locked up.

Sweet Wheats! Ad - 1972

What the hell was I talking about again?

Oh yeah, SWEET WHEATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cool box, not as cool of a cereal. Just another blip in the breakfast cereal history books.

Friday, August 22, 2014

From the Candy Aisle: Snik Snak

Product: Snik Snak
Company - M&M/Mars
Years - 1973 - Late 70's

Remember Christmas, back in the 80's, when you'd open presents from relatives who you only saw a few times a year? What did they get you? Chances are, like most of us, they bought what they thought boys my age liked: He-Man, GI Joes, Transformers........but there was a catch. They were going to spend as little on your gift as possible. So instead of Transformers, you got the cheap knockoff called "Convertors" (it's a real thing...look it up). Or "Action Force" instead of GI Joe.

And you smiled, and thanked them, as you were taught to do. Then, a week later, they were blown up by firecrackers in a battle with the REAL GI Joe/Transformers/He-Man.

Knock offs. Nobody likes them.

But enough about my disappointing holidays. Lets talk about food knockoffs.  Specifically, Lets talk about the Snik Snak.

Image by Jason Liebig - Check out his history of Snik Snak here.

Snik Snak was created in 1973 by M&M/Mars to go up against Hershey's wildly successful Kit Kat bar.  And by "created",  I mean directly ripped off from.

Seriously, it's the same thing. A series of waffers covered in chocolate.......even the freaking name is a rip off! I honestly have no idea how Hershey didn't file a lawsuit against them.
I'm equally surprised that it lasted for at least 5 years on the market.
There is nothing original about this.
Oh, sure, it's 6 smaller sticks instead of 4 larger ones. Whoop-de-do.

Snik Snak Ad - 1973

These were a little before my time, so thankfully I didn't have to suffer through the crushing disappointment of getting one of these from a parent for a snack, or worse yet, on Halloween in my basket.

I guess there's a reason Kit Kats are still around today and Snik Snaks aren't.

It's probably the same reason I don't really talk to my uncle Sal anymore, either. I'm sure he had a good reason for getting me the "Treasures of the Temple Warriors" action figures instead of the He-Man toy I wanted back in 86.

Monday, August 4, 2014

From the Endangered Groceries lists - Duck Dynasty Gummy Ducks candy

So, yeah.....I came across this gem in a bin at Walmart.
I picture eating these and constantly pulling beard hairs out of my mouth.
Hurry up, boys, your 5 minutes is just about up! Crab that cash!

sell-out [sel-out] - NOUN

- a person who betrays a cause, organization, or the like; traitor.

- a person who compromises his or her personal values, integrity, talent, or the like, for money or     personal advancement.
- an act of betrayal