Thursday, July 25, 2013

From the Snack Aisle: Koo Koos, Razzys, and Googles

Products: Koo Koos, Razzys, and Googles
Company: Dolly Madison
Years: 70's



I love the Peanuts Gang. I also love junk food. When you put the 2 things together, you get 8 year old me quickly handing over his hard earned allowance money to buy Zingers and fruit pies with Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Linus, and the rest of the gang adorning the packages. (you also get fat, but that's a tale for another time).


Starting in the 60's and working through the 70's and 80's, Charles and Dolly have been working together to promote their cartoons and snacks to kids. Everyone loved Charlie Brown. Everyone loved cream filled snack cakes. It was a win/win for both of them (and a win/win for this fat kid too).

But the snacks I'd like to focus on today are the cupcakes: Koo Koos, Razzys, and Googles.


I am not sure the exact timeline for these snack cakes, as I've heard anywhere from early to mid 70's, but like 95% of all the great food items, they seem to have been discontinued right around the time of my birth. And before you go blaming me, my therapist keeps telling me, "It's not my fault", and I tend to agree with her.

Koo Koos were essentially Ding Dongs, or King Dongs, or Big Wheels (if you will). Chocolate covered chocolate cakes with a cream filling. Charlie Brown graced the package. Yum.

Razzys were a Yellow cake version of the Koo Koos, covered in a raspberry flavored coating. Lucy was on the front of this package (and it looks like she's bitching about something ......again).

Googles were.........well.........I have no idea. I can't find a single thing about them when I searched Google (yes, I Googled Googles). Did these actually exist in the wild? Were they cut from production lines before they made it to store shelves? Supposedly they were a yellow cake in a white frosting, the albino brother of the Koo Koo. I can't explain why the frosting looks like camouflage. Could you only eat Googles while hiding in the woods? Is this why I've never seen one? Anyone? And what IS the true meaning of Christmas? Linus?


If anyone out there knows anything about Googles, please let me know. I'd also like to hear your memories of these or any other delicious Dolly Madison snack cakes. This is the kid of stuff I miss from my youth. And if Doc Brown ever comes back with that time machine, I promise you that I will go back to the early 70's, fill a bathtub with Koo Koos and Razzys (and possibly Googles), and lounge in it.

Eating.
Possibly crying.
But ultimately, smiling.




22 comments:

  1. Those Koo Koos look just like Hostess Ding Dongs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My dad's favorites were the Googles were my dad's favorites! They were vanilla and what you said looks like camo is actually cinnamon bits. They were okay but Koo Koos were best - much better than Ding Dongs - creamier. When Hostess went out of business, Dolly Madison brought out some kind of Choco cakes as a replacement - those are actually Koo Koos.

    ReplyDelete
  3. FINALLY! I have proof these existed. I used to have a general store across the street from my house and as a kid, these were awesome for my sweet tooth. The Charlie Brown ones were the best. Less waxy than Ding Dongs and more moist cake like. The filling was larger and sweeter. So good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not anymore. Hostess ruined what is left of the Dolly Madison line.

      Delete
  4. Dolly Madison products were and still are (the few that remain) way better than the Hostess ones. KOO KOO's were slightly larger than DING DONGS and the chocolate cake much better. Never saw the Razzy's or Google's that I remember. Sometimes I get the Zingers - chocolate & vanilla - at the 99 Cent Only Stores. Again the cakes are so must better than the Hostess counterparts. Wish they were more readily available. In fact, found this site trying to locate where they are being made and if I can order any!

    ReplyDelete
  5. There were more. Pup Cakes were a lemon version of Razzies and Snoopy was on the package. These lasted the shortest of them all. There were also Zingers, I think with Linus and another with Violet but I can't remember what they were called. After a while they all turned up in a twinky shape and were all called Zingers. Dolly Madison cakes were always better than Hostess, until Hostess bought them out.

    My favorite vending machine snack cake will always be Langendorf's Banana Dreams. All are lost to history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG Langendorfs Banana Dreams were the best, I'm glad someone finally remembers them besides me!!!

      Delete
    2. I agree Paul Dolly Madison cakes were always better than Hostess, until Hostess. I would like to get a case and watch the original "Back To The Future" movie or Star Wars. Thank you man!!!

      Delete
  6. Googles (picture of Linus on the wrapper) were my favorite after school snack, vanilla cake with cream filling, glazed with icing, toasted coconut sprinkled on top. These were moist and much better than Hostess cup cakes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for that. They were my favorite as a kid but I couldn't remember the name of them. I miss them and I'm 55. Lol

      Delete
  7. Googles were my favorite, Koo Koos second followed by chocoalte Zingers. So much better than Hostess. Why can't we have nice things?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Googles were my favorite, Koo Koos second followed by chocoalte Zingers. So much better than Hostess. Why can't we have nice things?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I remember well the Googles, KooKoos, Razzies, and Pupcakes by Dolly Madison. The lemon PupCakes and the raspberry Razzies were my faves! Zingers were good too, but I think that Mickey's Banana Flips were the best of all. Great Shakes were another great product of the late '60s/early '70s, along with Whip 'n' Chill, Gorilla Milk, Rice Krinkles, and Chipos.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I ❤️d these (razzys / zingers ) so much that I named one of my twins MADISON 🤗 & I named my other twin girl CASSIDY 🤣 Guess who that was after......

    ReplyDelete
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    right away...

    (VIDEO) Win your ex back with TEXT messages?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I cannot find any proof these existed, but I guess they were basically the Googles. But in the 80s during high school I used to buy Kookoos for a snack after lunch, but they were not round. They were square and were white cake with filling and had the white frosting and little bits of what I guess was coconut or something. Kinda like what the google were, except they were called Kookoos and were square, not round. I cannot find any pictures of these at all. But I ate them for all of my high school years! Anybody remember those????

    ReplyDelete
  13. Googles featured Linus on their wrappers. They were white cake cupcakes with vanilla frosting with cake bits and had a cream filled center.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Dan, yes I remember those! Of course, as a kid in the 70s I ate the two ROUND Kookoos and then they disappeared for awhile. But then in '88 or '89, while I was at college, I found an obscure vending machine on campus that had one package of Kookoos in it...but it was SQUARE!! I bought it, ate it, and it tasted just like the ones back in the 70s. I'm glad someone else remembers the SQUARE Kookoos!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Jason and everyone else! First, Googles DID exist. As many have already remembered, they were a variation on Kookoos: with a round white cake, vanilla (or was it white chocolate) fondant (frosting) sprinkled with toasted coconut bits and the same creamy filling found in all the other snacks. They did not sell as well as the Kookoos or Razzys, so they were dropped. After a while, Razzys were dropped, too. Only Kookoos lived on, until Continental Bakeries (Hostess brands) showed up; a story some of you already know.
    As it happens, my father worked (downstairs, in Accounting) at the Dolly Madison Bakery in Birmingham from before I was born until 1969 when we moved to Florida. There were lots and lots of times he brought home goodies from the on-site retail Thrift Store, though in the interest of health and nutrition I think my mom encouraged dad to not do that too often.
    Zingers, Kookoos and the rest were all developed in the mid-1960s in response to the changing market. Dolly had already been making “lunchbox sized” snacks for a decade or so (and they were damned good!) but they became to be considered too large a snack for one kid to consume by themselves in one sitting. (Imagine, if you will, two Kookoos and a Zinger fused together as one and shaped in a sort of oval. Dolly poured the fondant on a little thicker back then, too.) Plus, the old snack names needed an updating along with the packaging.
    Remember, this kind of change was no easy proposition. The bakery equipment had to be modified for the smaller snacks, as was the wrapping machine at the end of the conveyor belt. That’s just for starters. An in-house contest for Dolly’s employees nationwide helped pick out the names for the new snacks (my dad suggested “Hockey Pucks” for the Kookoos). On top of all this, Dolly wanted to refresh their logo, their corporate color scheme and their whole public persona at the same time! (Does anyone remember the Dolly Madison logo they used *before* the round Dolly face with the yellow and orange scarves?) They were also breaking-in a new advertising agency, who probably didn’t realize how much work they were about to do.
    Anyway, the new snacks came out (around 1967-68, IIRC) and became a hit, thanks in no small part to their association with the Peanuts gang. Dolly still couldn’t beat the Hostess in overall sales, but Dolly took a larger bite out of the Hostess’ brands than anyone ever had before, almost pulling even. As the Seventies dissolved into the Eighties, the fight between Dolly and the Hostess helped spark a renaissance in regional and national bakery snack brands, with Lil’ Debbie being the first and most successful third player. As the Eighties gave way to the Nineties, the snack cake market as a whole began to suffer when everyone started watching their waistlines and shunning the “junk foods” they had grown up with. Eventually it lead to that story most of us know, of Dolly’s parent (once Interstate Bakeries, then Interstate Brands, then finally returning to Interstate Bakeries) buying out Continental Bakeries but later firing Dolly because “everyone” knew the Hostess better. Dolly was kept on long enough to clean out her locker and desk drawers while the brass in Kansas City dropped most of her products and their names but keeping Zingers and changing its brand from Dolly Madison to Hostess. (Of all the unmitigated GALL!!!)
    Well, I hope maybe this helped fill in a few of the gaps in the story. Y’know I mentioned my dad before: the reason he moved the family to Florida was to take a new job with a grocery distributor, after Dolly had decided to close the Birmingham plant and move operations to a brand new, larger plant in Columbus, Georgia. Que Sara Sara.
    I’ll share on Pinterest some old Dolly Madison advertising and Dolly’s old logo for you soon. Stay tuned!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Jason and everyone else! First, Googles DID exist. As many have already remembered, they were a variation on Kookoos: with a round white cake, vanilla (or was it white chocolate) fondant (frosting) sprinkled with toasted coconut bits and the same creamy filling found in all the other snacks. They did not sell as well as the Kookoos or Razzys, so they were dropped. After a while, Razzys were dropped, too. Only Kookoos lived on, until Continental Bakeries (Hostess brands) showed up; a story some of you already know.
    As it happens, my father worked (downstairs, in Accounting) at the Dolly Madison Bakery in Birmingham from before I was born until 1969 when we moved to Florida. There were lots and lots of times he brought home goodies from the on-site retail Thrift Store, though in the interest of health and nutrition I think my mom encouraged dad to not do that too often.
    Zingers, Kookoos and the rest were all developed in the mid-1960s in response to the changing market. Dolly had already been making “lunchbox sized” snacks for a decade or so (and they were damned good!) but they became to be considered too large a snack for one kid to consume by themselves in one sitting. (Imagine, if you will, two Kookoos and a Zinger fused together as one and shaped in a sort of oval. Dolly poured the fondant on a little thicker back then, too.) Plus, the old snack names needed an updating along with the packaging.
    Remember, this kind of change was no easy proposition. The bakery equipment had to be modified for the smaller snacks, as was the wrapping machine at the end of the conveyor belt. That’s just for starters. An in-house contest for Dolly’s employees nationwide helped pick out the names for the new snacks (my dad suggested “Hockey Pucks” for the Kookoos). On top of all this, Dolly wanted to refresh their logo, their corporate color scheme and their whole public persona at the same time! (Does anyone remember the Dolly Madison logo they used *before* the round Dolly face with the yellow and orange scarves?) They were also breaking-in a new advertising agency, who probably didn’t realize how much work they were about to do.
    Anyway, the new snacks came out (around 1967-68, IIRC) and became a hit, thanks in no small part to their association with the Peanuts gang. Dolly still couldn’t beat the Hostess in overall sales, but Dolly took a larger bite out of the Hostess’ brands than anyone ever had before, almost pulling even. As the Seventies dissolved into the Eighties, the fight between Dolly and the Hostess helped spark a renaissance in regional and national bakery snack brands, with Lil’ Debbie being the first and most successful third player. As the Eighties gave way to the Nineties, the snack cake market as a whole began to suffer when everyone started watching their waistlines and shunning the “junk foods” they had grown up with. Eventually it lead to that story most of us know, of Dolly’s parent (once Interstate Bakeries, then Interstate Brands, then finally returning to Interstate Bakeries) buying out Continental Bakeries but later firing Dolly because “everyone” knew the Hostess better. Dolly was kept on long enough to clean out her locker and desk drawers while the brass in Kansas City dropped most of her products and their names but keeping Zingers and changing its brand from Dolly Madison to Hostess. (Of all the unmitigated GALL!!!)
    Well, I hope maybe this helped fill in a few of the gaps in the story. Y’know I mentioned my dad before: the reason he moved the family to Florida was to take a new job with a grocery distributor, after Dolly had decided to close the Birmingham plant and move operations to a brand new, larger plant in Columbus, Georgia. Que Sara Sara.
    I’ll share on Pinterest some old Dolly Madison advertising and Dolly’s old logo for you soon. Stay tuned!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Jason and everyone else! First, Googles DID exist. As many have already remembered, they were a variation on Kookoos: with a round white cake, vanilla (or was it white chocolate) fondant (frosting) sprinkled with toasted coconut bits and the same creamy filling found in all the other snacks. They did not sell as well as the Kookoos or Razzys, so they were dropped. After a while, Razzys were dropped, too. Only Kookoos lived on, until Continental Bakeries (Hostess brands) showed up; a story some of you already know.
    As it happens, my father worked (downstairs, in Accounting) at the Dolly Madison Bakery in Birmingham from before I was born until 1969 when we moved to Florida. There were lots and lots of times he brought home goodies from the on-site retail Thrift Store, though in the interest of health and nutrition I think my mom encouraged dad to not do that too often.
    Zingers, Kookoos and the rest were all developed in the mid-1960s in response to the changing market. Dolly had already been making “lunchbox sized” snacks for a decade or so (and they were damned good!) but they became to be considered too large a snack for one kid to consume by themselves in one sitting. (Imagine, if you will, two Kookoos and a Zinger fused together as one and shaped in a sort of oval. Dolly poured the fondant on a little thicker back then, too.) Plus, the old snack names needed an updating along with the packaging.
    Remember, this kind of change was no easy proposition. The bakery equipment had to be modified for the smaller snacks, as was the wrapping machine at the end of the conveyor belt. That’s just for starters. An in-house contest for Dolly’s employees nationwide helped pick out the names for the new snacks (my dad suggested “Hockey Pucks” for the Kookoos). On top of all this, Dolly wanted to refresh their logo, their corporate color scheme and their whole public persona at the same time! (Does anyone remember the Dolly Madison logo they used *before* the round Dolly face with the yellow and orange scarves?) They were also breaking-in a new advertising agency, who probably didn’t realize how much work they were about to do.
    Anyway, the new snacks came out (around 1967-68, IIRC) and became a hit, thanks in no small part to their association with the Peanuts gang. Dolly still couldn’t beat the Hostess in overall sales, but Dolly took a larger bite out of the Hostess’ brands than anyone ever had before, almost pulling even. As the Seventies dissolved into the Eighties, the fight between Dolly and the Hostess helped spark a renaissance in regional and national bakery snack brands, with Lil’ Debbie being the first and most successful third player. As the Eighties gave way to the Nineties, the snack cake market as a whole began to suffer when everyone started watching their waistlines and shunning the “junk foods” they had grown up with. Eventually it lead to that story most of us know, of Dolly’s parent (once Interstate Bakeries, then Interstate Brands, then finally returning to Interstate Bakeries) buying out Continental Bakeries but later firing Dolly because “everyone” knew the Hostess better. Dolly was kept on long enough to clean out her locker and desk drawers while the brass in Kansas City dropped most of her products and their names but keeping Zingers and changing its brand from Dolly Madison to Hostess. (Of all the unmitigated GALL!!!)
    Well, I hope maybe this helped fill in a few of the gaps in the story. Y’know I mentioned my dad before: the reason he moved the family to Florida was to take a new job with a grocery distributor, after Dolly had decided to close the Birmingham plant and move operations to a brand new, larger plant in Columbus, Georgia. Que Sara Sara.
    I’ll share on Pinterest some old Dolly Madison advertising and Dolly’s old logo for you soon. Stay tuned!

    ReplyDelete