Tuesday, January 19, 2016

From the Cereal Aisle - Fingos

Product: Fingos
Company: General Mills
Years: 1993-1994

I was doing some research on Fingos for this post, when my son walked up and asked "What are Fingos?".
I told him "It was an old cereal that was made so you could eat it with your hand."
His 8 year old mind thought for a second, then he says "All cereals can be eaten by hand if you don't add milk."

And he's right.

Which I guess is why this product flopped. You didn't need to market a cereal that can be eaten by hand since ALL cereals can be eaten by hand.

Fingo's was a strange offering from General Mills. It came in 2 flavors, Honey Oats and Cinnamon, and there was also a variety pack called "Fingos Singles" that had smaller snack packs of each flavor.

But nobody bought it, because they could see through the gimmick.

It also didn't help that "Fing" is the Hungarian word for passing gas, and the word "Fingos" translated to "He Farts a lot" in that language.

Which come to think of it, probably would have actually helped with sales, had they made that public. Well, it would have helped with sales among 6-13 year old boys, anyway.

Also, part of their sales slogan was "Anytime, anywhere", which sort of makes me feel like they are threatening to fight me.

Wanna go, Fingos? Huh? Let's go....you and me.....RIGHT NOW! (wait, what's that smell...)

Anyway, they didn't last, but this strange, flatulant, eager to fight cereal still deserves a spot on our shelves.
It was a swing and a miss for General Mills, but perhaps it was just a little before it's time, as there have been several other snackable cereal offerings similar to this in the recent years.

So do you remember eating these back in the early 90s?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

From the Misc. Foods Aisle - Tuna Twist

Product: Tuna Twist
Company: Nabisco
Years: 1976

"I'm Sir Celery, I'm Ms. Parsley, We are the Onion Twins...
We're...in....Tuna Twist, a tuna taste, fresh as the garden"

Let me just start off by coming clean: I think Tuna is disgusting. It smells bad, it tastes bad, and the seafood industry wants you to believe that it's this wonderful high class product, when it's actually, in my opinion, the seafood version of Spam. Cheap, canned, and oh so gross. (There goes my big Tuna/Spam sponsorship money......)

I have to say, though, that I was intrigued the other day when I stumbled upon a product that I had never heard of in my life, called Tuna Twist. The product, made by Nabisco in 1976, was a "meal extender", which is a fancy term for "this is all the food we have in the house until next payday, so we need to make it last". Basically, it was seasoning packets that was to be added to tuna salad that somehow magically made your pound of tuna turn into a pound and a half.

Witchcraft? We can't be certain.

Actually, the packets contained textured vegetable protein. Remember this. It will be important later on.

Tuna Twist came in 3 flavors: Onion, Cheddar, and Italian.
"We are giving the consumer a way of adding variety to her tuna. Most housewives just don't take the time to do things like take an onion, dice it, and add it to the tuna, themselves". Stated a Nabisco Representative - From a newspaper article from July 27 1976.

This product was launched in the summer of 1976, and was going to be the new big thing in stores and kitchens around the country. Heck, they even had a commercial with dancing vegetables.....

But it turned out there was a problem.
That textured vegetable protein I mentioned earlier? Yeah....about that...
..it was making people sick. Lots of people.

So only a few months after it's launch, there was a recall on the product, and Tuna Twist was pulled from all store shelves. Considering that I couldn't find any advertisements or coupons from any year other then 1976, I'm pretty sure it never returned.

Did it ever come back? That's where I need your help. Do you remember eating Tuna Twist later then 1976? And can you be certain it was in fact, Nabisco Tuna Twist, and not some knockoff that came later.

You know, a product that had a name like Tuna Tonight! (and Tomorrow night...and the night after that....), or "Totally Tuna! (made with 92% Vegetable Protein). If you remember it, let me know below.

And as for the commercial - here you go. Watch 4 tuna sandwiches turn into 6!
(She's a witch! Burn her!)