Food designed for American children has always been a melting pot of preservative-laden, teeth rotting, diabetes-inducing deliciousness, but never was this as true as it was in the 90s. I can remember the forgotten favorites from my elementary school Ninja Turtle lunch box and the joy of pulling each magnificent morsel out of its colorful, environmentally devastating packaging.
I’m a fat kid at heart as well as in body composition and I feel that these 4 examples of discontinued 90s snacking perfection deserve their place in the sugary spotlight.
Mickey’s Parade Ice Pops
There’s something about popsicles that make them the perfect medium for advertising. Shaping them into any kind of popular cartoon character, super hero, or phallic shape just makes their sweet, icy explosion of fruit flavor even more enjoyable. The Mickey’s Parade ice pops were the perfect blend of flavor, form, and function.
They came in the traditional popsicle flavor trio of grape, cherry, and orange, but Mickey’s ice pops did these classic tastes an inordinate amount of justice. They were pretty large popsicles and weren’t as airy and loosely packed as some of the cheaper brands. Their smiling faces were also flawless reproductions of the beloved Disney characters they were sculpted to look like.
It’s a real shame you can’t find these anymore. The thing about discontinued popsicles is there’s absolutely no chance of finding them on eBay. Life is cruel.
Fruit snacks have been around for a really, really long time. The “fruit” in their title makes moms a little bit more okay with purchasing calorie-rich, gelatinous, artificial sugar blobs to shove into their children’s lunches. As if children weren’t fat enough already, Betty Crocker had to come along and introduce a fruit snack that made no attempt to appear healthy. Instead, they modeled the flavors and the shape of the product itself after the unhealthiest beverage of all: soda.
The 7-Up Cool Spot character only made everyone want these things even more. After playing his eponymous Super Nintendo game and chugging a 2 liter of cherry 7-Up, a kid could rip open a pack of these bad boys for dessert. The 90s were truly as close to heaven as we’ll ever get.
What could be better or more crunchy than a regular Doritos tortilla chip, you say? How about A THREE DIMENSIONAL FUCKING CHIP!!!
No more eating 2D snack foods and wishing they had more substance, as these adorable little bastards were basically Doritos that had been inflated with air to produce a delicious, crunchy, satisfying snack food that could be taken anywhere.
Doritos even had the foresight to make cup-shaped canisters to contain the scrumptious trinkets, making them both portable and durable. Whether you were sitting in a school cafeteria or hanging out in your stolen-porn-magazine-laden tree house, you could munch on Doritos 3D’s.
At the time, these seemed pretty popular. I have no idea why Doritos decided to stop making them. I feel like it was a big mistake. It’s time to bring these bad boys back.
Doritos Pizza Hut Pizza Cravers
Going a little bit deeper into the Way Back Machine, Doritos used to have a partnership with Pizza Hut. For those of you who don’t know, Pizza Hut was on top of the world in the early 90s.
Does anyone remember “Book It!” from elementary school? It was a scam where they’d get kids to read books by promising them a free personal pan pizza if they read the required number of books. It was marketing at its most genius.
Anyway, Pizza Hut’s partnership with Doritos led to the most amazing Doritos flavor ever created: Pizza Hut Pizza Cravers. Now, granted, I know that Doritos has a Pizza Cravers flavor out now, but it tastes absolutely nothing like its previous incarnation.
The original Pizza Hut Pizza Cravers was so much spicier and tastier. It was an instant classic in my household.
I can still remember Friday nights when a friend would sleep over and we’d stay up late watching Children of the Corn movies, drinking Mountain Dew, and eating Pizza Hut Pizza Cravers. It’s such a beautiful mental picture.
Unfortunately, like every good thing that has come into my life, it has been violently stripped away. I would give anything to have these chips touch my lips one more time.
Most people don’t even remember them. The tiny image I have of them is the only one I could find on the internet. There was nary a mention of them. This must be remedied.
In the end, though, there will always been new snack foods coming out and, hopefully, a day will come when a salty, sugary snack food will fill the empty void left in my life.
I hope my children and my children’s children will have lasting fat ass food memories to rival these from their formative years. There’s nothing like reminiscing about something you used to stuff your face with and save up your allowance for as a kid.
Remember, kids, the first rule of cafeteria bartering is to always trade up.