Nostalgia Nook: Snacks that Smack

Nostalgia Nook: Snacks that Smack

Megan McKay, Contributing writer

For most Mercyhurst students born in the late 90s to early 2000s, the nostalgic snacks of our childhoods still hold great memories. While munching during snack time, many of us sought comfort in the cheesy treats. The popular red and orange boxed cracker brand of CHEEZ-ITs came out with GRIPZ. The GRIPZ were a tiny version of famous CHEEZ-ITs but designed for kids on the go. The snack came out in 2005 and included cheesy, chocolate chip cookies and graham crackers. Cheese snacks, as they remain today, were a huge hit back in the 2000s, including Planter’s Cheez Balls. Planter’s expanded beyond peanuts in 1990 with the debut of many flavored cheese balls that unfortunately been discontinued.

Arguably one of the most missed snacks of the past two decades are the original Scooby-Doo fruit snacks. They have been prestigiously pronounced the greatest fruit snacks of all time. I can attest to the tastiness and uniqueness of the snack. The fruit snack aisle in grocery stores today is now much more generic. However, back when we could hardly reach the middle shelf, there were fruit snacks for every kid’s show and movie as a targeted marketing technique.

Nowadays, there are many ‘healthy’ all-fruit options like Welch’s, a candy Gushers option and then the iconic albeit changed version of Scooby-Doo gummies. For reasons nobody can ex-plain, they were different and the new ones do not compare. They were never too fruity or too sugary, but the world will never be reminded of this perfection. Many attribute the iconic fruit snack to being the foundation of making snack time fun. In 2015, General Mills the producers of the fruit snacks, committed to removing all artificial flavors. This occurred after a survey found that participants would be more likely to buy fruit snacks if they did not contain artificial coloring. In essence, the fruit snacks would never be the same and all original recipes were abandoned. This combined with the recent knowledge of their discontinuation has left many devastated. There have been many petitions created to try to bring them back, but unfortunately there has been no change.

The closest snack to replicating the Scooby-Doo snacks was called Shark Bites. Shark Bites are also another nostalgic snack that have been discontinued. The issue with many snacks today is all of their colors, textures and flavors have been modified. This is clear as we used to eat straight sugar, like in Baby Bottle Pops. Some can still hear the commercial being played on repeat (go ahead, start singing). This sugary snack was one of the silliest of them all, as kids dunked their bottle-shape lollipop into flavored sugar.

It is interesting to note how much snacks have changed, and so have students’ diets as they grow up. Back before I would go out to play when I was in elementary school, I vividly remember having the most sugary cereal and odd snacks. Yoplait Trix Yogurt was always a staple. The cotton candy flavor still reminds me of coming home from school.

As adults, it’s not nearly as much fun snacking as it was when one could count on finding a toy within the package or mazing through the back of sugary cereal boxes. Times have significantly changed, and now I find myself reading the amount of protein on a yogurt cup rather than being amused by the enthusiastic Trix rabbit that ended its reign on yogurt back in 2016. Not only are we growing out of our younger selves as time passes, but the environment we live in is also growing at the same time. Just as our cars, phones and clothes changed since childhood—our snacks have too.