We all have those “things” in our lives that feel sacred to us. Places, people, objects, beliefs. For me, it’s not necessarily an item or person, it’s more so a period of time. A time when everything was acid-washed and bad for you in all the good ways. That’s right, I’m talking about the ‘80s. And being a proud ‘80s baby, there’s just something about being born in this decade that makes me feel like I’m superior to every generation thereafter. If you didn’t grow up or live in the age of Saved by the Bell, Lou Grant, Prince’s “Purple Rain,” Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach,” N.W.A., Punky Brewster, Salt-N-Pepa, 21 Jump Street, Rakim, the Thriller album, and the ultimate cult-classic film of misfits, The Breakfast Club, we probably don’t have much to talk about. The ‘80s shaped much of who I am today, but the snacks I ate while watching TV or listening to music after school is a next-level of obsession, one I hold near and dear to my heart now that most of my childhood treats have been discontinued.
As I long for the days gone by of slap bracelets and Jawbreakers, I realize the new normal is organic, dye-free, and clean eating. Yes, the processed sugar, bleached flour, Wonder Bread, and food dye I grew up on is very much frowned upon today. So naturally, every so often, I want to revisit some of the snacks I loved as a child… food stuffs that are as reminiscent of the ‘80s as shoulder pads, Nerds, and side ponytails with scrunchies (Uh-huh, I went there).
Some are firmly of the past, some persevere in the present, but none of these tasty treats will be forgotten (at least, not by me). Here are some of my favorite ’80s snacks and our inspired substitutes that come pretty close to the real thing. This is Throwback Thursday: snack edition. Join me for a little walk down processed food memory lane.
Keebler’s Tato Skins
- Year Launched: 1985
- Our Version: Stuffed Potato Skins
Dinky Donuts Cereal
- Year Launched: 1981
- Our Version: Double-Chocolate Cereal Treats
Hunt’s Snack Pack Pudding
- Year Launched: 1984 in plastic cups
- Our Version: Pumpkin Pie Pudding
Dolly Madison Fruit Pie
- Year Launched: Used Peanuts characters in advertising during the 1980s
- Our Version: Apple-Toffee Hand Pies
Squeezeit Fruit Drinks
- Year Launched: Mid-1980s
- Our Version: Star Fruit Quencher
Oreo Big Stuf
- Year Launched: 1984
- Our Version: Crème-Filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Betty Crocker Dunk-a-roos
- Year Launched: 1988
- Our Version: Snickerdoodle Dip
- Year Launched: 1988
- Our Version: Pokemon Pikachu Bento Box
Smurf Berry Crunch Cereal
- Year Launched: 1983
- Our Version: Three-Grain Breakfast Cereal with Walnuts and Dried Fruit
Jell-O Pudding Pops
- Year Launched: 1982
- Our Version: Chocolate Pudding Pops
Whether or not you grew up in the age of Psycho, Rocky, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, or Forrest Gump, your childhood was undoubtedly marked by interesting food and snacks you were proud to show off in your lunchbox. What are some nostalgic snacks from your generation you wish could make a comeback? Tell us about it in the comments below.