Favorite, now mostly Extinct, Retro Snack Foods from Childhood

With the Holiday food and snack-binging season now weighing more heavily upon us every day now, my wife and I stumbled into a conversation the other evening about snack foods we remember from childhood, particularly ones that are now extinct.  I recalled several that to this day I can still remember the taste and smell, and would give just about anything to get my hands on once again.  There’s just something about no longer being able to get something you like that makes you miss it all the more.  That got both of us to googling to see if anyone else remembered these and try to find out what might have become of them.  Anyway, I decided that this would make a good blog story, so here’s a list I came up with.  Please leave a comment with some of your favorites too!

Vintage 1960’s Great Shakes Dance Party TV Commercial1)  “Great Shakes“, by General Foods.

This was the ultimate instant childhood chocolate milkshake for me.  I’m not sure if it was the cool plastic brown shaker/mixer cup we had with the tan lid sticking out from a grocery store shelf that got my attention; or rather, more likely this catchy commercial.  My mom bought the shaker, and we’d get the packs of magical powdery mix when we went to the grocery store together.  I wish I knew whatever became of the mixer cup we had.  I may have tossed it in a rage when I found out that they were extinct.  Anyway, I could make them myself by simply pouring the magic powder into the mixer, adding milk up to a line in the cup, shaking it up and putting it in the fridge to chill, then later I could chill!  I tried several different brands and even attempted to mix my own concoctions but could never get anything close to right.  To this day, I still can’t imagine how anyone could make such a great milkshake from a powdered mix.

Chip-O's Corn Chips Keywind Tin Can2)  “Chip-Os” corn chips, by Morton Foods.

Just your garden-variety round corn chips, but they were good!  They even came in a real, indestructible metal can including a “key” that you used to twist off a metal band to unlock the fresh contents inside.  According to the side of the can, they could be had then for only four bits too!  My parents should have bought several and put them in a time-capsule, they’d probably still be just as fresh today and worth a bundle on E-bay!  I did not know until I googled them that they were made by Morton’s.  I’d always assumed that they were made by Frito-Lay, since it seems like they disappeared just about the time that “Doritos” came out and showed up in our house.  I like Doritos, but the original “Toasted Corn” flavor just never quite tasted the same.

3)  “Chunky” plain chocolate bars, by Chunky/Ward-Johnson/Nestle?

These were the best candy bars ever!  They (now Nestle) still make a few of them with nuts and raisins that are flatter and segmented, but they’re just not the same.  The ones I remember riding my coaster bike to the convenience store to buy for two bits a piece were solid sweet milk chocolate, nothing else and came in a dark brown wrapper.  They were nearly an inch thick and oh so much fun to bite down into!  So much chocolatey goodness.  I could never quite get that effect with a flat Hershey bar, even by breaking them up into squares and stackin’ ’em high!  I couldn’t even find anything else on the plain ones on the web except a couple of other people asking about them, but I absolutely do remember them!

4)  “Black Pepper Jack” flavored “Doritos” corn chips, by Frito-Lay.

These are actually a snack from much more recent adulthood.  They only lasted about a year or so before disappearing as fast as they appeared.  My first encounter with these was a snack-pack at Subway for lunch when they were out of my normal choice of chips, but it was love at first bite!  They briefly made a comeback a couple of years ago and I bought several bags then but they quickly disappeared again breaking my heart twice.  I’ve replaced them with “Salsa Verde” flavored Doritos.  They are similar, but a bit stronger on the spice and harder to eat many without a beverage.

1966 Product 19 Cereal Box5)  “Product 19” cereal, by Kelloggs.

This became my fav. cereal during childhood and remained so through much of my adulthood until it was discontinued a few years ago. They changed the flavoring slightly for the worse and enlarged the flakes some time when I was in high-school and they were never as good, but I still liked them and ate them often until the end. I eat cereal dry and for some reason the new flavor always made an orange-juice chaser taste like lemon juice.

6)  “Chocolate Stars”, by Brach’s Candy.

I go way back with these, to very early childhood.  They still make a great comfort snack for me!  I like the sweeter chocolate than Hershey’s.  They’re not yet extinct, but have become more challenging to find.  A local store, Gibson’s, still carries them.  They now come mostly only in bags, as shown in my photo, but the old-school way and best way to get them was to scoop them out of a bin into a bag and try to get as many into it as you could fit and taking them up to the counter to be weighed, the whole way struggling mightily to fight off the overwhelming temptation to eat just one!  Last time I bought them that way was a few years ago in San Antonio, Texas at the H-E-B grocery store.



  1. Becky Reed
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    How about Tang, Walnettos, Cherry Mash candy bars, ribbon candy at Christmas–guess I’m showing my age.

  2. Posted February 11, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This article posted at this web site is actually fastidious.

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