With the seasons changing, Mother Nature starts winding down for winter. Although people must maintain their normal course, even we sometimes follow suit. For example, during the holidays, most of us put everyday concerns on the backburner.
In case you haven’t noticed, this slows the news cycle down quite a bit. Consequently, content with a more personal tone has a way of taking over the headlines. And among those human interest stories are tributes to prominent figures that have departed over the past year. In a similar vein, I thought it to might be good to commemorate products that are no longer with us but remain close in our hearts:
• Wacky Packages – In the 1970’s, Wacky Packages (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wacky_Packages) were stickers that spoofed popular brands at the time. Parodied trademarks included “Mess Clairol” instead of “Miss Clairol”, “Bald” for “Bold” detergent, and “Cheapios” for Cheerios. Although the classics are gone, you can get some current versions here: https://bit.ly/2ZMggxC.
• Funny Face Drink Mix – Although there is only one big player left in kid’s drink mixes, Funny Face was a brand from another era that once stood toe to toe with Kool Aid. As a child, I was very favorably disposed toward this option. On top of one packet making two whole quarts, each flavor featured a cartoon character like Goofy Grape and Lefty Lemon. While two quarts doesn’t sound like anything in this super-sized world, it seemed like a lot at the time. Although they probably tasted about the same, it could be argued that the illusion of choice beats no choice at all! To jog the memory banks, find out more here: http://theimaginaryworld.com/ffpac.html.
• Generics – With stagflation, shortages, and an all-around sense of malaise, expectations in the 1970’s were so stunted that even pretty packaging ended up on the chopping block! As a result, by the late 70’s, one could find sections of supermarkets dedicated to what were called “Generics”. Unlike private label items, generic products featured stark black-and-white packaging that listed the name of the product and little else. At the time, the idea was that the defrayed cost of logos, colors, and graphics could be passed on to the customer. With contents every bit as lackluster as the container, this fad ended up being fairly short lived. If you didn’t live during those glory days, here is where you can find out more: http://gbnfgroceries.blogspot.com/2014/01/from-misc-foods-aisle-generic-brands.html.
• Cajun Spice Ruffles – With chefs like Paul Prudhomme and Justin Wilson popularizing Louisiana cuisine in the 1980’s, the clamoring for Cajun flavors reached such a fever pitch that even snack food couldn’t escape its grasp! Cajun Spice Ruffles were one outcome. In fact, the commercials for this product featured none other than Justin Wilson: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGMBjWLUo9Q). Although these snacks wouldn’t bring Cajun standbys like jambalaya to mind, they were pretty good!
• Jell-O Pudding Pops – Another mainstay of the 1980’s were Jell-O pudding pops. As you might guess, they were comprised of frozen pudding rather than ice cream. By getting the best of every world, they were so good that they became mega-sellers in their day. Even into the 1990’s, they remained a mainstay in many homes. However, as fast as its rise was, it was pulled from store shelves even more quickly. Practically overnight, they were gone. Although Popsicle reintroduced the concept, they never quite duplicated the original and they were discontinued a few years ago.
• Vanilla Cream Pop Tarts – Since my friends are probably tired of hearing me wax rhapsodic about them, you now get to benefit from their fatigue. For me, this is the absolute best pop tart flavor ever. In case you doubt, Google “Vanilla Cream Pop Tarts” and you will find many people of like mind. Of course, being as excellent as they were, Kellogg’s naturally discontinued them in 2009. Although they were temporarily brought back in 2014 to commemorate Pop Tart’s 50th anniversary, this proved fleeting. However, like Linus awaiting the Great Pumpkin, I believe they will one day return.
• Mystic Mints –Although I never actually got around to eating one, I have it on good word (my wife’s) that Mystic Mints were in a class by themselves. With a tender cookie interior that was coated in ganache and flavored with just the right amount of mint, no other cookie came close. Like vanilla cream Pop Tarts, there are a lot of people online who agree. If you would like to sign a petition, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Nabisco-Please-bring-back-Mystic-Mints-148409508541819/.
While some discontinued products (Generics?) may have deserved their fate, I thought I would share a few that probably deserve a second chance. And if they don’t come back, we can still keep them in our thoughts.
If you have recollections of other great (but gone) brands, please visit and "Like" our Facebook site (Click www.facebook.com/LubbockSavvyShopper or log on to Facebook and enter “Lubbock Savvy Shopper” in the search tool) or write us at SavvyShopperLubbock@gmail.com and let us know your thoughts. To stay abreast of developments, follow us on Twitter to get updates: https://twitter.com/LbbSavvyShopper. Don’t miss out!
SEAN FIELDS is the A-J’s Savvy Shopper. Read his columns Sundays and Wednesdays. Email him at SavvyShopperLubbock@gmail.com, like his Facebook page at Facebook.com/LubbockSavvyShopper, or see previous columns and deals at lubbockonline.com/savvy-shopper.
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Fields: Products that are no longer with us, but are close at heart