Mug-O-Lunch, 1978
Mug-O-Lunch, 1978 by Allen (CC BY-NC)

23 Foods We Miss From the '70s and '80s

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Mug-O-Lunch, 1978
Mug-O-Lunch, 1978 by Allen (CC BY-NC)

Radical Eats

Snack foods, insta-meals, cereals, and drinks tend to come and go, yet the ones we remember from childhood seem to stick with us — like Jell-O Pudding Pops stuck to our hands as they melted. Children of the 1970s and 1980s had a veritable smorgasbord of ill-conceived and nutritionally suspicious fare to enjoy, and still miss their unusual packaging, unique smells, off-the-wall flavors, and the sheer insanity that went in to conceptualizing them. If this junk food nostalgia isn't enough, there's plenty more to dig into on cereal alone.

Hubba Bubba Gum
Amazon

Hubba Bubba Gum

This late 1970s brightly colored bubble gum came in big cubes kids loved, but its popularity faced competition from Bubblicious in the 1980s. The original was discontinued, but Mars bought Wrigley and rebranded it in a tape form.

Related: Worst Halloween Candies for Your Teeth

TV Dinner Tonight
TV Dinner Tonight by Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC)

Swanson TV dinners

A turkey or fried chicken dinner encased in foil was where it was at in the 1970s. You had to perform surgery to extricate the peas and carrots baked into the fruit cobbler that lay between the potatoes and the veggies. These were a staple dinner for Friday nights ahead of "The Brady Bunch."

Related: Frozen TV Dinners We Still Miss

Keebler Magic Middles
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Keebler Fudge Magic Middles

Neither the chocolate fudge cream inside a shortbread cookie nor versions with peanut butter or chocolate chip crusts survived. But the 1980s fave gets rumored returns and tantalizing dead links from Walmart and Amazon.

Related: Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Brands

Ecto Cooler HI-C
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Ecto Cooler Hi-C

"Ghostbusters" sparked a licensing frenzy in toys and food items, and in 1989, Hi-C rebooted its classic Citrus Cooler as a bright green lime drink featuring the film's Slimer character. In 2015, Coca-Cola renewed the trademark for the "Ghostbusters" reboot.

Related: 50 Iconic Movie Locations You Have to Visit

Jell-O Pudding Pops
Amazon

Jell-O Pudding Pops

Pudding Pops hit stores in the late 1970s but were a kids' staple in the 1980s with Bill Cosby as their genial promoter. Over time they were discontinued, and Cosby is in prison.

Related: 20 Cheap, Easy Dessert Recipes 

Baron Von Redberry
Amazon

Baron Von Redberry

In 1972 it was safe for Baron Von Redberry, a WWI German pilot who flew around spreading his berry-flavored oat cereal with berry marshmallows in a General Mills concoction that turned milk into fruit punch. Redberry's catchphrase was "Baron Von Redberry is der berry goodest!" while pilot Sir Grapefellow, with his own fruit cereal, replied: "Tally ho! Sir Grapefellow is the grapest!"

Triple Power Push Pops
Amazon

Triple Power Push Pops

Sugar-loving kids in the 1980s always had a Triple Power Push Pop at the ready. The slidable lollipop could be stored and savored at different times. Some retro candy websites have links where they can still be tracked down.

Hershey's Bar None
Amazon

Hershey's Bar None Candy Bar

Hershey's Bar None was introduced to the world in 1987 (and in Canada was called a Temptation). Made of milk chocolate-flavored wafers filled with chocolate cream, then covered with crushed peanuts and a coating of milk chocolate, it tried to compete with Twix. The "tame the chocolate beasty" candy fell into oblivion, however.

Related: History of the Candies You Love

Nabisco Swiss Cheese Crackers
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Nabisco Swiss Cheese Crackers

This 1980 snack cracker looked like a piece of Swiss cheese, complete with holes, but America didn't care. Canada still has access to Christie Swiss Cheese Crackers.

Reggie! Bar
Wikimedia Commons

Reggie! Bar

Yankees legend Reggie Jackson was so popular that Standard Brands made a candy bar and named it after him, which fans used to throw when Jackson was at bat. This mid- to late-1970s confection had milk chocolate, peanuts, and gooey caramel, similar to the Baby Ruth bar.

Danka
eBay

Danka

Toast'em rolled out their own 1970s Danka toaster snacks, which sort of looked like a real pastry. The Toast'ems of today don't have this continental flair.

Related: Best Bakery in All 50 States

PB Max
Wikimedia Commons

PB Max

Peanut butter and chocolate topped a healthy, oat-filled cookie made with whole grains for a Mars confection that was ahead of its time. Now this describes just about every other energy bar out there.

Koogle Peanut Butter Spread
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Koogle Peanut Butter Spread

Before seemingly everyone was allergic to peanuts, this spread from the 1970s ruled. It came in a chocolate version — the closest most of us would get to Nutella for a while — and a handful of other flavors, touted as a spread that didn't make your mouth stick together.

Related: 20 Food Trends That Weren't Around 20 Years Ago

Aspen Soda
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Aspen Soda

The late 1970s was when Pepsi introduced the refreshing apple soda called Aspen. It was eventually revamped and rebranded as Apple Slice, before that brand also disappeared. A "crisp and crystal clear" drink with "just a snap of apple," Aspen was gone by 1982.

Related: 44 Unique Regional Sodas You Have to Try — If You Can Find Them

Fruit Brute Cereal
Amazon

Fruit Brute Cereal

The era was the off the charts for sugar consumption at breakfast. General Mills introduced this "fruit flavor frosted cereal + marshmallow bits" in 1974 with a werewolf mascot on the box. Quentin Tarantino sometimes plants this retired cereal as a prop in movies.

Marathon Candy Bar wrapper re-creation - 1970's
Marathon Candy Bar wrapper re-creation - 1970's by Jason Liebig (CC BY-NC)

Marathon Bar

This 1970s treat was a long braid of caramel covered in chocolate, thin and very long — proven by the ruler graphic printed on the back of the wrapper. With a name suggested by the decade's fad of running and jogging but Old West-style marketing, it was tasty but confusing.

Hostess Chocodiles
Wikimedia Commons

Hostess Chocodiles

The Chocodile was a chocolate-covered Twinkie with a reptilian mascot, Chauncey Crocodile, who claimed "It takes a while to eat a Chocodile." (It didn't.) This 1980s cult classic had a 2014 mini reboot when Hostess made it in a tiny fun-size form.

Nabisco Cheese Tid-Bit
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Nabisco Cheese Tid-Bit

Over time, competitors such as Goldfish and Cheez-Its stole the cheesy goodness thunder, but true fans can move to Canada and return to enjoying what are known as Christie Cheese Bits.

Related: 11 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Snacks

Nintendo Cereal
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Nintendo Cereal

Gamers may have eaten up Ralston's Nintendo Cereal System, a box of paired crunchy colorful cereal that promoted "Super Mario Brothers" and "The Legend of Zelda." But not enough — it was game over after one year in 1989.

Related: Best Arcade Bars in the U.S.

Banana Frosted Flakes
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Banana Frosted Flakes

Super sweet Frosted Flakes have never left the cereal shelf, but adding banana flavor seemed to go too far in the early 1980s. This cereal lasted only about three years, though there's a Banana Creme version back on those shelves now.

Mug-O-Lunch, 1978
Mug-O-Lunch, 1978 by Allen (CC BY-NC)

Mug-O-Lunch

Betty Crocker rolled out hot dishes made in a mug in 1976. "My wife's a magician," says the happy husband who gets the macaroni and cheese version in a cup. Modern microwave versions make this seem less amazing.

Related: Betty Crocker-Era Recipes That We Secretly Love

Hickory Farms Chocolate Bars
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Hickory Farms Chocolate Bars

These flavored chocolate bars were at Hickory Farms mall stores all across America in the 1970s. At least there are still some malls and Hickory Farms stores.

Dinky Donuts Cereal
Amazon

Dinky Donuts Cereal

Early 1980s breakfast cereal Dinky Donuts started advertising by playing into the decade's weird business fetish, featuring kids in suits giving "expert" opinions about Ralston's cereal made of little doughnuts. Were the kids indicted for insider trading?

Related: Crazy Gourmet Doughnuts Across the U.S.