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25 Classic Foods from the '70s

If you had Pop Rocks in your lunchbox, you were living large.

Although the 1970s were an era of political turmoil and hard economic times, there were also disco, free love, and basement hangs. When it came to food, home-cooked meals were a little weird; this was also an era of widely mass-produced snacks. Packaged snacks became a bigger part of the American household in the '70s, and there were plenty of interesting treats to choose from.

From cereal to crackers to pudding, here are 25 foods from the 1970s that will remind you of simpler times.

And for more, don't miss these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

Concentrate Cereal

six bowls of different kids' cereals with spoons and glass of milk

Concentrate Cereal was branded as the cereal with the highest concentration of nutrients. It came out of the box looking like fish pellets and expanded as it soaked up the milk. Kellogg's pulled Concentrate Cereal from the shelves in the late 1970s.

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Danish Rings

kelloggs danish rings box 1970s

These boxed treats were like Pop-Tarts, only round. They replaced Danish Go Rounds, which broke too easily. Sadly, these were discontinued in the 1980s.

And for more nostalgic favorites, don't miss these 35 Snacks From Your Childhood You Forgot You Loved.


jars of koogle peanut spread from commercial 1970s

What's better than peanut butter? A peanut butter spread that comes in a variety of flavors like chocolate, banana, and vanilla. In the 1970s, that was Koogle.

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mug o lunch betty crocker boxes 1970s commercial
Betty Crocker/YouTube

Exactly as it sounds, Mug-O-Lunch by Betty Crocker was lunch in a mug. Open the package, add hot water, and then you could feast on macaroni and cheese or noodles and gravy with beef flavoring.

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Banana Flip

vanilla twinkie on fork
Erik Clegg/Shutterstock

Brands in the '70s were pretty creative. Case in point: the Banana Flip, made by a few snack cake brands like Nickles and Mickey's. A yellow banana cake was folded into a half-moon and stuffed with a cream filling (it almost looked like a cake taco). Sadly, you can no longer find Banana Flips on shelves.

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Pizza Spins

pizza spins
Courtesy of General Mills

Although Pizza Spins weren't around long—they launched in 1968 and were pulled in 1975—their legend lives on. The crispy pinwheel-shaped snack took the flavors of pizza and put it in chip form. Chips flavored with cheese, tomatoes, and "other spices" sounds delicious, so it's too bad they were gone so quickly.

Hunt's Snack Pack Chocolate Pudding

containers of hunts chocolate snack pack pudding

Forget about pudding in a little plastic container. In the '70s, it was all about pudding in a tin can. According to this ad from the era, it made pudding a party.

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Space Food Sticks

space food sticks

In the '70s, kids snacked like astronauts! Pillsbury's Space Food Sticks actually went into space. The chewy treats came in flavors like caramel, chocolate, and peanut butter.

Cheese Tid Bits

Bowl of cheez its

Nabisco's Tid Bits were an orange-hued crispy cracker snack shaped like pellets. Eventually, Goldfish and Cheez-Its overtook them in popularity.

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pop tarts

Another packaged breakfast treat, Toastettes were even better than Pop-Tarts—according to some fans, at least. They had a thin crust, a warm center, and a light sprinkle of sugar on top for that extra morning boost.

Tuna Twist

box of tuna twist seasoning with cartoon vegetables 1970s commercial

Parents making tuna salad in the 1970s had their worlds rocked with Tuna Twist came out. The seasoning contained a blend of veggies, herbs, and spices. There were three flavors to choose from: onion, cheddar, and Italian. All you had to do was add a pack of Tuna Twist and mayo to some canned tuna for a delicious tuna sandwich.

Pop Rocks

packets of pop rocks candy

These fizzy candies made their way to the market in 1975 and had a relatively short life before being pulled. Fortunately, they're back, and the candy is now being used in creative ways.

Ding Dongs

hostess ding dongs

A Ding Dong was a chocolate-covered cake filled with cream, and they were a huge hit in the '70s. They disappeared briefly but are back on shelves today.

Nabisco Snack Mate Cheese

ritz crackers in bowl on cloth napkin

Hosting a dinner party? All you needed to get things going in the 1970s were some Ritz Crackers topped with Snack Mate cheese from a can.

Cool Whip

cool whip in tub

An invention of the late 1960s, Cool Whip was very much part of the 1970s' gastronomic landscape. Jello salad with a Cool Whip topping, anyone?

These days, we love using Cool Whip to make these Four-Ingredient Cake Cookies.

Hubba Bubba Gum

Hubba bubba awesome original bubble tape gum

Hubba Bubba Gum was Wrigley Gum's first bubble gum product. When it first came out, it was in an original bubble gum flavor, but the brand has since grown to include more flavors like watermelon and cherry.

Swanson TV Dinners

swanson fried chicken frozen dinner

In the 1970s, a lot of homes became dual-income, which meant Mom had less time to cook. So while Swanson's TV dinners were invited in the '50s, they really hit their stride in the '70s.

Danka Toaster Snacks

danka toaster pastry box 1970s commercial
Birds Eye/YouTube

Although Pop-Tarts clearly has the toaster pastry monopoly these days, there was a lot of variety in the '70s. Danka Toaster Snacks were another variety meant to resemble a Danish treat.

Aspen Soda

aspen soda in glass with apple slice

Aspen was a clear, apple-flavored soda. The '70s truly were simpler times!

Marathon Bar

marathon retro snickers bar

Eight delicious inches of caramel and chocolate made up the Marathon Bar, which the Mars company introduced in 1973. According to ads, it lasted a "good long time!"

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Hamburger Helper

According to General Mills' blog, expensive beef prices drove the creation of Hamburger Helper. It was a delicious and economical way to make the most of a pound of ground beef.

Crazy Cow Cereal

cartoon crazy cow cereal
General Mills/YouTube

This pink cereal was coated in a drink mix, so when it mingled with the milk, it turned pink. Cereal with built-in strawberry (or chocolate) milk—genius!

Reese's Pieces

indiana reeses pieces

Although the movie E.T. made Reese's Pieces famous, they're an invention of the '70s. Fortunately, we can still snack on those orange, yellow, and brown candies whenever we want today.


wendys baconfest sign
Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Famous for its square hamburger patties and irresistible chocolate Frosty, Wendy's was founded in 1969 and gained widespread popularity in the '70s. Wendy's also introduced salad bars, but those have all been phased out.

McDonald's Happy Meal

McDonald's happy meal toys

McDonald's launched its iconic Happy Meal in the late '70s. Originally, it was just a burger, small fries, a packet of cookies, and a toy. The contents have changed a bit since then, but even kids of later generations understand the happiness of a Happy Meal.

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Lia Picard
Lia Picard lives in Atlanta where she writes about all things lifestyle. Read more about Lia
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