Once groovy, some foods are now ‘out of sight’

As I’m prone to do, I recently went down some rabbit holes to an interesting topic for you all to enjoy. I came upon an article entitled “Bizarre Supermarket Products from the ’70s That Are No Longer Seen Today.”


Here are some of the bygone foodstuffs highlighted:

• TV dinners in foil trays

I remember these as a young kid! When my dad was home for dinner, we had to eat foods out of his garden but every now and again when he worked a night shift, Mom would let us go the supermarket, scope the frozen food section and let us pick out some fun foil-encased entrées.

The ’70s solidified the TV dinner’s place in American culture, with foil trays partitioned to separate the main course from the sides. These convenient meals catered to the era’s busy lifestyles and the growing trend of meals in front of the television. However, with the rise of microwave cooking and growing health consciousness, the classic foil-tray TV dinner has become a nostalgic artifact, replaced by healthier and microwave-friendly options.

• Celery-flavored Jell-O


The ’70s witnessed a Jell-O flavor experimentation phase, introducing savory options like Jell-O that tasted like celery. Intended for salads and aspics, this unusual flavor catered to the decade’s adventurous culinary spirit. However, as culinary trends shifted toward fresher, less processed foods, such savory Jell-O flavors vanished from the shelves, leaving many to question their existence in the first place. Just eww.

• Tang

The powdered orange-flavored drink mix Tang is synonymous with ’70s beverage culture, partly due to its association with NASA’s space missions. Although Tang is still available today, its prominence and the fascination surrounding it have significantly dwindled as consumers have turned toward fresher, less processed juice options. I remember it being rather gross.

• Canned hamburgers

In the 1970s, food companies introduced one of the more unusual convenience foods: canned hamburgers. These cooked hamburgers were sealed in cans, much like traditional canned meats, providing a quick meal option that only required reheating. The concept of a canned hamburger was a novelty that played into the era’s fascination with convenience foods and the burgeoning fast-food culture. Despite the practicality it offered like shelf stability and ease of preparation, the idea of a hamburger coming out of a can was met with mixed reactions. My reaction is ick.

l Cereal box prizes

In the world of bizarre supermarket products, few were as fun as these additions to a breakfast staple. The thrill of finding a toy or a collectible inside a cereal box was a quintessential part of ’70s breakfast culture. However, concerns over safety and changing marketing strategies have made such surprises rare, transforming cereal box prizes into a cherished memory of a simpler time. We loved the prize inside when we were kids. It was sort of like having Cracker Jacks of breakfast!

One more.

• Toastettes

These were Nabisco’s answer to Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts. The toaster pastry craze offered a quick, warm breakfast or snack option straight from the toaster. Despite their convenience, Toastettes couldn’t keep up with the competition and changing breakfast habits, which lead to their eventual discontinuation and making them a forgotten relic of ’70s breakfast tables.

Thinking about it now, I’m missing some of these reminders of my youth.

Kimerer is a columnist who loves Pop-Tarts. Contact her with your unusual breakfast options at pkimerer@zoominternet.net.


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