Famous Snack Food in the 1970s

Updated February 21, 2017

Snack food fads change in the same way that clothing styles and popular television shows do. While Twinkies are still around, they don't dominate the market like they did in the 1970s. Sometimes, a company will capitalise on middle-aged nostalgia for snacks of the past by reintroducing a product from previous decades. People who were kids in the 1970s are in their 40s in 2011, and many can afford to buy plenty of nostalgic snacks.

Party Food

Millions of people who were teenagers in the 1970s have memories of parties with their friends where they ate Cheez Puffs and Ritz Crackers and watched the magic process of Jiffy Pop popcorn. This product consisted of popcorn sold in a disposable aluminium pan that was sealed with flexible aluminium foil on top. The container was heated on a stove, causing the popcorn to pop, expand and enlarge the aluminium foil into a huge dome. You would then rip the dome open and feast on the popcorn within.


Pringles took a bite out of the chip market in the 1970s, despite all of the jokes about tennis balls. These jokes were based on the fact that, unlike the other chips that were sold in bags, Pringles were sold in cardboard tubes with a plastic top, similarly to tennis balls. Pringles were nominally crisps, although they were made of potatoes that had been mashed down and reformulated into identically shaped chips that could be neatly stacked within the tube. Each Pringle was manufactured into a perfectly rounded hyperbolic paraboloid, a shape similar to the brim of a cowboy hat.

Adult Snack Foods

More than any other food, fondue characterises the hip adult party scene of the 1970s. A fondue set consists of a small Sterno container, a bowl, a base to set it on and a set of tiny, two or three pronged forks. A dip is put into the bowl and kept warm with the Sterno flame underneath it, and bits of bread or other foods are then dipped into the substance with the small forks and eaten. Fondue dishes can be savoury, featuring cheese dips, or sweet, featuring fruit dipped in molten chocolate.

Fondue was often served at parties with other favourites such as "pigs in a blanket" -- mini-sausages wrapped in dough -- and shishkabobs with ham, cheese and pineapple.

Junk Food

As is the case in every decade, people loved sugar in the 1970s. Twinkies outlasted the competition from Ring Dings and Little Debbie Snack Cakes to become synonymous with sugary junk food, and for good reason. A Twinkie is a small chocolate cake with sugar-based filling in the centre. Twinkies were eaten by the millions in the 1970s, and were perhaps partially responsible for the health and weight loss crazes of the 1980s. The edibility of a Twinkie was prolonged through the inclusion of a plethora of chemicals and preservatives.

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About the Author

Jagg Xaxx has been writing since 1983. His primary areas of writing include surrealism, Buddhist iconography and environmental issues. Xaxx worked as a cabinetmaker for 12 years, as well as building and renovating several houses. Xaxx holds a Doctor of Philosophy in art history from the University of Manchester in the U.K.