Interesting Facts about Snacks

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Did you know?…Chocolate chip cookies were invented accidentally by Ruth Wakefield. Puffcorn is an ancestor of popcorn. No, you’re not dreaming. Those ARE facts and you can learn them and more below!

1. The Invention of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

The Invention of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

The Flamin’ Hot version of Cheetos was created by a Maxican-American janitor who sprinkled chili powder on the original variety. He was recognized by upper management and has since become an executive vice president of PepsiCo’s North American division. Most people believe that it was a made up story [1]

2. Frito-Lay has an Amazing Research and development (R&D) Team

Frito-Lay has an Amazing R&D Team

Snack producer Frito-Lay employs a research team of around 500 scientists who conduct studies on how to make their chips as delicious and addictive as possible. The researchers even have a device that tests how much pressure the chips can withstand before they snap. [2]

3. Salt is one of the Powerful Assets of Most Snack Companies

Salt is one of the Powerful Assets of Most Snack Companies

Food companies rely on salt to make their snacks crave-worthy and addictive. Scientists have found that salt is addictive in some of the same ways as cigarettes. [7]

4. Snacks are not Always Unhealthy

Snacks are not Always Unhealthy

Snacks usually contain a lot of calories and are often high in fat or sugar; however, some snacks can be healthy options if they contain nutritious ingredients like fruits, veggies, whole grains, or protein. Snacks don’t have to be unhealthy – they can include foods such as nuts, seeds, popcorn, cheese sticks (or slices), edamame (soybeans), and yogurt.

5. Grocery Stores Know How Shoppers’ Brains Work

Grocery Stores Know How Shoppers’ Brains Work

Grocery stores advertise their wares using the principles of human psychology. The processed-food manufacturers pay good money for eye-catching soda displays in the front right of the store because that’s where we look first when we enter a grocery store. [3]

6. Commercially produced Bread Contains More Salt

Commercially produced Bread Contains More Salt

Commercially produced bread contains more salt than other snack foods such as potato chips and crackers because the salt helps to keep the bread moist during packaging and shipping. Salt also helps with the structure and prolongs the shelf life. [8]

7. The Invention of Potato Chips was an Accident

The Invention of Potato Chips was an Accident

Potato chips were invented in 1853 by George Speck (a.k.a George Crum). He was trying to prepare French fries for a customer at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York but kept getting complaints that they were too thick. The chef decided to cut them even thinner and fry them until crisp to teach the customer a lesson. The thin fried potatoes turned out to be a hit, and he ended up serving them as a special snack instead of as French fries. [4]

8. Snacking-centered Commercial Products

Some commercial products have been specifically designed for snacking, such as Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Jelly Belly jelly beans, M&M’s, Oreos, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, Pringles potato chips, Rice Krispies Treats, and Sun Chips.

9. Forrest Mars was inspired by soldiers in the Spanish Civil war

Forrest Mars was inspired by soldiers in the Spanish Civil war

On the way to visit his father in the United States, Forrest Mars stopped in Spain. That was when he saw soldiers marching and eating chocolate that had crisp sugary coating In 1940, he invented his own recipe for M&Ms and started selling M&Ms to people in the United States, featuring a letter M on each treat. In 1981, astronauts took M&Ms with them on their flight to outer-space. [9]

10. Sugar is another weapon in the snack manufacturing arsenal

Sugar is another weapon in the snack manufacturing arsenal

Sugar extends the shelf life of baked goods, which is why snack manufacturers frequently sweeten products that contain sucrose. Researchers have determined that there is a genetic component to our love for sweets – a factor that snack companies take into account when developing products.

11. The Invention of Doritos

The Invention of Doritos

The account of how Doritos came to be is a relatively well-known story. Arch West, a Frito-Lay executive, was on vacation in San Diego and discovered the deep-fried tortilla chip at a Mexican restaurant. He liked the idea so much that he brought the idea back to his company, and in 1966, Doritos were introduced for national distribution. [10]

Traditionally, Doritos were made from yellow corn with preservatives such as sodium benzoate and fumaric acid, but these ingredients have been removed from all varieties and replaced with more natural ingredients.

12. Granula is known as The First Breakfast Cereal

Granula is known as The First Breakfast Cereal

The first breakfast cereal was created in 1863 and was called granula. Granula was made from graham flour and resembled animal feed pellets rather than what we think of as cereal today. [5]

13. Pringles are Not Actually Potato Chips

Pringles are Not Actually Potato Chips

Since their invention in 1968, snack food has changed the way people eat potato chips. But Pringles are not actually potato chips. They were invented by a chemist who was trying to make a dehydrated potato that wouldn’t break. Its recipe also contains rice, corn and wheat.

14. Snacks are Often Used as Prizes

Snacks are Often Used as Prizes

Snacks are often used as prizes for winning games or competitions because they make people happy. The word prize comes from the French word prise, which means something taken by force, such as in war or battle.

15. Snacking Around the World

Snacking Around the World

In Europe, snacking is defined as eating a small amount of food between regular meals. In the United States, snacking is defined as eating at times other than regular mealtimes.

16. Oreo Icing

Three out of four people twist off their Oreo cookie before they eat it

You can actually predict which side of Oreo will have the icing. Take on cookie from the box. Make sure the text faces the right way. Then take the cookie out from the upper left hand corner. If the icing is on the left side, other cookies in the box will also have the icing on the left side of the cookie. [6]

17. Snack Foods Were Once Synonymous With Junk Food and Candy

Snack Foods Were Once Synonymous With Junk Food and Candy

Snack foods were once synonymous with junk food and candy, but today there is also a growing market for healthy snack foods. These healthy snacks often contain fruits and vegetables. Many people buy these snacks because they can be consumed quickly and easily, without any preparation required.

18. Frito-Lay Lays Uses Different Brand Names in Different Countries

The Original Name of Lays Chips

Frito-Lay uses different brand names in some countries. For example, lays are called Walkers in the UK, Smith’s in Australia, Chipsy in Egypt, Tapuchips in Israel, Poca in Vietnam and Sabritas in Mexico. [13]

19. The Origins of the Word “Snack”

The Origins of the Word “Snack”

The word snack comes from the Low German verb “snacken,” meaning “bite.” Snacks have been a part of human civilization since before the dawn of agriculture. [11]

20. Tortilla Chips Are Made From Corn Flour

Tortilla Chips Are Made From Corn Flour

Tortilla chips, the popular crunchy snack, are made from corn flour. They are made by frying thinly rolled pieces of dough known as tortillas. Tortillas have been around for centuries and have become a staple food in Mesoamerica. Today, tortilla chips are consumed across America and other countries.[12]

Conclusion

The time to nosh is anytime! The snack industry has exploded in the last couple of decades. Nontraditional snack foods have grown tremendously, and the top snacks are catered to an endless variety of tastes. As you can tell from our list, the average American’s favorite food is potato chips. We eat chips with pizza and burgers, play poker with them or even eat them for breakfast when we are on a road trip.

References

  1. Why people are upset about the Flamin’ hot Cheetos story. (2021, May 20). NPR.org. https://www.npr.org/2021/05/20/998709191/why-people-are-upset-over-the-history-of-flamin-hot-cheetos
  2. Insane things you should know about snack foods. (2017, July 26). Magic 95.5 FM. https://mycolumbusmagic.com/1710259/insane-things-you-should-know-about-snack-foods/
  3. Psychology of the grocery store. (2020, March 12). USC MAPP Online. https://appliedpsychologydegree.usc.edu/blog/psychology-of-the-grocery-store/
  4. George Crum and the potato chip. (2022, June 26). Saratoga County History Center. https://brooksidemuseum.org/2013/10/george-crum-and-the-potato-chip
  5. Eschner, K. (2017, March 7). The first breakfast cereal, Granula, had to be soaked before being eaten. Smithsonian Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/first-breakfast-cereal-granula-had-be-soaked-being-eaten-180962340/
  6. This side of the Oreo always gets the icing, according to science. (2016, October 19). Delish. https://www.delish.com/food-news/a49724/which-side-of-oreo-cookie-gets-the-icing/
  7. A classic instinct salt appetite is linked to drug addiction. (n.d.). EurekAlert!. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/779361
  8. Comparative studies on the salt content of white bread and wholemeal bread. (n.d.). ournal of Physics: Conference Series. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/4/12/17226478/salt-bread-sodium-analysis
  9. M&M’s melt in your mouth, not as you launch. (2011, July 14). NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna43758286
  10. History. (n.d.). A History of Doritos (a history project). https://historyofdoritos.weebly.com/history.html
  11. Snack | Etymology, origin and meaning of snack by etymonline. (n.d.). Etymonline – Online Etymology Dictionary. https://www.etymonline.com/word/snack
  12. How tortilla chip is made – material, making, used, processing, structure, product, industry, machine. (n.d.). How Products Are Made. https://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Tortilla-Chip.html
  13. Walsh, L. (2019, January 23). 8 popular packaged foods that go by different names around the world. Insider. https://www.insider.com/famous-foods-with-different-names-around-the-world-2019-1

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