Interesting Facts about Snacks

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 Flamin’ Hot version of Cheetos was created by a 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. [1]

2. 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

Food companies rely on salt to make their snacks crave-worthy and addictive. Surprisingly – or perhaps not – scientists have found that salt is addictive in some of the same ways as cigarettes.

4. 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 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 than other snack foods such as potato chips and crackers because the salt helps to keep the bread moist during packaging and shipping.

7. The Invention of Potato Chips was an Accident

Potato chips were invented in 1853 by 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 

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 pellets. He then later started selling M&Ms to people in the United States, featuring a letter M on each treat.

10. 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 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 1964, Doritos were introduced for national distribution.

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

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

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.

Moreover, the “Pringle Man” logo is modeled after Mark Pringle, the grandson of one of Proctor & Gamble’s engineers.

14. 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

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

Twisting them off is one of the most popular ways of eating an Oreo. However, there are other ways people enjoy their cookies, including dunking them into milk, peeling them apart to eat just the crème filling, and biting into their cookie whole. [6]

17. 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. The Original Name of Lays Chips

Lays Chips were initially called Walkers Crisps, after their founder. But in 1965, they decided to change the name because they wanted it to sound more American as they had plans to expand into the US market. However, it is still sold as Walkers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

19. 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. 

20. 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.

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. https://www.npr.org/2021/05/20/998709191/why-people-are-upset-over-the-history-of-flamin-hot-cheetos
  2. https://mycolumbusmagic.com/1710259/insane-things-you-should-know-about-snack-foods/
  3. https://appliedpsychologydegree.usc.edu/blog/psychology-of-the-grocery-store/
  4. https://inshorts.com/en/news/potato-chips-were-invented-accidentally-in-1853-1488181878956
  5. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/first-breakfast-cereal-granula-had-be-soaked-being-eaten-180962340/
  6. https://www.delish.com/food-news/a49724/which-side-of-oreo-cookie-gets-the-icing/