How many times did you beg your parents in the grocery store with the plea, “Mom, can I please have Lunchables? Pleeaaase?” That’s right, Lunchables. If you were a 90s kid, that was the lunch to have; opening up your backpack to find Lunchables waiting for you was like hitting the jackpot.
So to honor our old friend Lunchables, let’s throwback to eight fun facts about our favorite pre-packaged lunch.
1. In 1985, Oscar Meyer Released Lunchables To Sell More Bologna
Bob Drane, Tom Bailey, and Jeff James spoke with numerous focus groups of American mothers to see what their issues were about lunch-making. The biggest reported problem was not having enough time, so the team came up with Lunchables – an on-the-go snack that would save mom’s time and revolutionize our lunch-eating experience forever.
2. Oscar Meyer had Some Awful Names Before Settling On Lunchables
Some of these rejected names include – On-Trays, Crackerwiches, Mini Meals, Walk Meals, Go-Packs, Fun Mealz and (my personal favorite) Smoothie Kabobbles. I’m not sure if I would have eaten anything with the word “Kabobble” in it. Lunchables was a good choice, Oscar Meyer.
3. People Are Still Grieving Over The Removal Of The Red Stick From The Pizza Lunchables In The Early 2000s
For those of you who remember the red stick, it was a plastic utensil included in the pizza Lunchables so you could spread your sauce evenly over your “crust.” The red stick vanished from Lunchables in the early 2000s, and there are still people mourning over the loss. R.I.P., red stick.
4. Lunchables Were Designed To Look Like A Frozen American TV Dinner
Considering that Lunchables were born in the 80s, this makes sense. The packaging to hold all your accouterments (i.e. that space never filled by the pizza crust, the spot where they sometimes just forgot to include turkey slices, and you almost cried in the cafeteria) is made to look like the old TV dinners of yore.
5. Legendary Actor Malcolm McDowell Appeared In A Lunchables “Commercial” In 2013
Meant to be a spoof during McDowell’s cameo on 30 Rock, and on commercial advertisements in general, most people were just generally confused about why this Shakespearian actor was trying to sell Lunchables to them. Not sure if this helped Lunchables sales at all, but it is one entertaining commercial.
6. Oscar Meyer Scrapped Their “Maxed Out” Line Of Lunchables Due To Negative Press
The “Maxed Out” Lunchables aimed at adults had bigger helpings of Lunchables-goodness. However, when the “Maxed Out” pack ended up on the Cancer Project’s list of the Five Worst Packaged Lunchbox Meals, they had to reconsider.
To be fair, the “Maxed Out” Lunchables were worse for you than a Big Mac – with 660 calories and 22 grams of fat –so we can understand all the fuss.
7. A “Healthier” Lunchables Was Released Called “Fun Fuel”
What I’m about to tell you isn’t easy to hear. The “Fun Fuel” Lunchables replaced the candy in your regular Lunchables for yogurt and went with a “healthier juice option,” which I’m assuming means they temporarily nixed Capri Suns. BLASPHEMY.
Luckily, the masses won out – slow sales convinced Oscar Meyer to pull the “Fun Fuel” line. DON’T TAKE AWAY OUR SKITTLES, DAMN IT.
8. The Issue Of Our Generation – Were The Cheese Slices Stuck Together Or One Big Hunk Of Cheese?
Thousands of chat groups, Facebook groups, and blogs have been created over this one issue – seriously. Although this is merely an unsolved mystery that would occasionally plague your Lunchables, the children of the 90s are still unsure and unsettled about this cheese stack conundrum.