Extinct Supermarket Merchandise

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Jason B.
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Extinct Supermarket Merchandise

Post by Jason B. » 13 Dec 2006 21:30

Does anybody know of any "extinct" or "threatened" items which were found on most supermarket shelves 20, 30, or 40 years ago but now have disappeared or are difficult to find?

In the early 1980s (an era of "stagflation"), many supermarket chains had aisles dedicated to "generic" private label products. (The Lucky Stores generic line had canary yellow packaging with simple bold black typeface.)

In northern California, many supermarkets then stocked Hansen's and Shasta carbonated beverages in significant quantity. Six packs of tall-necked returnable soda bottles seemed to have more shelf space at that time than plastic 2-liter bottles.

In the mid-1980s, wine coolers (Bartyle & James, Seagram's) were popular in states where supermarkets are permitted to sell alcohol. In that era, many types of desserts could be found in freezer cases, such as Frujen Glaje (sp?) and Touje (sp?). Hawai'ian style potato chips were in the snack aisle.

In the early 1980s, kiwis were not easy to find in the produce section, if they were sold at all. Prices for fruits and vegetables were often displayed on miniature changeable plates (as is still done on big price signs at service stations) which were hung from clothesline-like contraptions.

At the checkout counter then, laser price scanners and conveyor systems were relatively new. Plastic sacks (other than in the produce section) were a rarity. The paper sacks did not have handles -- the plain ones made for good book covers for school textbooks.

rich
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Post by rich » 22 Dec 2006 19:53

All kinds of possibilities: remember "speghetti" squash and "monkfish" (still around as fake crab & lobster), circa 'mid 1970s.

Salad bars: After they swept less expensive restaurants and workplace cafeterias, they started to appear in supermarkets, esp. in metro areas. Now, only high end stores have them. Winn-Dixie even had "melon bars" in their Marketplace stores--these were among the first things to go when they began scaling down stores before their bankruptcy.

Brands like Rinso, Breeze, Ipana, etc. Unilever, in particular, still sells many of these old brands, in their old packaging in "developing" countries. Don't know if they use the old formulations. I once sat on a plane, next to a Unilever sales rep whose brand portfolio was mostly stuff I'd forgotten since I was a kid.

Chiffon: an instant pudding product that is much like Yoplait's "whips"

Extender in hamburger--soy product used to "extend" cheap grades of ground beef (usually 80% mystery meat, 20% soy). It never caught on.

Premade Pizzas (ready for the oven, sometimes made to your specifications). these were popular in the 80s & 90s, but have disappeared. Most were horrible and worse than frozen. The best were at least better than Dominos.

"Double bagging", back when you only got paper, better stores would double bag your heavy loads, sometimes everything, if you asked. Some stores had a cheap version--thinner than usual paper bags glued together at the base. Some stores used 3-color based bags with multi-colored logos.

Check cashing---by the 80s, some stores like Jewel were set-up so that the store store would function like a branch bak for depositing a paycheck (they did this in Illinois because of the laws greatly limiting the number of branches a bank could have).


Re: generics---the food items were okay if you could bury them in something esle, but the cleaning and paper products were awful. You'd have to use 2-x as mucah as with a"real brand", cancelling out the savings.

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Post by javelin » 23 Dec 2006 02:34

rich wrote:Check cashing---by the 80s, some stores like Jewel were set-up so that the store store would function like a branch bak for depositing a paycheck
Boys Markets had these up until the early 80's in CA, separate from the rest of the store out in front. ATM's made these obsolete.

I can think of a couple of international items that were common about 10 or 20 years ago, Birds Custard (NOT made from birds!) and Bisto gravy (both British). You have to look now in specialty import shops and pay about 4 times what they go for in the UK.

When's the last time you saw Steakums? Mars bars? Apple-flavored soda? Moon Pies?

rich
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Post by rich » 23 Dec 2006 04:58

Steak-ums, another 70s icon!

Mars bars are still with us and Moon Pies probably will never disappear from the Southeast.

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TheStranger
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Post by TheStranger » 23 Dec 2006 15:12

Mars bars? The American Mars bar was recently rebranded Snickers Almond, though outside the US the international Mars bar remains.
Chris Sampang

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runchadrun
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Post by runchadrun » 23 Dec 2006 16:01

Hansen's soda is still available at Whole Foods and Trader Joes and I think at regular supermarkets. Shasta is available at Ralphs and at the 99 Cent Only store. My mom would buy the nastiest Shasta flavors when I was a kid, like diet black cherry and diet grapefruit, all of with with sacharrin. (These days I drink a lot of Safeway and Albertsons brand diet orange soda with Ace-K which is so much better.)

Spaghetti squash is still around. I just saw some today at Vons.

Rinso, etc, are available at dollar stores. I have no idea if it's the original formulation or if they just licensed the name.

I've seen the pre-made unbaked pizzas in the deli areas of Albertsons, Ralphs, and Vons. They are shrinkwrapped and presumably assembled off-site (which a lot of service bakery and deli items are today anyway.) If I were to buy a pizza at the store today I would get a Di Giornio-type frozen pizza, which is soooo much better than the Mama Celeste crap I grew up with. Now there's an entire pizza chain, Nick & Willy's, based on the bake-at-home premise.

I do wish they would bring back Aspen apple soda...

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Post by javelin » 23 Dec 2006 23:18

TheStranger wrote:Mars bars? The American Mars bar was recently rebranded Snickers Almond, though outside the US the international Mars bar remains.
I didn't know they're Mars bars...you'd think M&M/Mars would've done some better advertising. Maybe they should rename M&M's to "Skittles Chocolate".

Yes, I've tried the international Mars bars, thinking they were like the American version, only to find out they were Milky Ways without the caramel.

I wish New York Seltzer were still around...they pulled out of the west coast in the early 90's and went under completely 5 or so years ago. And New Coke hung on in the Midwest/Northeast until the mid 90's. I actually liked having a choice other than "classic coke" once in a while.

BTW Diet Coke is New Coke without sugar.

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TheStranger
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Post by TheStranger » 24 Dec 2006 01:00

javelin wrote:
I wish New York Seltzer were still around...they pulled out of the west coast in the early 90's and went under completely 5 or so years ago. And New Coke hung on in the Midwest/Northeast until the mid 90's. I actually liked having a choice other than "classic coke" once in a while.
If I'm not mistaken, "Coke II" was the brand name for the New Coke formula after 1985 or so.
Chris Sampang

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Post by jamcool » 24 Dec 2006 01:18

Who remembers "melloream"...the vegetable oil based milk alternative?

And Barq's soda in more than "root beer" flavor (they had strawberry, orange, etc.)

And the "box corral"...where all of the empty cardboard boxes were placed...for anyone who needed and empty box. Today they are placed in a compactor and sent out in bundles for recycling.

javelin
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Post by javelin » 24 Dec 2006 02:16

TheStranger wrote:
javelin wrote:
I wish New York Seltzer were still around...they pulled out of the west coast in the early 90's and went under completely 5 or so years ago. And New Coke hung on in the Midwest/Northeast until the mid 90's. I actually liked having a choice other than "classic coke" once in a while.
If I'm not mistaken, "Coke II" was the brand name for the New Coke formula after 1985 or so.
Yep. How about Jolt and C&C cola?

lvkewlkid
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Post by lvkewlkid » 24 Dec 2006 02:17

What happened to Storm and Pepsi Blue.

The last time I was at Smart and Final, they had a box corral.

terryinokc
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Post by terryinokc » 24 Dec 2006 02:22

The ice-cream product was actually "Mellorene"---at least at Safeway. It was totally nasty. Safeway's private label was called "Joyette". I guess this was to distinguish it from the ice cream and ice milk that had the Lucerne labels.

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Daniel
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Post by Daniel » 24 Dec 2006 05:43

Storm was re-named Sierra Mist. That replaced Slice. (Remember when that was introduced they made a big deal about it having fruit juice in it?)

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Post by Super S » 24 Dec 2006 21:39

Daniel wrote:Storm was re-named Sierra Mist. That replaced Slice. (Remember when that was introduced they made a big deal about it having fruit juice in it?)
Slice had several flavors, including mandarin orange, cherry cola (cherry Pepsi in disguise), and apple, in addition to lemon-lime. Towards the end I remember cans of lemon-lime Slice which also read, "contains no juice".
Other than lemon-lime, Slice flavors came and went quickly. Never even had a chance to try the apple flavor.

Don't forget Crystal Pepsi.

Shasta isn't widely available these days. Only place I see it is WinCo.

I miss Hires rootbeer and Nehi soda myself.

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TheStranger
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Post by TheStranger » 24 Dec 2006 21:58

Dollar Tree and 99c Only in California each have Shasta well stocked, if I'm not mistaken. In Kentucky, Dollar Tree had Faygo.
Chris Sampang

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