“Nothing Else Will Do..” The Hostess Potato Chip story!

Posted: July 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Well its break time on The SuperHero Satellite. So I have stopped the time travel coordinates in 1994 My team of Heroes and I have gathered in the break hall deep in the center of the Satellites hull. While the Satellite undergoes repairs I thought it would be fun to remember one of the best snack food of the 70s, 80s and early 90s..the Canadian institution known as Hostess Potato chips! So relax with a bottle of New Coke or Crystal Pepsi and have a bag of Hostess chips and tell em Hero sent ya..To my Canadian readers out there who remember these, fondly raise a bag a chips in the air one time for me in memory of this amazing time in snacking history! Before we begin FULL credit for this post goes to my good friends at http://www.retroist.com who posted a great blog post on Hostess earlier this month. Check out their site. I have posted a link to their site and Hostess article at the end of this post! Thanks guys! Now on to some eating memories!

Hostess Potato chips a Canadian Cultural Institution!

The 80s were a time of change in Pop Culture. Music had taken off with the advent of the music video. Video games were entering people’s living rooms in mass numbers thanks in part originally to Atari and Nintendo a little later. Computers were growing, but not yet to the mainstream level they are at in today’s world. Cartoons were on fire. He-Man, Thundercats, Go-Bots, She-Ra, G.I. Joe, you name it..we had it on out TV screens in the 80s. Of course all of these activities were often accompanied by the tradition staples of a kids diet in the 80s, Soda, Candy, and Hostess Potato chips!! Hostess was the main potato chip brand sold in Canada and they were awesome!! For far less than a dollar you could take home one of these paper foil bags of goodness! Hostess had a very clever marketing campaign.

The chips themselves were different than their U.S.counterparts in that the chip was heavier, seemed to have more salt, came in a flashy foil paper bag and came in several flavors that those across the border did not have unless they visited their Canadian neighbors! We had..Ketchup (Red Bag), Sour Cream and Onion (Light Pastel Green Bag), Roast Chicken (Dark Brown Bag), Dill Pickle (Dark Green Bag), Pizza (Tri-coloured Red White and Green Bag), Salt and Vinegar (Golden Yellow Bag), Plain (Blue Bag), Ripple (Darker Blue Bag).

Hostess packed a whallop with their flavors. Sour Creme and Onion was a force to be reckoned with!

Hostess had three mascots called Munchies which were multi-colored (Red, Orange, Yellow!) well…Munchies. Many full scale Munchie mascots made the rounds in all parts of Canada at all kinds of grocery stores and major events. You could be you could see a Munchie anywhere! Of course when the Munchies were around, free chips were sure to follow! What I fondly remember most about the Hostess brand, outside of the Munchies, and the fact the chips themselves were amazing..they always had some sort of giveaway inside!! They had baseball stickers, music stickers, Star Trek The Next Generation mini trading cards, and even Movie related stickers and things like Dick Tracy sweepstakes!

Hostess had the BEST giveaways in Chip history..Bar None!

Who knew the folks at Hostess were Trekkies!

The most often revered giveaway were the WWF Wrestlemania wrestling stickers!!  Like video games and music, Pro Wrestling was red hot in the 80s and names like Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Macho Man Randy Savage were all household names.


wwf1 wwf2 wwf3WWF4

Hostess capitalized on the World Wrestling Federations biggest event WrestleMania, and produced not one, but two full sets of stickers! You could get all of the big names like The Hulkster Hulk Hogan, The Hot Rod Rowdy Roddy Piper, Tito Santana, Don The Rock Muraco, King Kong Bundy and journeymen like Outback Jack and HillBilly Jim!!, etc. Series two featuring Wrestlemania 4 had Tag Teams like The Demolition, The British Bulldogs, and The Rougeau Brothers, Strike Force and The Islanders!!

The stickers were fiercely sought after and it was always a race with my circle of friends to see who completed the set first. Of Course that meant that you had to eat a TON of Hostess Potato Chips! A fair trade in one mans opinion. I had the advantage in the second series as my father happened to be a Soft Drink rep who had friends in the Potato chip market. Yep! One Saturday evening I sifted through two CASES of chips opening every bag (48 in total) and completed my collection well ahead of any of my friends. The elusive British Bulldogs sticker was uncovered on bag number 46!


wwf-hostess-21-to-35-1988 wwf-hostess-1-to-20-1988


Hostess was a Canadian institution and The Munchies were a part of Canadian Pop Culture like Mickey Mouse was to Disney however it would all come to and end when Hostess was purchased by power house Pepsi Co, who bought all existing rights to the company. Hostess had already paired with Frito Lay the U.S . Potato chip juggernaught, and at that time were still known as Hostess /Frito Lay but the brand name Hostess remained front and center. However the Chip market had changed with many house brands being sold by super markets at a far more discounted price, Another serious concern were the rise of several “Boutique” brands like Pringle’s, which took a large chunk out of the Hostess bottom line. In tough times the decision was made to re-brand the product and start fresh.

The Munchies were the Mickey Mouse of Canadian Pop Culture!

Hostess officially became Lays and with that their entire product line was revamped. Some key flavors such as Hickory Sticks, Dill Pickle and Ketchup were retained in certain Canadian markets but the for the most part the Hostess name itself disappeared. The Hostess name is still featured prominently on one particular bag of chips as our lone reminder of the beloved brand. Hickory Sticks are the only remaining Hostess product out there that resembles the original product that carries the Hostess logo!! The legacy of Hostess lives on however in ways that many might find surprising!

If you look closely the Munchies are hidden in places you do not expect. I smile every time I see them!

Not in years has a chip giveaway been such an event but Hostess always brought a level of excitement to the Potato Chip market in Canada. Heck, most of us Canadians know that Hostess was a precursor to the legacy of one of the worlds most famous chip..DORITOS!! Hostess got into the Tortilla market in the mid 80s by releasing Taquito’s. There were exactly two flavors, Nacho Cheese (Which much later became Zesty Cheese) and Taco flavor. Nacho Cheese would later be absorbed by the Frito Lay company and morph into Doritos Zesty Cheese, while the Taco flavor seemed bound to retro obscurity. Doritos themselves in the past two years paid homage to this retro flavor and released a limited edition Taco flavor complete with stylized retro packaging! Safe to say I took full advantage of these while they came back temporarily!

This homage to Hostess Taquitos Taco flavor made me very happy. Guess what they nailed the taste as well. Great work Doritos!

Hostess is fondly remembered by Canadians! Every now and then I will see a Munchie on an old sign or a T-Shirt and smile. Chips will always be around ..but remember..

“When you’ve got the Munchies..Nothing else will do..Hostess Potato Chips!”

Like this post? Why not leave a comment or talk with me directly on Twitter @Charlton_Hero . Join the conversation using #SuperHeroSatellite.

For more Hostess fun and all other retro madness you MUST visit http://www.retroist.com/2013/07/12/remember-hostess-potato-chips/

  1. Pavikia Chevardourhi says:

    An great trip down memory lane!

  2. Brian Jones says:

    Please can you tell me were to get hostess potato chips?? nothing else will do

  3. Hi, My name is Denise. I’m 40. I remember as a kid, that hostess promoted WWF stickers in their bag of chips. I noticed they are posted on this website and I wonder why you don’t do it for the kids of today? It would be awesome to see the kids of today enjoying that type of thing. Hopefully you can do this for the kids!? Plus you’d sell a lot more chips I’m sure. Thanks

    • charltonhero says:

      Thanks for reading SuperHero Satellite. While I have no affiliation with Hostess other than loving the product I agree the sticker promotions were genius. They actually had a very cool rock sticker collection prior to the wrestling ones! After the second series of wrestling stickers they finished up with a movie sticker set. Ill post pics of them if I find them!

      Thanks for reading!!

  4. kim griffiths says:

    To Whom It May Concern My name is kimberley Griffiths an i am the chip queen ive been eating hostess chips everyday for over 35yrs an some people think there fatty an i havent gain weight even after 4 children love your famous dill pickle chips,always need my chip fix an my children are also addicted we buy more than 20 bags a week no joke an hostess is number one1 we were all just wondering why you havent created red hot chips im sure you would sell millions to people all around the world to the people who put that shit on everything ,we will be your taste testers no problem just let me an my children know thanks.

    • Hey there Reader!

      Thanks for your comment! I like the passion you have for chips but sadly I do not work or am I affiliated with Hostess. I a simply a Blogger who has great memories of the now defunct Hostess Brand (Now Lays!) I like the suggestion of “Red Hot” Chips and I am sure that Lays would appreciate that feedback. You can let them know what you think of their product and give suggestions with the following link Lays Canada Contact Us Site

      Thanks for reading the Superhero Satellite..

      Hero Out.

  5. ianthecool says:

    Didn’t they have some sort of Flavours of the World promotion for a while?

  6. Amy Furguson says:

    did hostess go out of business? what happened i want me crisps….cant find here in manchester

  7. The best flavour was Smoky Bacon… now “bacon” chips all taste like BBQ…

    • Can’t disagree…Plenty of the new flavors are recycled from older trial ones from the past and renamed. Sometimes you do get daring new flavors which are outside the box but there is plenty of repetition.

  8. Bill Currie says:

    Was there not a Cajun Chicken in a black bag in the early 80 or is it the Mandela effect

  9. Coreen Lecocq says:

    I miss the Hostess name. Personally, I think Hostess was a better name than Lays. I’ve enjoyed the various flavours esp Dill Pickle and Sour Cream and Onion. Did Hostess have ‘Green Onion’ in the earlier years? Those were to die for!!

    • The Hostess name in Canada still has plenty of emotional ressonance for folks raised in the 70s and 80s.

      As for the Green Onion flavor I am pretty certain that it didnt exist but many other flavor variations did!

      I personally enjoyed the Hostess brand and have fond memories of its time in my life as a child in the 80s.

      Thanks for reading Superhero Satellite!

  10. Coreen Lecocq says:

    I miss the Hostess name. Personally, I think Hostess was a better name than Lays.

  11. Chadius says:

    I was mad in love with Nacho Cheese Taquitos back in the day, and Doritos Zesty cheese is nothing like them. I’d like to take a time machine just to eat a bag of those again.

  12. Neil Evans says:

    The Pizza chip was my all time favorite, if anyone knows anything comparable give me a shout please.

    • Hey Neil, while there have been many Pizza chips long after Hostess none have attempted a flavour match. Lays had Pizza chips last year but it tasted like marinara flavour rather than Pizza flavour per say. If I see anything that comes close I’ll certainly post it up here!!

  13. Tree D says:

    I LOVED collecting the stickers for inside the bags of chips! I think that’d what lead to my interest in Card Collecting Games with packs now like pokemon, magic, etc. Thabks for the trip doen memory lane. They NEED to bring this idea back. My kifs are missong out on this fun and social experience.

    • Agree on all aspects of your message! The stickers kept me coming back for more chips to get the collection. It was a social deal as well as we swapped and traded the stickers. They were displayed everywhere you looked like on lockers, lunch boxes, mirrors, walls you name it they were everywhere!!

      Glad you enjoyed the article and hope it put a smile on your face!

      Take care


  14. Marty says:

    My friend tells me somewhere between the late 50’s and early 60’s you could purchase Hostess potato chips in a box for $0.25 I certainly remember the .05 .10 cent foil bags but not the card board boxes. Can anyone confirm this either way thanks.

  15. John Anaka says:

    Yeah..what a wild childhood ..opening a bag of dill pickle chips and getting a free bag coupon..love it…one more run please.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s