Between 1950 and 2000, the United States became a nation of snackers. Manufacturers introduced a host of packaged snacks that catered to basic cravings for sugar, salt, and fat. By the 1980s, people were consuming snacks everywhere—at home, work, and school, and while in the car or walking down the sidewalk. Yet as these items became widely accessible and affordable, many questioned whether they were contributing to the loss of healthy eating patterns and the overconsumption of foods with little nutritional value.
Super Snack Bowl
Since the first Super Bowl football game in 1967, the annual championship contest has become a national day of snacking. For many Americans watching at home on television, the game has become secondary to the feasting. Game-day favorites include pizza, chicken wings, chips, nuts, popcorn, dips, spreads, and beer.
From Street to Staple
Fritos corn chips launched a snack empire by transforming a popular Mexican street food, fritas, little fried things, into a mass-produced, mass-marketed snack staple. C. E. Doolin of San Antonio, Texas, purchased a recipe and equipment for making the chips by hand from Gustavo Olguin in 1932. By 1950, having applied Henry Ford’s assembly-line methods to their production, Doolin was selling bags of Fritos nationwide.