Friday, September 25, 2009

Awesome Lunch Box Beverages of the 90s



Nowadays, it takes a lot of dough to impress our friends. $200 jeans, $100,000 cars; it's awfully tough to attain something covetable. Back in our younger days, however, it was as easy as whatever you had packed in your brown bag lunch. As kids, money wasn't much. We wanted some functional currency. Something we could really barter would, something that had tangible value to us.

That's where school lunches came in. If yours happened to contain a Lunchables box or Snack Pack, congratulations. You were well on your way to your way to lunch trading royalty. It was more than just food, though. The 90s brought an onslaught of sweet beverages that were marketed specifically at youth. These drinks became the stuff that supermarket temper tantrums were made of. Our parents may have aspired to feed us healthily, but they could only hold out so long.

These may not have been the healthiest of offerings, but that didn't stop us from coveting them with ever thirst-unquenched fiber of our beings. Many of them had pretty vague and questionable contents, making them the perfect product for kids. We didn't question, we simply consumed. And if it helped garner us some cafeteria credibility, well then, all the better.


Squeez Its/Kool Aid Bursts


What sort of parent wouldn't want to purchase their kid a six-pack of pure liquid sugar? Especially if they came in super-sleek flexible, squeezable bottle. Everything about it just screamed kid-friendly. The twistable cap with its residual droplets of so-called juice. The faces on the Squeez-It brand bottles. The pure, pure sugar that would no doubt be coursing through our veins at a rapid rate by the time we hit math class. Seriously, I still don't know why my mom refused me these. They seem so full of nature's goodness. What? Chemicals are found in nature. Sometimes.




Capri Sun


Speaking of brands who got a lot of flack from parents for their sugar content. These pouches were like liquid crack to children. There was something so satisfying about plunging the pointed end of that little yellow straw into the pre-perforated circle in that shimmering silver pouch. The contents were indiscernible, to say the least. The ads claimed the juice to be "all-natural" but failed to tell us exactly from which fruits these juices were extracted. It didn't matter much, as we were all pretty mesmerized by the Alex Mack rip-off commercials in which active kids morphed into some silvery form of the juice. Sold.




Orbitz



Nothing quite says refreshing beverage like little balls of orbiting gelatin crowding up the bottle. Novelty drinks are one thing, but sometimes manufacturers take it a bit too far. Orbitz were the hottest drink on the market for about five minutes in the mid-90s, proving that your concept doesn't need to be a good one, just a new one. The little suspended balls of gelatin tasted exactly like, well, balls of gelatin. The concept was interesting and kids certainly found them appealing, but it just didn't cut it for the long-term beverage market.



Fruitopia


In 1994, Coca Cola saw the success Snapple was having with their fruit and flavored tea beverages and thought they'd cash in on the market. They unleashed Fruitopia, a fruit-like drink aimed at teens and young people. They created original tv ad spots featuring kaleidoscoping fruits, new-agey music, and beatnik-esque poetry. I'm not totally sure what they were going for, but I did drink a lot of Fruitopia so I can only assumed it worked on me.




Snapple


Snapple was one of the original beverage giants. There was something oddly trendy about these drinks, even though their commercials suggested otherwise. In the 90s, the thrust of their advertising strategy involved use of Wendy the Snapple Lady responding to Snapple fan mail. It was sort of cute and kitschy in a she-sounds-like-all-of-my-Jewish-relatives-with-that-accent kind of way.


Please try to ignore the annoying countdown part of the commercial and focus on the annoying aspects of the commercial itself.


Snapple was (and is) famous for the under-the-lid factoids, though many errors have been found in these facts. I have learned a lot from Snapple over the years, though. When Costco first opened in my hometown my mother would purchase something like 100-packs of Snapple and we'd be forced to drink it nonstop. I know, I know, there are thirsty kids in China. I'm drinking, I'm drinking.




Sunny Delight







Ah, the classics. Sunny D has been around since the 60s, but there was a marketing push for it in the 90s with ads like this:



And of course, Family Guy in the 90s made a pitch-perfect parody of the 1994 ad. You know, back when the show was still funny.



Libby's Juicy Juice

Okay, I can see that now it's Nestle's Juicy Juice. I will remember it forever forth as Libby's, though


It may not seem like much, but Libby's is something of a juice box advertising genius company. You see, the name sounds familiar to most of us based on their sponsorship of some of our favorite PBS shows, namely the Arthur series. When day after day, we saw our pals at Juicy Juice supporting our favorite shows, we couldn't help but desire our very own juice boxes. After all, it was 100% juice for 100% kids. I guess that means Sunny D is for those of us who were only 2% kids. You know, really grown up for our age.



It definitely is enough to make you nostalgic for the days when your status could be determined by what you pulled out of your lunch box. I've tried bringing Red Bulls and other flashy beverages to meetings at the office, but it just doesn't have the same effect. At least we have our memories.

34 comments:

CTB said...

Sadly I still buy Capri Suns now and then. They are like $1.50 for a whole box! How can I not? hah

Maggi said...

Snapple was very fashionable to be drinking for some reason. lol And I loved Capri Sun although I still can't get the straw in right and just punch it through the bottom.

Melissa said...

I forgot all about Squeeze-Its!!! Those were the best... I love twisting off the little plastic tops. It was pure sugar and pure deliciousness, haha! I also loved Capri Sun, and the challenge of opening it without it squeezing out all over the place. Too funny!

Cee said...

The thing that I hated about Capri Suns and Squeeze it was that there was no where near enough liquid to quench my thirst. I would always pound mine in two seconds. It kind of sucked that they were so small.

Shannon said...

I just loved Capri Suns even though the freaking straw was impossible.

Kyle Cease does a hilarious bit about Sunny D.
http://comedians.comedycentral.com/kyle-cease/videos/kyle-cease---sunny-delight
Starts about 35 seconds in. Cracks me up every time.

Shannon said...

I'll try to make that a live link:
http://comedians.comedycentral.com/kyle-cease/videos/kyle-cease---sunny-delight

Mrs. Newlywed said...

OMG Capri Sun!

We weren't allowed to have them at my school, because people always broke them everywhere.

I still drink Hi-C. I even did a post about it once. I love 1990s juice drinks.

Melanie's Randomness said...

I lived on Capri Sun. I still buy it sometimes. I think I was allergic to Squeeze it. THE SNAPPLE LADY!! OMG i had like forgotten about her. Aww. Awesome. I'm soo going to the super market later and getting more capri. =)

Have an awesome weekend!!!

Nic said...

Sunny Delight and Capri Suns! YUM!

Annie said...

i want a squeeze-it!!
as a kid, i didn't think sunny d didn't taste sweet enough, i would add sugar! ha!

Scientific Housewife said...

I LOVED Squeezits and Fruitopias. I loved the fact that you twisted the top of the squeezit and then just squeezed it in your mouth. I miss those days.

thegamerswife said...

Please keep this blog going - I love reading all your posts and remembering things I had long forgotten about! I'm in my 20s now but I still get juicy juice sometimes when I'm sick! :-P

Miss Kriss said...

Oh my goodness! I had completely forgotten about Squeeze-Its! (I didn't like the Kool-Aid Bursts! They weren't as sweet!) Back in the day, I LOVED me some squeeze its! hahaha. I always packed one in my lunch. And sometimes, when I got home from school, I'd put one in the freezer and make a little Squeeze-it slushie! Mmm...nothing like colored sugar water! ;)

Carol said...

Squeeze-Its - YES!!!!

Sally-Sal said...

I still love Capri Sun. And Snapple :)

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Remember when Juicy Juice came in a giant can that your mom had to put two holes in to pour properly. Clearly before the days of individually packaged everything.

Brunch at Saks said...

Oh.my.goodness. Squeeze-Its! I completely forgot about those things!!! No High Fructose Warning from the gov't when those things were circulating! Being a diabetic, I do still buy Capri Suns for when my blood sugar goes low, but even those aren't the same as they were then because they have changed to a "healthier" formula. Thanks for the great post! XO

A Real Housewife said...

Capri suns all the way.

Ela said...

I always wanted to but always talked myself out of trying Orbitz. Good to know I wasn't missing much.
S STILL loves frutopia, though now we buy the frozen kind and mix at home.

Lil' Woman said...

I remember I played quarters with my mom when I was little using squeeze its! :) Those were the good old days!

Frank said...

I remember that the only place to find Orbitz near my house was at the Science Museum gift shop...I guess because it looked futuristic and whatnot. The liquid itself tasted pretty good but the little globs of gel felt like snot going down your throat...*shudder*

I still adored that stuff anyway.

Andhari said...

LOL this brings back the good old days. I always bought caprisun and apple snapple. The later one I drank everyday at school :)

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Oh lordy I totally forgot Squeeze Its existed until today. I loved to take those to lunch. Capri Sun and Juicy Juice ruled my lunchroom too.
Just the other day I was babysitting my boyfriend's nephew and had one of his Capri Suns. It was nice because they're just as good now as I remember. :)

Paigealicious! said...

Ugh, the thought of Squeeze-Its made me want to puke back then, not to mention now! But I totally loved Fruitopia. My mom used to buy me Capri Sun because it had less packaging (?) but I could drink them in like 1 sip, which sucked. Anyone remember "Boku?" It was like, a "grown-up" juice box?

jules said...

I had forgotten that Squeeze -Its existed in life! Fantastic! Thanks for brining that back. And yeah, there always was that tiny bit of "juice" in the cap.

The Stewie clip is hilarious!

lovelila said...

I miss Squeez-Its! Loved them! I miss Fruitopia, too. They used to sell them in the drink machine when I was in high school, my freshman year. So good. In between classes, rushing to get a Fruitopia...yum!

LiLu said...

DUDETTE. Thank you so much for including the Stewie clip. I always bust out with "pueple stuff... SUNNY D! ALL RIGHT!" and no one gets it.

Sarah (Matters of Style) said...

Hilarious!! And don't forget about Clearly Canadian! I loved that stuff!

suplauren said...

I seriously haven't gone without Capri Suns for the last year. I recently polished off a huge bottle of Sunny D too.

You forgot my favorite though: Mondo. Basically the same as Squeeze-Its, but was more 90s looking. I just found a pack of Legendary Berry at a Dollar Tree, and I almost can't bring myself to open it.

HipHopOtaku said...

My dad brought home the Orbitz drinks from work...I guess he got them as part of a promotional thing or something. He brought home two: one for me and one for my little sister. We both liked them a lot, even though we were the same kids who complained about nasty pulpy bits found in orange juice. These were just...different somehow. Both she and I have searched for them, but have not been able to find them since that evening all those years ago.

PatrickRsGhost said...

I remember drinking Fruitopia, Squeeze-Its, and the Kool-Aid Bursts. I mainly drank those last two at a friend's house. The fun part of those Squeeze-It and Kool-Aid Bursts bottles wasn't the pure sugar fruit-flavored nectar of the gods inside, it was the lids you peeled off. They were the perfect shape to play table football with.

In high school we had a Fruitopia vending machine that dispensed Fruitopias, some Coke brands, and bottled water.

SparklingBlue said...

I must've drank millions of pouches of orange Capri Sun back in the day.

I remember Fruitopia too--Fruit Integration was my favorite

Tika Banks said...

I have been all over Google trying to find a specific flavored water that I use to drink when I was a kid. The flavor was orangesicle and it came in a blue bottle. I believe on the front of the bottle it has a picture of a orangesicle. I don't remember if it came in any other flavors because the orange was my favorite. I know it's not the Canadian flavored water or the orbitz. I have been trying to find this water...even just the name. Even just a picture of the bottle. I can't. I have tried a lot of different pages on the internet...but everyone keeps saying the same thing. That it has to be the Canadian flavored water or orbitz. I so know it's not. If anyone could help figure this out I would GREATLY appreciated it!! Thanks!!

Tika Banks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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