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Hunt’s Snack Pack Pudding was School Lunchtime Gold
I was walking down the aisle in the Supermarket yesterday when I spotted the Snack Puddings on a fantastic sale and decided to pick some up for old time’s sake. Back in elementary school, one of these puddings was like a brick of gold when it came time for lunch trading at school. Very rarely did I have them, but when I did, I could easily trade them for two Twinkies or even a can of soda. I found it hard to resist a soda trade, so I doubt I many pudding packs that I ate myself.
Pudding Packs actually precede this Melissa Gilbert commercial by about 3 years and they continued to make them in the single serving cans until 1984 when they switched to the much easier to manage, plastic containers.
Re-watching this commercial, I can’t believe that the “Somebody’s Mom” character didn’t become their official mascot. I could see a whole series of her inexplicably scooting around on a unicycle singing about Hunt’s line of products.
The Hunt’s brand, has a long history. While it is part of ConAgra now, it got it start way back in 1888. It was founded by William and Joseph Hunt as the Hunt Bros. Fruit Packing Co. in Sebastopol, California. They would focus primarily on tomato products, including a very popular ketchup product.
With all that canning experience, they would branch out in about 1970 into the pudding canning business. I have heard that it might have been the lat 1960s, but the earliest advertising of the product I can find is from 1970.
Here is a mention of it being sold at Kmart in September in 1970. It doesn’t say anything like “all new.” So perhaps the product had existed in some form before, but was not heavily advertised?
A month later it would appear in an ad for Albers with a bit more of a callout. It’s a little more expense than the amazing deal you would have gotten at Kmart a month earlier.
Finally, I wanted to leave with one last Hunt’s pudding memory, and it’s a good one. In 1985, as a tie-in with The Goonies, Hunt’s offered a Goonies School Folder offer with the purchase of Hunt’s Snack Packs and or Peter Pan Peanut Butter.
I had these folders as a kid. Sadly, they are no more, but I did find this coupon from October 1985 that talked about the offer.