Snacking Through The Decades: 1930s and ’40s

We all have our favorite snacks, but when were our favorite snacks created. How have our snacking preferences changed over the years? Today we’ll look at the 1930s and 1940s to see what snacks emerged during those decades. You might be surprised by our findings.


Necco Sky BarDespite the presence of the Great Depression, advancements in wrapping and packaging made five-cent candy packages popular during the 1930s, especially in the big cities. Some popular candies included Beechies Gum, Boston Baked Beans, Chick O Sticks, Snaps Chewy Candy, Necco Sky Bars, Sugar Daddy, Candy Buttons, Mallo Cups and Zagnut Bars.

Zagnut BarMany of today’s favorite snacks were also introduced during this decade: Twinkies, Snickers, Tootsie Pops, Fritos, 3 Musketeers, Ritz Crackers, Kit Kat Bars, Five-Flavor Life Savers, 5th Avenue Bars, Rolo, Smarties, Heath Bar, Lay’s Potato Chips and RC Cola.


MandMsWorld War II played a significant role in changing American snacking habits during this decade. M&Ms were invented during this time to provide soldiers with a snack that would not easily melt during shipment, and Tootsie Rolls were also popular snacks among the soldiers.

Dots CandyOther favorites of the time were Bazooka Bubble Gum, Licorice candies, Turkish Taffy, DOTS Candy, Jolly Ranchers, Whoppers Malted Milk Balls, Mike & Ike, and Rain-Blo Bubble Gum. Snacks that emerged during the ’40s include Cheerios, Raisin Bran, Chiquita Bananas, Junior Mints, Almond Joy, V8, and Cheetos.

It’s amazing to think that many of the snacks enjoyed by Americans during the 1930s and ’40s are still popular snacks today. Next time you visit your snack machine or Avenue C, grab a piece of snacking history and share some of these fun facts with your friends and co-workers.

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