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Americans love food fads. From diets to cuisines to trending ingredients, we run after whatever has stolen the spotlight like the food lemmings we can be. Then we see the star food everywhere we look. Avocado toast and La Croix readily come to mind here, both of which have vehement opposition from those who find the latest food fad unconscionable. But before avocado toast and La Croix, there were SnackWell’s Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes.
In 1994, Nabisco’s SnackWell’s line of reduced fat cookies and crackers hit the shelves and promptly flew right off into carts. The whole SnackWell’s line was a hit, but it was the Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes that turned grocery aisles into pop-up WWE rings where customers got their boxes at any cost.
Cookie - Cause - Nabisco - Team - Variables
Why would a pre-packaged cookie cause such a rumble? Nabisco’s team got all the variables right: the promise of indulgence without the fat. Fat had just been crowned the latest villain in nutrition, and everyone was looking for ways to cut out the extra calories by choosing food devoid of its presence. Reduced-fat and fat-free foods represented the evil we could expunge from society at large. And maybe even from within our very own souls.
Food is always more than just food. It calls us together to celebrate with loved ones. It becomes our sole consolation after a stress-filled day. It keeps us alive. And it can kill us. Food’s power is in what it does to us deep within, fueling our bodies toward life or even death, filling heart needs we sense but cannot see. As a necessity, food’s place in our lives is locked in. But the way we incorporate it into our daily living reveals much about our disordered perspective, both personal and collective. Because of its power, food prompts us to behaviors and...
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