Showing posts with label Little Debbie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Little Debbie. Show all posts

Lunchbox Snacks of YesterYear: Little Debbie

Friday, February 19, 2021

Welcome back to the third article in a series about our favorite Lunchbox Snacks of YesterYear.  In my first article, we covered the long history of probably the most well-known brand of snacks, Hostess!  You can click here to read that article.  Part Two covered a mostly regional brand, but one with a pretty big fan following (including myself) in Drake's CakePlease, if you haven't already, click HERE to read that one as well!

This time around, we'll be covering that has a connection to both Hostess and Drake's, and that's Little Debbie.  Little Debbie, and parent company McKee Foods, came up quite a bit in our Drake's article, so it seemed natural it be the subject of Part 3 of my Lunchbox Series.


Growing up, Mom didn't buy Little Debbie's much.  The only thing I can truly remember her buying was "Nutty Buddy" bars because my Dad liked them.  But that quickly stopped (or at least she hid them really well) because my brother and I would eat them before he could take them to work for his lunchbox snack!  

My wife, however, said she likely had Little Debbie snacks more than any other brand.  Oatmeal Creme Pies, the Fudge Brownie, and the Christmas Tree Brownies were often around while growing up.  Her mom, an elementary school teacher, would usually buy them for the students in her class, and they always had plenty around the house.  

Little Debbie began life in 1956 as Debra McKee.  That's right, "Little Debbie" is a real person.  It wasn't until she was 4 years old, in 1960, that she'd become famous.  How'd she get there?  Let's take a look back at the McKee family.

Coming Soon: Lunchbox Snacks of YesterYear

Friday, February 5, 2021


Do you remember this commercial?  In the late 90s, Hostess made several memorable "Where's the cream filling?" commercials advertising their most popular snack cake, "The Twinkie."

This past Christmas season, I was browsing stores for different types of snacks for our house guests and came across a display of some snacks I haven't eaten in years:  Hostess, Drake's, Little Debbie, Entenmann's, and more.  The branding sucked me right in, and the bright colors and large letters on the boxes pulled on my nostalgia strings while memories of childhood snacks that Mom would occasionally toss in my lunch box came rushing back to me.  

I grabbed an armful before something else caught my eye.  All three brands had basically the same snack.  Little Debbie has the "Swiss Roll," Hostess has the "Ho-Ho," and Drake's has the "Yodel."  I knew these companies had similar products since my favorite snack, the Apple flavored "Fruit Pie," is made by all four Hostess, Drake's, Little Debbie, and Entenmann's, but I never had sampled them all at the same time.  I figured, what the heck, it's Christmas time, and picked up all 3 boxes of the chocolate pastries in front of me.  

After I got them home, my family and I sampled the Ho-Ho/Swiss Roll/Yodel variations.  Personally, I think Little Debbie wins this round, but the verdict is still out on their other snacks.  

In discussing the three snack cakes, I was reminded of the media frenzy from a few years ago when Hostess declared bankruptcy and was sold off in pieces.  I've always been interested in seemingly inconsequential things like what company owns what and what brand belongs to which company.  My Mom has always had a theory that 3 companies own everything, and she's not wrong.  Maybe she's off by a number or two, but when you think of the number of products you use and look into who owns them, the "competition" that exists between some brands seems silly.

Pondering this sale and the breakup of Hostess, and seeing some Drake's "Fruit Pies" that say "By Hostess" on them, I've decided to do a deep dive into the history of these companies.  It won't be much of a "personal perspective" article, but more of a company history and a compilation of their top brands and those brands of snacks we loved but don't exist any longer and wish were still around.  

If you'd be so kind, please keep checking back for my upcoming series of posts in February that I'll be calling "Lunchbox Snacks of YesterYear."  Before the month is through, I hope to cover Hostess, Drake's, Little Debbie, and Entenmanns, along with one or two "Retro Scans" and some other fun ideas I have floating around in my head.