Bugle Chips: The Genius Marketing Behind Why We Feel Compelled To Wear the Snack

Have you ever loved Bugle chips? Whether you're a hot buffalo fan, sour cream lover, or nacho cheese evangelist, these little carbohydrates were probably a big part of your childhood. But did you really love them for their flavor, or did you just love playing with the corn snacks? Bugle chips were a staple on my Mom's grocery list growing up, and you'd often find me snacking on them. Gardettos were alright, but pretzels and the other wheat ingredients just weren't as much fun to play with.

Today, I don't eat them as much. Actually, I don't buy the crispy corn snacks at all. Recently I found myself staring at them trying to figure out why. It turns out, I only ever wanted them so that I could make a 1 finger hat.

So how did that even begin? Turns out, it's all in the branding and General Mills did a great job at making this a thing across the country.

Instead of branding Bugles like a snack food, they made these best sellers into a yellow corn meal activity. First off, the commercials always told us what to do.

Whether it was a witches hat, the top of a castle tower, or claws, the on-the-go salty snacks were basically dress up play time toys.

Second, the Bugles original flavor crispy corn snacks bag was just as instructive as the commercials. Printed right on the bag is a display of the corn chips placed on the fingers.


As mentioned earlier, today I don't really grab these crunchy snacks, nor do I get upset if they're out of stock. Disclaimer: They're way too high in cholesterol and trans fat, because daily value is something I actually look at as an adult. They're not gluten free and have very little dietary fiber, but to be fair, they never claimed to be healthy.

Bugle chips' time may have come and gone, but there are some pretty great recipes out there for these little chips. For example, mix them into a chocolate peanut butter Chex mix for a sweet and salty snack mix. You can even get a variety pack.

Really I just wanted to know how Bugles became such a staple. Just like other chips or tortilla chips, they branded themselves very well. Take Doritos, Cheez-its, Cheetos, Frito-Lay products and many other potato chips also. They all do well not because of customer reviews, but because of how commercials portray them to children. If we're going to eat, it needs to be something fun!

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