Which General Mills snack represents the taste, color and fun of being a kid during the ’90s?
It is the nostalgic graham-cookie-and-icing snack, Dunkaroos, which made its way into the hearts of millennials in 1988 under the Betty Crocker brand name and is being revived after an eight-year hiatus, according to the Minneapolis-based CPG giant.
Dunkaroos will officially head back to shelves this summer in original vanilla and in the more colorful (and saccharine) vanilla-and-rainbow-sprinkles mashup.
To appease ’90s babies even further, General Mills is keeping the recognizable, vibrant Dunkaroos logo. The 154-year-old company will also resurrect Dunkaroos’ first mascot, the beloved and bouncy kangaroo Sydney, who is able to slam dunk better than the best of the NBA. (Though, per the Star Tribune, Sydney won’t be “featured predominantly” in the packaging.)
“We’re thrilled to relaunch Dunkaroos in the U.S. after years of it only being available in Canada,” said Jeff Caswell, president of Snacks at General Mills, in a blog post published by the company on Feb. 3.
The second coming of Dunkaroos was first accurately predicted by Snackhistory.com in September 2018, when the blog noted that a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for the brand by Retrobrands USA LLC. The relaunch was then recently scooped by intrepid foodies, who noticed the brand created official Twitter and Instagram accounts this Saturday.
Jamie Bastian, a spokeswoman for Dunkaroos, told Adweek thousands of fans have begged to see Dunkaroos return over the years. “We wanted to help kids of the ‘90s relive their childhood with this popular snack in all its dunking glory,” she said.
These kids-turned-adults include Kim Kardashian West, who is, per the reality TV legend herself, “obsessed” with the snack.
The treat, which came in various cookie-and-icing duos like chocolate, cinnamon, peanut butter and chocolate chips remained on shelves for over two decades. Dunkaroos were discontinued in 2012 after parents cited concerns that sugary snacks enabled childhood obesity. (According to Mashed.com, most Dunkaroos flavor-and-frosting combos contained more than half of a child’s daily recommended sugar intake.)
However, sugar intake not halted General Mills’ production of foods for folks with a serious sweet tooth. They recently debuted three new candied cereal lines, Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Puffs Big Puffs and Jolly Rancher.
After Dunkaroos were pulled from U.S. shelves, fans who couldn’t bear to part with the lunchbox treat, such as BuzzFeed Tasty’s kitchen crew and YouTuber HeyBritttany, tried recreating it. Even Chrissy Teigen has bemoaned the lack of Dunkaroos in her pantry, offering her Twitter followers an alternative that can be purchased on Amazon, KaDunks.
Up until January 2018, Canadians were the only ones who could enjoy Dunkaroos. General Mills was so aware of how much people in the U.S. yearned for the portable cookie-and-frosting packets that they launched a campaign in October 2016, called “Smuglaroos,” to encourage the transport of Dunkaroos across the Canadian border.
The Smugglaroos slogan, “Make America dunk again,” parodied a certain political mantra at the time.
Nostalgia-driven branding initiatives emerged during the 2010s and proved to be an impactful and reinvigorating form of advertising. Other nostalgic products General Mills has resurrected within the past 10 years include French Toast Crunch cereal and Hamburger Helper.
Update: Thanks to all the excitement from Dunkaroo fans on social media, 5,000 packs will be given away for free on April 30 at 3 p.m. ET. Participants can head to the brand’s site to request their free pack of vanilla-flavored or vanilla frosting with rainbow sprinkles-flavored Dunkaroos. For those who aren’t able to snag one of the first 5,000 packs, the cult-favorite cookies will finally be available for purchase at participating 7-Eleven stores in late May and roll out nationwide to other retailers in June.
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