China Food

40 year history of snack evolution in China

See you my childhood.

Childhood snacks are a little magical.

Whether you are a Post-70s, post-80s or post-90s generation, you must share a sincere love for snacks when you were a child. It can even be said that many snacks are common taste memories that accompany the growth of generations.

Today, in section 61, we sorted out the history of snacks over the past 40 years. Let’s take a look at how those snacks were born in childhood. What are the interesting stories?

Today I want to go back to the canteen with you in my childhood memories.

In the 1980s, Chinese and foreign snacks blossomed everywhere

Everything is new


In 1978, with the reform and opening up, many European and American snack and beverage giants began to pour into the Chinese market.

At the end of the year, Coca Cola returned to China after 51 years. Throughout the 1980s, it had to compete with the Arctic Ocean soda at less than half its price.


Some people may still remember that after the news broadcast, 18 TV stations nationwide broadcast Coca Cola advertisements at the same time. It is said that this cost Coca Cola a whole year’s income.

1984.4 Time magazine, President Reagan’s visit to China

A young man with Coca Cola in his hand


In the year when Coca Cola returned, Pepsi Cola also opened a factory in Shenzhen.

Compared with Coca Cola, which is “rooted in Miao Hong”, it invited Leslie Cheung as the first spokesperson in Asia. This is one of the only four commercials in my brother’s life.

After that, Pepsi bought the Arctic Ocean and hid it for 15 years. Since then, the two Cola giants have almost dominated the domestic soda market.

In 1979, the Pudong New Area of Shanghai welcomed the settlement of Woo woo. In the days after that, it contributed a lot of milk candy on the tea table, and the Pudong New Area also contributed a lot of GDP.

In 1983, children in Shekou, Shenzhen were the first to eat Kangyuan raisin biscuits. Yes, this brand is not 100% domestic. In fact, it comes from Singapore. It was not until the 1980s that it was manufactured in China.

At about the same time, Matthias was also introduced to China by Mars group. Is there anyone like me who will chew down the chocolate outside and eat it, and then eat the chocolate inside alone?

It is said that the quantity of heat per 100g of Melissa

About the same as two McDonald’s Big Macs.

Although Switzerland doesn’t have Swiss rolls, it does have Sugus Swiss sugar. It also entered China in the 1980s. It is said that the shape of the small square imitates the Swiss flag. 🇨🇭

In 1988, shrimp strips from Malaysia landed in Shantou. Ten years later, Fujian Aishang (i.e. Fuma food) made a pirated “Meimi shrimp stick”, which unexpectedly sold even better than the original.

The imitation version is very similar to the original packaging, but the kitten is darker and has no guitar.

A year later, “dada” bubble gum from Spain also entered China. Some people may want to ask, eh, isn’t dada from Mars! Yes, but it was acquired after the millennium.


At that time, the most rare thing was the big roll: there was a pink box similar to the tape cutter. When you wanted to eat bubble gum, you took it out and cut a small section. When “digital baby” was very popular, Tyrannosaurus rex was printed on sugar paper.

It was not until 1999 that the big Superman image appeared!

In the same year, we ate the rare American Dove chocolate. However, times have changed. Now, I can submit articles to persuade the sub group to send them to dove on Valentine’s day.

While imported snacks are booming, on the other hand, domestic snacks are also developing quietly, but most of them imitate imported products and have not formed their own style.

In 1983, Shanghai Yimin Food No. 1 factory introduced the production line from the Italian mark company for the first time, and made the doll ice cream which became popular later. By the way, benefiting the people is the predecessor of bright!

At the same time that the American medissa and dove entered China, domestic chocolate also seized the opportunity.

In 1986, Liangfeng in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, tried to reduce the cost with cocoa butter, which made mailisu a popular snack in childhood. After that, bano and golden monkey followed suit one after another. Golden monkey also launched many cheap chocolate styles in addition to Melissa.

Interestingly, later, Mai Lisu also appeared in various martial arts TV dramas and became the “nine flower jade dew pill”, “Shengsheng Huahua pill”, “Tianxin antidote pill” and other Jianghu holy drugs

Shendiao Xialv 1995

In the south, there is Mai Lisu, in the north, there is Tianjin qishilin big board and Black King Kong.

In an age when the change was only oneortwo cents, the cheeseline board was sold for one and a half yuan. It’s not too much to say that Hermes is one of the chocolates!


Black King Kong, who came from behind in the 1980s, created a fist product: King Kong 125 sandwich chocolate. Wedding banquets from Tianjin to North China were standard.

In 1986, the southern coastal cities led by Chaozhou took another path. They carry forward the traditional candied fruit snack again.


The most well-known is huahuadan. It is also called Monkey King Dan or mouse excrement. The most classic version comes from Guangdong Kanghui food in 1988. How many people have actually used it to simulate mouse droppings in the drawer?

There is also a snack, which I would like to call the biggest scam of the century – sour and sweet fig shreds. After eating, you will leave white powdered sugar on your lips. When you grow up, you will know that the raw material is shredded radish! Chaozhou Zhengda food, you cheat my feelings!

In 1987, the global population reached 5billion, and the number of Chinese children still in development is growing. Great attention has been paid to nutrition and health.


A Baoling children’s nutritional food factory has been set up in Hangzhou, the mainland. The next year, according to the only child’s reluctance to eat, partial eating and malnutrition, they developed the first child nutrition solution, Wahaha. “After drinking Wahaha, eating is fragrant” has been heard throughout the north and south.

Later, Wahaha produced another soul product, beer catechu Shuang. Although it was discontinued later, is it a pioneer alcohol free beer?

At the same time, in Shanghai Children’s home, Taikang evergreen biscuit still occupies the dominant position in biscuits, and the big white rabbit born in the 1950s is still the top in the candy industry.

But the happier one is the post-90s generation, who have an unprecedented variety of snack choices.

A large number of Taiwan and foreign capital entered China in the 1990s

The shining age of superstars


The snacks in the 1990s are really dazzling. On the one hand, foreign-funded enterprises, especially Taiwan funded enterprises, are emerging. On the other hand, local brands are also actively innovating. The snack trend in snack shops has been blowing all the way to the millennium.

In 1990, Tianjin welcomed a foreign guest with cocoa powder. It was the nudelesba group, which had been popular in Spain for decades. It gave itself a festive Chinese Name: gaolego.

In the TV series “family with children”, Lego is the favorite of the three children in the family


At the inauguration ceremony of the company, former IOC President Samaranch was in charge of ribbon cutting. Many years later, he also announced that Beijing would host the 2008 Olympic Games.

Since then, the 90’s, accompanied by the aroma of hot chocolate, began.

In 1992, the southern conference and the 14th National Congress of the Communist Party of China were held, which enabled more Taiwan businessmen to accelerate their investment in the mainland. In this year alone, the mainland added more than 6000 Taiwan enterprises.

1992-1993 was probably the most superstar year in the history of snacks. At this time, those brands that are still very influential now scramble to enter the mainland, bringing countless classic candies and puffed food.


In 1992, the four Xu brothers from Taiwan came to Dongguan to start a business. Two years later, they founded xufuji. Six years later, it was firmly the No. 1 position in China’s candy industry.

Gold coin chocolate, ShaQima, crisp heart candy Now we can still see these enduring products on the tea table for the new year.

Taiwan enterprises that came with xufuji also included Yilan food industry company.

It combined the rice snack “rice fruit” from Japan with the surplus rice resources in Taiwan at that time, and developed the virgin snack land – Wangwang Xianbei. In just 20 years, Wangwang achieved an annual sales volume of 10billion yuan from zero.


In those days, almost every advertisement of Wangwang made a special circle. Mother liziming, who delivers milk, the children who eat broken ice half of you and half of me, and the brainwashing song of O paoguo milk are still lingering in the minds of the post-90s.

Do you know the English name of langweixian, named lonely God?

Despite the continuous negative growth from 2014 to 2017, Wangwang is still strong and has even become a cultural icon under the leadership of up master Stephen.

In Taiwan, Xianbei is often used to worship ghosts and gods in the Chinese Yuan Dynasty and ancestors in the Qingming Festival The engineer will put the sweet crispy rice fruit on the computer host, saying it can ensure safety!

In fact, liwayway, a company from the Philippines, came to expand the mainland market earlier than Wangwang.


Chenguang first made the packaging of corn starch, and then relied on shrimp slices and shrimp sticks. In 1993, it set up a factory in Shanghai called Oishi shanghaojia.

In 1993, after coming to China for three years, gaolego met its own competitor, ahuatian, Switzerland. In the previous 40 to 50 years, ah Wah tin was only available in Hong Kong.

That same year, Britain and Lu Xue entered the freezer in the mainland. 13 years later, all the children’s tongues were dyed green by the green tongue.

In 1994, Lotte and haoliyou came to Korea. The former contributed bear biscuits and the latter brought sandwich chocolate pie.

Remember the haoliyou advertisement of the seat giving version in 2010? The watermelon Headed Boy on the left is a 9-year-old Yiyang Qianxi.


After nine years of haoliyou’s popularity, a Fujian enterprise made Daliyuan, a flat replacement product with a price of only 1/3, and its sales volume once exceeded the original version.

However, it is said that haoliyou’s mushroom Guli is not original, but copy the “mushroom mountain” launched by Meiji in 1975. It has to be said that history is always strikingly similar


In 1995, American rainbow candy also came in. Its advertising creative brain hole is so big that it often becomes the material for the ghost animals of netizens at station B.

In the same year, the leopard came with cheeto! It is said that each Chido corn strip looks different. Chido’s official website has set up a museum to collect interesting Chido.

What’s more, in 2018, a chimpanzee like Chito sold for $90000 on eBay!

A year later, the Italian Alps entered China. Later, the brothers who came on stage in succession, as well as bibbab bubble gum and mentos (yes, the one who would turn into a fountain in a coke bottle


That year, we could still eat Oreo! All the children remembered the standard eating method of “twist, lick and bubble” through TV advertisements.

In 1998, many Yunnan friends, from snacks to large children’s potato chips, were founded as a Sino foreign joint venture. It is seasoned by slicing potatoes directly. Although it is thick and rough, it has a simple and fragrant potato flavor.

My son is the first generation of original cut potato chips we came into contact with

The Leshi potato chips, which were born five years earlier, were pressed with mashed potato. Although they are less plain, they taste more crispy.

Compared with foreign brands entering China, local snacks are also rising rapidly, once leading the trend, and even exporting to foreign countries.


In the Northeast in 1992, many people fell in love with litchi, the taste of southern fruit, not because of the developed logistics, but because of a can of soda.

Hongbaolai, a beverage giant in Siping, Jilin Province, was born. It is the ancestor of litchi soda. Although a bottle of soda is only a few dollars, its sales have exceeded 100 million in only six years.


Up to now, this plain glass bottle is still a classic match for northeast food. Without it, the barbecue shop simply doesn’t dare to open the door!

The transparent glass bottle that appears many times in “country love” is Herbalife


In the same year, Zhenzhen litchi soda was founded. People in Foshan, Guangdong Province, who had never drunk it, miraculously sold well in Northeast China for more than 20 years. (it’s reasonable to think about it. After all, Cantonese are used to eating fresh litchi.)

When the popularity of litchi soda continued in Northeast China, in 1994, a pioneering beverage – iced black tea was born in Hebei.


Xurisheng is the first brand to develop beverages with Chinese tea. It took the lead in launching “iced tea”, which is a lingering blue memory of many post-80s generation. At that time, it also invited many stars to advertise.


According to the statistics of China Beverage Industry Association, in 2000, xurisheng’s total output accounted for 70% of China’s tea beverage market, ranking second among the top ten beverages.

Unfortunately, the time frame was fixed in 2002, and the group financing was hopeless and declined.


As for the most familiar unified iced black tea, they are all the descendants of xurisheng.

She once invited Avril to be her spokesperson. She is really rich.


In Anhui Province in 1995, Chen Xianbao, 36, suddenly gave up his position as section chief of government agencies and decided to study herbal boiled melon seeds. Qiacha melon seeds have been popular since then.


In 1997, the fifth year of the birth of crystal love, Xizhilang monopolized the jelly market.

Later, Titanic hit the big screen, and crystal love also made an ad, featuring huosiyan and Chen long, who are young and out of water.

In the late 1990s, in addition to local brands such as Xizhilang, snack bars also began to rise, and this trend continued until the beginning of the 21st century.

Small raccoons and small masters are the representatives of snack bars. Both of them belong to Taiwan’s reunification, which began to invest and set up factories in the mainland in 1992. (by the way, the little raccoon is still less than one yuan a bag


“Little raccoon simply has a new taste for noodles. The new taste is Barbie Q, and Barbie q is barbecue.” the advertising lines of brainwashing are still ringing in my ears.


Most of the time, it’s more important to collect cards when buying flat noodles. A secret: in the early days, the small raccoon packing bag was somewhat translucent. Later, in order to prevent children from peeking at the card, it was made of aluminum foil.

In addition to the small raccoon, there are many snacks produced by small workshops in the childhood snack shop. Most of them come from Chaoshan.

Mushroom beef, Beijing roast duck and satay string… Don’t underestimate these “three no products”. They are all made of soybeans, which can be said to be plant meat products that have been ahead of the times for more than 20 years!

There are also various “spicy sticks” made from soybeans, mostly from Hunan and Henan: Tangseng meat, Shendiao Xialv, broadsword meat, small skilful Were born several years earlier than Wei long!

Remember the Trolli burger candy? There is always a long strip hanging at the door of the canteen. In fact, it comes from Germany. According to statistics, more than 1.5 billion hamburgers have been sold in the past 10 years (up to 2019), which can circle the earth.

There are also small stone candy, colorful rope and a kind of straw candy. In class, I like to secretly hold it in my mouth until the teacher finds out.


Please raise your hand if you have ever smoked drag fat! It is said that a small package of coconut drink can open a new world when eaten frozen!

At the turn of the millennium, Shantou’s tiantianle produced the planet cup. In fact, the small spoon is difficult to use. Many children lick it with their tongues.


Students who think the star cup is too small tend to buy another kind of Baccarat cup, which is probably the unfashionable version of today’s chocolate Baccarat.

The post-90s have witnessed the birth of countless popular snacks. In those years, various celebrity endorsements, gift marketing and IP co branding were also played by brands.

Until 2003, when Taobao was founded, Chinese snacks opened a new chapter.

The rise of chain distribution stores and online channels in the 21st century

Snacks should also follow the healthy route


The rise of e-commerce has revolutionized the snack industry.

In Shanghai in 1999, shiyonglei and yuruifen, aiming at the blind spot of fried snacks, opened a fried shop called “Lei Fen” on Sichuan North Road.

At that time, most of the leisure snacks were rented in shopping malls. However, they were obsessed with the direct chain. Of course, they also opened up to join in later. This is “Lai Yifen”.

In 2000, Jay Chou made his debut by releasing his first solo album Jay, and from then on, he stepped up to the peak of Chinese pop music.


“Happy every moment, my coke”. Three years later, the coke chips were endorsed by Jay Chou, who was popular at that time


Jay Chou also contracted the fragrant milk tea “the cup can be connected to circle the earth X”. It was born in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province and became the first listed enterprise in the domestic milk tea industry in 2017.


Three years later, Jay Chou, who loves drinking milk tea, spoke for Youlemei nonstop.


The content of the notes passed by the boys and girls who fell in love early that year were: “what am I yours? You are my Youlemei” and “I want to hold you in the palm of my hand”.

Milk tea hasn’t been so advanced yet. Just make a powder and you’ll have a good time.


In 2003, Baicao flavor established its first physical store in Hangzhou, China’s e-commerce capital. At first, it only did offline business. Later, it completely transformed into a pure Internet business.

In the next few years, this large and comprehensive snack mode became popular all over China.

In 2005, Yanjin shops in Changsha began to develop their own food; The following year, liangpin store opened its first store in Wuhan. It took only six years, and it opened nearly a thousand stores.

The implantation of liangpin shop in “night” made netizens shout that they couldn’t stand it


In 2012, when snack giants such as uni president and Wangwang reached their most brilliant peak, a young man opened an online store called “shell nuts”, which sold 20million pecans a year.

This is the predecessor of the three squirrels.

Unlike its predecessors, this brand, which doesn’t even have its own factory, only did pure online business from the beginning. Seven years later, it became the “first stock of Internet leisure snacks” and even put an advertisement in the American drama “Big Bang”!

Three squirrels in the tenth season of the big bang for life.

Taking 2014 as the watershed, the snack giants you are familiar with in the 1990s began to decline more or less.

After 2019, this kind of large and comprehensive snack mode seems to be less popular. Take a stroll around, and the snack circle has returned to the era of 90s single product explosion.

Xuanma egg yolk cake, Walloon’s “daily nuts”, daily dark chocolate… From high sweetness to zero sugar, from high calorie to low fat, snacks are designed to be healthier and more refined.

When I was a child, I was addicted to Assam and fragrant. When I grew up, I had tea and snow; We, who used to like to eat substitute cocoa butter and Marisol, are now in love with more advanced boutique chocolate.

In retrospect, although snacks and beverages are becoming more advanced, our pursuit of dopamine seems to have never changed.

May these little, simple happiness still be with you.


Author: Chalk hill; Edit: eimo; Source: Penguin eating and drinking Guide (id:qiechihe), reprinted with authorization.




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