Pillsbury has made many a product since 1872. Perhaps one of the most forgettable was Space Food Sticks, a sort of chewy-chocolate Slim Jim vitamin.
The Pillsbury Space Food Stick never really actually made as a top food served in space. In fact, if you were going to serve “space men” something chocolate, perhaps a chocolate bar would deliver more of the excitement and sugar rush that one would wish if you were circling about the moon in one of the Apollo capsules.
Astronauts would want something that reminded them a little bit more of what they might buy in a Houston, 7-Eleven. The trademark had their first use on or about January 5, 1968.
The brand had a number of problems, most evident from a brief look at the packaging, which tried to sell to too many audiences at once. Each stick was “44 calories” which was an obvious ploy to sell it to dieting women (and the stray man) looking for something that tasted good, was nutritious and filled with vitamins. The “Space Food” brand was obviously a ploy to hijack some of the Tang buzz, which was then all a craze with kids.
Strangely, there were 14 to a box, each packaged in a sort of foil. They were, according to the trademark office:
NON-FROZEN BALANCED ENERGY SNACK IN ROD FORM CONTAINING NUTRITIONALLY BALANCED AMOUNTS OF CARBOHYDRATE, FAT AND PROTEINUSPTO Description
As I recall the taste, it had a vile tang to it, but the tang was more an aftertaste, perhaps a result of the vitamins and preservatives added, with a bit of the metallic terroir of chocolate Ex-Lax. The texture was equally chewy (promised on the front), not quite candy, not quite a chocolate cupcake.
There were many brands that were actually popularized by their use on NASA ships; BrandlandUSA detailed them in a roundup of Apollo and space program brands.
Curious if any others had experienced these treats.