Sweet Slimjims: Remembering Pillsbury Space Food Sticks

pillsbury_space_sticksPillsbury 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 Space Food Stick, we presume, never really actually made it into 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 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.

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, not quite candy, not quite a chocolate cupcake.

Curious if any others had experienced these treats.



  1. I remember Space Food Sticks well– actually used to like them (hangs head in shame). I wasn’t a big eater as a kid so anything that I liked to eat that had any possibility of nutritional value, however dubious or remote, was encouraged.

  2. I enjoyed both the taste and texture of these as a kid. Not candy-like as in a Tootsie Roll or brownie like. Somewhere in between. They made peanut butter as well, but I never saw them.
    If I recall correctly, I had one a decade or so ago, so they were still making them then. I could be hallucinating? Perhaps a secret ingredient in the stick?

  3. I remember those! I liked them, too, when I was a kid. WOW…I had totally forgotten them until I saw this post.

  4. They’re more like power bars than the Tootsie Roll-esque stick in the picture above, but the “Space Food Stick” name has been revived recently. Available online and at science museum gift shops; they’re okay but leave you a little thirsty.

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