23 Fun Facts About Things We Saw at the Grocery Store


The other day we set up a mental_floss Instagram account, then went to the grocery store and took some pictures. (We also needed food.) Here are some fun facts about the products we encountered.

To appease the dairy lobby and keep butter sales strong, several states used to require margarine to be dyed pink.

The USDA allows the use of the term "wyngz" for chicken products that look like wings but contain no wing meat.

Fredric Baur invented the Pringles can. When he passed away in 2008, his ashes were buried in one.

The Quaker Oats guy has a name — Larry.

Both Wiffle Ball and another backyard classic, the Frisbee, were invented in Connecticut.

"Cheerios + Circus Peanuts Candy" may not sound like a winning formula, but that's the combo that inspired Lucky Charms.

Ben & Jerry learned how to make ice cream by taking a $5 correspondence course offered by Penn State. (They decided to split one course.)

Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.

Twinkies originally had banana-flavored filling. Hostess switched to vanilla after bananas were rationed during World War II.

Oklahoma's official state vegetable is the watermelon.

The famous "I am stuck on Band-Aid..." jingle was written by Barry Manilow.

Kool-Aid was originally marketed as “Fruit Smack.”

In 1998, a Georgia teen was suspended for wearing a Pepsi t-shirt at his school's "Coke in Education Day."

Cap'n Crunch's full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch.

In 1989, Walmart pulled Listerine off shelves after a woman claimed it burned her mouth. After testing, they restocked it. Turns out that's just how Listerine tastes.

The eight juices in V8 are tomato, spinach, celery, carrot, beet, lettuce, watercress and parsley.

How did Clifford the Big Red Dog get so big? According to the theme song, it was Emily Elizabeth's love.

Rice-a-Roni ("The San Francisco Treat") was based on an Armenian recipe for rice pilaf.

The same person who sang “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” was also the voice of Tony the Tiger (Thurl Ravenscroft).

7-Up originally had a much catchier name: Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.

According to Science Creative Quarterly, a more accurate slogan for Kellogg's Raisin Bran would be "Two Scoops (With a Standard Deviation of Roughly 0.4)."

Pepsi was originally called "Brad's Drink."

An early ATM was deemed a failure because its only users were "prostitutes and gamblers who didn’t want to deal with tellers face to face."

Next up: A hardware store! Garage sales! Maybe a deli! Follow mental_floss on Instagram (don't forget the underscore) and get in on the ground floor of our taking-pictures-of-things-and-finding-amazing-facts-about-them adventures.