‘Never say never’: Toobs could return to save 2020


Let’s bring back Toobs: Campaign to return discontinued chip to supermarkets could save 2020

Australians have spoken and they want their beloved but discontinued chip to return to supermarket shelves, and we are here to make it happen. 

Toobs, the beloved but discontinued Aussie chip, has gained a cult following and fans say its revival “could save 2020 for all Australians”.

A news.com.au survey, calling on people to vote for which “forgotten Aussie snack should come back”, overwhelming found the humble Toobs, now named Tasty Toobs, is most missed, raking in more than 50 per cent of the vote.

Now, with your help, news.com.au wants to campaign to return them to their rightful place on supermarket shelves.

“There is nothing else like them on the market,” Brad, the creator of the Bring back TOOBS Facebook page, which has amassed more than 16,000 followers, told news.com.au.

“When you bite into one, you get that tang in your mouth. Even though a number of companies have tried to replicate them, they can’t get it quite right. They are crunchy, tangy and the roof of your mouth knows you’ve eaten them hours later. You can’t stop at one … bag.”

For those unfamiliar with the tubular, tomato-flavoured snack, Toobs endured a turbulent existence following their creation by Albert Cranum in 1954.

While they hit their peak in the 1970s, the chips – then known, like all icons (Beyonce, Prince, Bono – need we say more) by a single name: Toobs – were killed off by Smiths Snackfoods in 2001. Smiths obviously realised how foolish this was and revived the chips six years later in 2007, under the new name Tasty Toobs.

They led a retro snack resurgence three years later, alongside Samboy potato chips and Barney Banana ice-creams, but by 2015 they were gone again. This was the second (and final) demise – it came just three months after Toobs shrunk from 175g down to 170g.

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Retro junk food that's come back in. Original Tasty Toobs.

Retro junk food that's come back in. Original Tasty Toobs.

Declining consumer demand was the manufacturer’s explanation for quietly discontinuing the product, a move that was only revealed when diehard fan Russell Hayter contacted the company asking where his favourite snack had gone.

“It is with a heavy heart that we advise Toobs is no longer available,” came a Smiths’ spokeswoman’s reply.

“Consumer demand for this tangy, tomatoey treat has declined and it is no longer possible to justify ongoing production. To our loyal Toobs fans out there, sincere thanks for your support.”

Toobs devotees openly mourned their fallen friend – key among them, cricketing legend Shane Warne, who that year launched a passionate campaign, hashtags and all, to restore the chips to their former glory but with little success.

“I’ve been living in the UK for around for four or five years now and every time I come back to Australia, I come back here, I go down to the milk bar and I look for some Toobs,” he ranted, in a devastated spiel that no doubt resonated with other fans.

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“Where are the Toobs?! I read in the paper yesterday they’ve shut down Toobs! This cannot be happening! The Toobs have been in our household, the Warne household, all my children and that, from a young age. TOOBS MUST COME BACK! TOOBS CANNOT DISAPPEAR!

“All of you people in Australia, you feel like me, get behind this movement. Long live the Toob.”

Smiths has stayed silent on the topic of Toobs since that fateful October day.

But here at news.com.au, we’ve heard the sound of your desperate calls. Enough is enough. There is no time like now to bring back Toobs and save this sh*tshow of a year.

We went straight to the source, in the name of journalism and on behalf of Shane Warne, Brad, and every other Australian who has been ROBBED of Toobs for the past five years (or, like me, never got the chance to experience their glory), to see if there’s a chance we’d ever eat our tangy friend again.

A Smiths spokeswoman told news.com.au the company was aware “there’s a lot of love out there for them, we love them too”.

And while she said there’s “nothing planned for the immediate future”, she did say: “we’d never say never”.

We repeat: “WE’D NEVER SAY NEVER”.

You may not be familiar with it, because 2020’s been in pretty short supply, but that is the sound of HOPE, my friends. There is still a chance that you could have a packet of Toobs in your hand in the not so distant future.

We will campaign for their return harder than Joe Biden and Donald Trump did for the US presidency, combined, but we need your help to see it through.

Tell us in the comments below why Toobs need to return. How many packets would you buy if Smiths released them again? What would this mean to you, your great aunt, your firstborn child? Could the revival of Toobs really save 2020?

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Devout consumers like Brad remain hopeful that the droves of people who have confessed their love for the snack will give the company incentive to bring them back a third time.

“I think it’s evident that people didn’t know what they had until it was gone. Lots of Toobs lovers have come out of the closet since they have been taken off the market,” he said.

“People are longing for them. Smiths has a responsibility to give the people what they want.”

Brad, who started his page in 2015 when Toobs disappeared, added there’s “absolutely” a chance the chips could be revived, using the iconic Polly Waffle chocolate bar as an example, having made its comeback earlier this year.

“I’m not saying they have to bring them back in mass quantities, but even if they bought them back as a gourmet or specialty item. They don’t have to mass produce,” he said.

“But if they could even just produce enough so I can empty the shelves … I would be more than happy to receive the first bag off the production line and I’d travel to the ends of the earth to have that happen.”

You’re a legend, Brad. We’re with you all the way.


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