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The History of SpaghettiOs

SpaghettiOs were created in 1965 at Franco-American, then a division of the Campbell’s Soup Company. Executive Donald Goerke explained that their goal was to create something to target kids. SpaghettiOs were billed as “the neat, round spaghetti you can eat with a spoon” and were an immediate hit. Unlike regular pasta, SpaghettiOs didn’t cause kids to make such a mess while eating and since they were canned, there was a major convenience factor for busy parents. Plus, the pasta was thin enough not to get overly gummy, making the meal quite popular among kids. While the “O” shape remains a classic, over the years, SpaghettiOs have come in different shapes. In the 1990s, the company introduced TeddyOs (which included pasta shaped like teddy bears), SportyOs (which included pasta shaped like skateboards, roller skates, and bicycles), and Where’s WaldOs (which included pasta shaped like Waldo heads, hats, striped shirts, and canes). Until 2015, the recipe stayed the same. But when Campbell’s entered into a licensing agreement with the Star Wars franchise, they updated their pasta recipe in order to create C-3PO and Chewbacca pasta that held their shapes well enough after cooking to remain recognizable. It is also important to note that SpaghettiOs has one of the catchiest slogans in TV commercial history — “Uh oh, SpaghettiOs!". The jingle was written by Jimmie Rodgers, who borrowed the tune from his own 1958 hit song, Oh-Oh I’m Falling in Love Again. (Rodgers sang the song himself in early ads and reportedly closed many of his own live shows with the iconic jingle!) Over the last few decades, Campbell’s has tweaked the recipe to make it healthier, although it is still relatively high in sodium. Today, SpaghettiOs remain one of America’s most popular, most enduring, and best-selling canned foods.

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