Kudos granola bars: What happened to these popular kids’ snacks from the ’80s & ’90s?

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Kudos chocolate granola bars - 1980s 1990s

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Because they had granola — you know, healthy! — lots of parents bought Kudos bars back in the eighties and nineties.

For their kids, that was great news, because these chocolate-covered snacks were pretty much candy bars.

The first flavors that Mars, Inc. produced when Kudos debuted in 1987 were basic but delicious: peanut butter, nut fudge, and chocolate chip.

By 1990, there were seven varieties available, all of which you can see below.

Vintage 80s Kudos granola bars - Chocolate Chip flavor box from c1987
Vintage 80s Kudos granola bars – Chocolate Chip flavor box from c1987

In 1993, they introduced “Simply Kudos” — 100 calorie versions of the bars, minus the chocolate coating. This was probably at least somewhat in response to critics pointing out that the original snacks were hardly the kind of healthy food that “granola” implied.

In 2011, a new version of the bar appeared. This (apparently final) incarnation of the snacks combined them with other Mars snack products (m&ms, Dove and Snickers), and had chocolate drizzle instead of the full candy coating. 

And they were smaller. When Kudos granola bars were first introduced in the 1980s, the chocolate chip bar weighed 1.25 ounces, and had 180 calories.

The version that was out from 2011 until around 2017 featured downsized bars that were just 0.83 ounces each, and had 100 calories.

Kudos c2015 edition milk chocolate granola bar snacks
Kudos c2015 edition milk chocolate granola bar snacks

The beloved snacks entirely disappeared from supermarket shelves — and Amazon.com — in 2017.

A social media rep for the company confirmed on Facebook that Kudos had been discontinued, but no other details were forthcoming. Were sales low? Was there some legal issue? Was it just simple downsizing? It doesn’t look like there’s any way the public know for sure.

But for all the diehard Kudos fans, there still might be hope. A search of the federal trademark database shows that Mars filed a new registration for the brand in December 2020.

Whether this move means there are plans to re-launch another version of the bars, or they did it just to keep someone else from profiting on the product’s goodwill, we can only guess. 

For now, we hope the pictures on this page can at least bring back some happy memories.

Until you taste Kudos yourself, this will have to describe it. (1987)

You’ve never been here before. No one has ever put rich milk chocolate, crunchy nuts and moist, chewy granola in a snack so right.

With a taste this good. In nutty fudge, chocolate chip or peanut butter. It’s tomorrow’s snack, today.

DON’T MISS: These 1980s fruit snacks came in a ton of shapes, flavors & colors

Vintage Kudos granola bars (Feb 1987)


Retro TV commercial: Kudos, I’m yours


Vintage eighties Kudos chocolate bars from 1989

Vintage eighties Kudos chocolate bars from 1989

 

 


Kudos in the nineties: We got the goods… (1990)

Kudos flavors: Nutty Fudge, Butter Almond, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Cookies and Creme

Vintage chocolate-covered Kudos granola snack bar flavors in 1990 (1)

And now more of the goods! (1990)

New Raisin. New Crunchy Nut. Since you can never get too much of a good thing, we’ve just come out with two new KUDOS Snacks.

One’s got extra-large chunks of almonds and peanuts. The other is packed with plump, juicy raisins.

And like all KUDOS Snacks, they combine real milk chocolate with the wholesome crunch of nuts and grains. Something this good is something you gotta get! (Mars, Incorporated – 1990 )

ALSO SEE: Pillsbury Space Food Sticks, the vintage snacks for astronauts that kids loved

Vintage chocolate-covered Kudos granola snack bar flavors in 1990 (2)


Simply Kudos: Kudos, minus the chocolate (1993)

From the Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) October 19, 1993

Tasty trio M&M/Mars is introducing a new trio of wholesome snack foods to complement its Kudos Snack line.

Simply Kudos Snacks offer the same taste of the Original Kudos Snacks but without the real milk chocolate covering.

Simply Kudos Snacks are made with moist and chewy granola, crunchy roasted nuts and grains.

Available in three varieties, Oatmeal Raisin, Honey Nut and Chocolate Crunch, they are sold in eight-snack value packs. Each bar has 100 calories or less, only 4 grams of fat, and 55 milligrams or less of sodium.

The Oatmeal Raisin bars are filled with raisins and wheat flakes; Honey Nut bars are made with real honey and contain 20 percent almonds; and real Dove Dark Chocolate is used for the Chocolate Chunk bars.

The suggested retail price for Simply Kudos Snacks is $1.89 for the eight snack pack.

Simply Kudos Kudos, minus the chocolate (1994)

NOW SEE THIS: Del Monte Yogurt Cups were awesome snacks for ’80s kids

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