Monster Munch is a British baked corn snack although there have been variants with the same name in Ireland and France.
Monster Munch was launched in 1977 by Smiths (who also produced Horror Bags snacks). Originally called “The Prime Monster”, the decision was taken to rename the snack “Monster Munch” in 1978. Advertised as “The Biggest Snack Pennies Can Buy” – in reference to the large size of the crisps – each pack featured a different monster on the front of the packet.
The snack was supported by a “Monster Munch Club”, whose members received a “Monster Munch Munchers” membership pack which included a membership card, pen, several story books, and a story tape which included six “tall stories” and accompanying songs.
By the late ’80s there were four main monsters featured on the packaging, although originally a total of six featured in the advertising:
|Pink Monster||A tall, pink, gangly creature with a floppy tongue||Roast Beef|
|Blue Monster||A hat-wearing blue creature with floppy-ears and four arms||Smokey Bacon|
|Yellow Monster||A yellow, one-eyed creature with a red nose||Monsterously Spicy|
|Orange Monster||A fat, orange creature with pink hair||Pickled Onion|
Monster Munch was available in a variety of flavours over the years including Roast Beef, Pickled Onion, Saucy Tomato, Bacon, Cheese & Onion, King Prawn and Salt & Vinegar. Pickled Onion has remained in the selection throughout the years, with Roast Beef appearing in almost every combination. By the 1990s the four main flavours available were Pickled Onion, Roast Beef, Smokey Bacon and Saucy.
The original Monster Munch used two different snack shapes, related to two of the Monsters. The shape known as a “monster paw” that is still used today has long been the subject of dispute over whether it represents a paw or, instead, the eye and lashes of a monster. The other represented the gangly, long-tongued pink monster: circular with two bumps on the top for eyes, protrusions on either side and a tongue dangling down. For a limited time in the early 1990s, there were also spider-shaped Monster Munch with a smokey bacon flavour.
A short-lived range of Monster Munch themed drinks – Monster Fizz – was available in the 1980s.
In 1995, the Monster Munch brand was taken over by Walkers who relaunched them with a range of four flavours and smaller crisps. The monster characters were also redesigned.
|Pink Monster||A tall, pink creature with a wide mouth||Beef Burger|
|Blue Monster||A furry, blue creature with an inverted head||Spaghetti Sauce|
|Red Monster||A large, red ogre-like creature||Flamin’ Hot|
|Orange Monster||An orange ogre-like creature||Pickled Onion|
Since then, the range of flavours has changed several times, such as Cheesy replacing Spaghetti Sauce (and the Blue Monster being recoloured yellow). A wide range of Tazos, featuring images of the monsters, was produced, with one Tazo included in each bag.
In September 2008, Walkers re-launched Monster Munch, based on the original Monster Munch from the Smiths days. The crisps returned to their original larger size (now referred to as “Mega”), and the packs include retro designs based on the original packs, featuring three of the original four monsters.
Throughout the years there have been several limited edition flavours available. A Baked Bean flavour was made available in 2003 for Comic Relief.
A Vanilla Ice Cream flavour was released in 2004, and was received with mostly negative reaction. There were also variants that could turn the consumer’s tongue a different colour. This usually meant the tongue was turned blue, though a variant that could turn the tongue either blue or green was available for a time.
A Product Called “Mega Monster Munch Webs” was sold for halloween 2013 and came in bacon flavour.