Everywhere I turn, the early 2000s are staring back at me. Teens on TikTok are wearing low-rise jeans. Young, female pop stars are all over TV. Another Avatar movie is coming out this year. My childhood is now considered “vintage” and I must accept that. My problem, however, is that one of the important things from the ’90s and aughts has not made a comeback: the food. More specifically, food that was produced in weird, unnatural colors to appeal to kids. Below is a list of zany, neon-colored foods from the 2000s that should be brought back for us adult millennials to enjoy in all their rainbow glory.
If you were a child in the 2000s, you probably begged the adult in your life to buy you Heinz EZ Squirt Ketchup. It tasted exactly like normal ketchup, except it wasn’t red! It came in shades of purple and green and made your food look absolutely disgusting. It ruled. Most ketchups use red food dye, so why is it wrong to use purple and green, too?
Funky Fries came in all different flavors, but the blue “seasoned” fries were the most iconic. A huge selling point was that Jimmy Neutron was featured on the bag. Early 2000s TV had a death grip on all of our brains so why wouldn’t we buy a product featuring the boy genius? Nowadays, blue food products are still in (like the insanely popular Blue Takis, and Kit Kat’s new blue-colored blueberry white chocolate bar). So give me back my blue Funky Fries!
These came out in the ’90s but lasted into the 2000s, and boy did I love them! The white yogurt had a sealed pouch on the lid that peeled back to reveal a surprise color powder. You sprinkled the powder into your yogurt and it changed color. Did it taste good? Meh. Was it fun? Yes! Bring it back (along with their commercials). Their jingle “WHADJYAGET??? WHADJYAGET??? WHADJYAGET???” still lives in my 29-year-old brain today.
Shrek is back in a big way. Well, actually, Shrek never left. Gen Z is just now discovering Shrek-fandom. . From Shrek taking over TikTok to Shrek shoes, people can’t get enough of that green-ass ogre! That’s why Kid Cuisine should bring back their Shrek meal. It had a neon green vanilla “swamp pudding” that turned your tongue green. Heaven.
Parkay released a liquid butter that came in a squeezable bottle in two colors: bright pink and neon blue. While many people today might find this repulsive, this was the greatest invention I had ever heard of when I was a child. I loved butter. I loved bright colors. What was the problem? If we labeled this as “plant-based” and sold it at Whole Foods, I think people would buy it!