Retrofuture Products LLC has re-launched Space Food Sticks, the classic astro-snack first developed for early space missions. Retrofuture President Eric Lefcowitz says, "We're confident fans of the original will love the taste and we're happy a whole new generation of Sticks fans will get an opportunity to find out about this unique treat."
The inimitable chewy snack — available in chocolate and peanut butter — was originally developed in the late 1960s for NASA. Back then nobody knew what an energy bar was so Pillsbury came up with the whimsical name Space Food Sticks and a legend was born. A fixture in lunch boxes during the peak years of the space race, Space Food Sticks were considered manna of the Gods — in this case, the Gods were named Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin — and junior astronauts everywhere took them to their hearts.
"We seemed to have tapped into a happy generational memory," Lefcowitz says of the website he founded in 2001. "People have fond memories of their favorite foods from when they were young and Space Food Sticks really defines a place and time in their lives."
During the development process, Lefcowitz received thousands of emails from fans of the original products encouraging him to keep going. He feels without that support the Sticks would have been lost in space forever. "The re-launching of Space Food Sticks(TM) is truly an Internet phenomenon," he says, citing Google stats from his website Retrofuture.com as a leading indicator that the interest was there.
Why are people so excited about a snack that hasn't been around for nearly three decades?
"Several reasons," answers Lefcowitz. "First of all, the taste and texture of Space Food Sticks is unique. There is nothing quite like it. Also, people are searching for something future-oriented, upbeat and optimistic, not only for themselves but for their kids."
Parents buying the new Sticks for their children will be pleased by the bite-sized "portion control" pieces containing only 21 calories. "Space Food Sticks were a cutting-edge product for their time," says Lefcowitz, "and we wanted to continue that tradition by offering a product that allows people to indulge without over-consuming."
Space Food Sticks not only taste great but offer the perfect between-meal snack with extra protein and a balanced formula of carbohydrates, proteins and fat.
Retrofuture Products is exploring several avenues to sell the products including museums, theme parks and nostalgia candy stores. Space is also on the agenda. In 1973, the Sticks secured a spot on the menu of Skylab 3. Could they do it again? Lefcowitz hopes so, pointing to increasingly active endeavors in the field of private space travel.
"Maybe they could be served as an onboard snack," he says. "That would be so cool."