Hula Hoops Crisps
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Hula Hoops Crisps (History, Flavors & Commercials)

If you love unique snack chips and crisps, you might have already tried out these fun little rings of corn that are puffy and crunchy. Hula Hoops crisps have been around since the 1970s and they are best known as a British snack although they are also sold in various other countries. This treat might remind you a little bit of Funyuns but without the unique onion-ring flavor.

Hula Hoops crisps come in many flavors and there have been various different versions of the product that were sold over the years like Shoks and Big O’s. If you live in Europe or you have traveled to Asia, you are probably much more familiar with this fun snack than American audiences would be.

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

Hula Hoops Crisps

History

Hula Hoops crisps are made from potatoes and corn, and they are made in the shape of cylinders that are hollow in the middle. KP Snacks makes the product in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa. In Belgium, they go by the name “Croky” and are distributed from Belgium. In France, they are made under the Hula Hoops name but produced by Vico.

There are various flavors of this product, but they are not all sold in every market. Recently a tortilla line of Hula Hoops was added to the products list, which come in Cool Original, Chili Salsa and Nacho Cheese. These are not offered in every market, which can be sad for those who want to try them, but they can sometimes be found online and ordered.

You might also find that the particular form of the treat that you were looking for is not offered in every market. Believe it or not, these snacks come in various different styles and you can get a puffy version, a version made with maize, and at one time, you could get an extra-large bag of extra-large Hula Hoops to enjoy with friends and family. It is unique to have this product offered in so many different variants, and this is part of why people are not always sure that the treat that they like is actually a Hula Hoop crisp.

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old candy

There have always been various versions of this product that were marketed at the same time, which can lead to some confusion about these being separate products from different brand names. Big O’s were marketed with the help of comedians Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse. These were bigger Hula Hoops, and they came in larger bags. The bags were black, and the logo on the bags was Big O’s, not Hula Hoops. This product did not stand the test of time and has since gone off the market.

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Shoks were another variation, but they were made to be miniature in size and much more flavor-packed than Hula Hoops. This product was sold in a resealable pot or a tube that was made from plastic. These were intended to be the new big thing for the brand, and they did make a large sum of money for the company in 2002 when they were first released.

Shoks were marketed at middle-school-age kids and young adults. It appears that the first 10 million pounds of sales were a one-time thing, however, and the product was discontinued not long after. The Shok product was sold in Totally Cheesy, Beef, Pickled Onion, Sweet Chili, Salt and Vinegar, and Rib and Saucy. These flavors did not make it into any future iterations of the Hula Hoops products once Shoks were discontinued.

Frozen Hula Hoops were made in 1991, and they were a frozen product that could be heated up at home. The format of this product was more like a hashbrown. The product has not been a big hit and was only recently rolled out to stores in Iceland. You can only get Original Salted and BBQ Beef flavors of this form of the product today.

It’s hard to imagine making a hashbrown from any other chip product that is sold on the market today, but Hula Hoops did it, and it seems to be at least a minimal success. Imagine Chex Mix hash browns or potato chip hashbrowns. Seems a little odd, but if you want to check out something this unique, you might be able to source this weird version of this snack in your location.

Puft was also made by KP Snacks as a means to make a lighter version of Hula Hoops. This product was a first for the company in the sense that it was meant to be healthier than the original versions of the treat. This product is still in production, and there are four flavors that you can choose from. Puft comes in salted, sweet chili, salt & vinegar, and beef.

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Flavarings

Starting in 2018, Flavarings was made to offer a maize-based snack that is not made with potato in it. This changes the texture and makes the snack a slightly different experience than the original products. The packaging describes these treats as being “big crispy bursts of flavour” and they come in Tangy Cheese, Salt & Vinegar, and Spicy. This is a compromise between the original product and the Shoks version of this treat and you will enjoy a little bit of what both of these products can offer when you choose Flavarings.

Livery

This product is made with so many different colors of packages that it can be a little confusing if you have never purchased the products before. All the flavors have their own packaging color, but the actual logo and the information on the bag are the same. Overall, this is a really simple product design plan and one that translates well despite all the different colored bags that products are sold in.

The logo is indicated on the bags in capital letters with what is intended to be an image of the actual product behind the words. The flavor is indicated at the bottom left of the back in simple text, and then on the other bottom corner of the bag, all of the various nutritional information is displayed.

Newer bags will show that there is no artificial flavoring and no MSG in these products and that they are made using 100% sunflower oil. This was a change that took place in the last four years to help make the product healthier and to encourage increased sales to health-conscious parents and consumers.

You can easily see through the simplicity of this product design that the brand is an old one, and the nearly vintage-style font and the stripped-down design is nostalgic for a lot of people. As with many other products that have been on the market for a long time, the companies that make these products have not tried to force a change where none is needed. If something still performs well in its original packaging in livery, then there is nothing to complain about or change.

Logo

Hula Hoops Crisps Logo

Flavors

  • BBQ Beef-brown package
  • Cheese & Onion- green package
  • Original- red package
  • Roast Chicken-mustard colored package
  • Salt & Vinegar-blue package
  • Smoky Bacon-purple package
  • Sweet Chili- pink package
  • Tikka- deep purple package
  • Crisp Roulette-dark red package
  • Tangy Cheese- light orange package
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Discontinued Flavors:

  • Barbeque
  • Beef and Mustard, which came in a black “Big O’s” bag and also in XL bags
  • Cheese which was sold in a yellow bag
  • Prawn Cocktail, which was sold in a purple bag
  • Sour Cream and Chive, which was sold in a dark green bag
  • Tomato Ketchup which came in a blue bag
  • Vanilla Cream, which came in a dark pink roulette bag

Ingredients

  • Potato (Potato Starch & Dried Potato),
  • Sunflower Oil (26%),
  • Rice Flour,
  • Maize Flour,
  • Salt,
  • Potassium Chloride

Nutrition

Serving Size:24g pack (24g)% Daily Value*
Amount Per Serving:
Calories 121
Calories from Fat 52
Total Fat 5.8g9%
Saturated Fat 0.6g3%
Sodium 136mg6%
Total Carbohydrates 16g5%
Dietary Fiber 0.6g2%
Sugars 0.3g
Protein 0.8g
Iron0%
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet.

Pictures

Slogans

The most recent slogans are so simple that they would not make these products stand out from the crowd in any way. Things like, “best ever flavor” are used on the bags and also a simple statement about the snacks being cooked with 100% sunflower oil. You might also see something as mundane as, “Amazing taste and satisfaction”. Clearly, this product is sold more due to the level of commitment and loyalty that people feel to the brand and its colorful packaging than due to its memorable slogans.

It’s hard to imagine a chip-type snack that is not associated with some kind of slogan that is catchy and memorable, but this brand is a prime example of this form of branding and marketing. You would struggle to find any modern advertising for this product that is catchy or meant to grab your eye beyond the bright colors of the product’s bags and the zany flavors that are available in some markets. 

Commercials

Hula Hoops have always been advertised with really silly and zany activity going on in them and you can find ads that include sock puppets that look like the product bags as well as people playing with these little snacks with their hands. From dance clubs to what looks like a lightbox for photography, there is no limit to the unique and sometimes strange settings that these ads take place in.

A recent ad that leans into the fun aspect of this snack:

A UK-based ad:

Another recent ad:

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

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One Comment

  1. HI BEEN LOOKING FOR TANGY CHEEZE Hula Hoops Flavarings CANT SEEM TO GET THEM ANY WHERE AND THERE THE ONLY ONES IN THE RANGE I ENJOY.. HOPE YOU CAN HELP AND THANK YOU..
    STEVE

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