Can you make a meal out of snack food? Millennials can

0
276

Erik Deckers

If I could make an entire meal out of eating Cap’n’ Crunch cereal, I would.

Who am I kidding? I have absolutely made an entire meal out of Cap’n’ Crunch cereal. On many occasions. It was glorious, and I’d do it again.

I can’t decide which is better, peanut butter or regular. Both are equally awesome and deserving of being an entire meal. I could lay out a little cereal buffet, eating one and then the other, and possibly a third kind.

Crunchberries are an OK third-place choice. It’s just regular Cap’n’ Crunch with colorful, crunchy berries, but they detract from the old-school goodness of regular Crunch. They’re a sometimes-treat, not an everyday, meal-worthy cereal.

But the Oops! All Berries are an abomination. I don’t know who approved that stuff, but I hope they now have to answer all the “your cereal cuts the roof of my mouth” complaints. I mean, I love sugar cereal, but even that’s too much for me.

Note: it’s not “sugared cereal,” it’s “sugar cereal.”

Because the best cereal is made from the world’s finest sugar, hand-picked from organic sugarcane fields, lovingly extracted, crystallized, and perfectly formed into only the tastiest breakfast foods.

It’s called “sugar cereal” because the best cereals — Cap’n’ Crunch, Apple Jacks, Froot Loops — are all more than 40% sugar.

I understand we’re not supposed to eat this kind of stuff once you reach a certain age, but I haven’t reached that age yet. If anyone knows what it is, let me know so I can skip it.

There are those miserable gatekeepers who can’t let anyone else enjoy themselves and will declare with humorless certainty that there’s a cutoff age for doing anything we loved as a kid.

You know the types. They tweet their pea-brained commandments because they hate fun and can’t stand the sight of anyone enjoying themselves.

“Anyone who celebrates their birthday after they’re 12 is a loser.”

“Anyone who watches anime past the age of 14 probably lives in his mom’s basement.”

“Anyone who eats kids’ cereal as an adult is immature and infantile.”

My favorite was a guy trying to flex like he’s a super-powered overachiever: “If you stay up past 9:00 on a school night, you’ll never be a success.”

Did you just say, “on a school night?” What, are you someone’s mommy? How are we going to take you seriously as “a success” if you say the phrase “on a school night” to grown adults? I only hope this doesn’t go on your permanent record.

Besides, who made it your business to tell other people how they can have fun? Don’t project your parents’ resentment and your failings onto us. Some of us like to have fun and enjoy ourselves. So don’t saddle us with your pain and misery. Stick to pulling the wings off flies and cheering at car crashes, and quit bothering those of us who enjoy life.

And while I still occasionally enjoy sugar cereal, I have been eating healthier, but not because of Captain Stick-in-the-mud up there. I eat a lot more salad, cut back on sugar, and reduced carbs. I do that so I can still enjoy myself on occasion, regardless of what Captain SITM says.

But there are some things I won’t eat, no matter what. Like tofu.

It’s said that tofu will add years to your life. But I’ve tried tofu, and I’m not so sure I want those years. Whatever they are, they’re certainly not the best years.

Still, if you think the occasional bowl of Cap’n’ Crunch is bad, you don’t want to know what the Millennials are doing: they’re spoiling their dinners like their moms are out of town for a week.

And they’re saving the $181 billion snack industry in the process.

The problem, says the media and their moms, is that Millennials and Zoomers are no longer snacking on chips and cookies. They’re turning them into an entire meal.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, almost half of all U.S. consumers have three or more snacks daily, up 8% in the last two years. And most of this is because teenagers to Millennials in their early 40s have stopped listening to their parents and are eating an entire bag of chips for dinner.

Or, as a research group said, consumers are having “…more frequent snacks with fewer items per occasion.”

That is, they’re eating more times with less food each time. As a result, snack food manufacturers are seeing their revenues surge as much as 30% between 2019 and 2022.

That’s because they’re packaging their food in snack sizes. For example, you can buy a box of Cheez-Its crackers in small, one-ounce bags.

I’m not entirely sure about this because I love Cheez-Its. Lots of Cheez-Its. There’s nothing I love more than a small bowl of Cheez-Its. Except a second bowl of Cheez-Its.

These one-ounce bags barely make a mouthful — don’t ask how I know that — and by the time I finish the bag, I’m just getting warmed up.

So I need another bag and another and then another, and before you know it, my kids are complaining that I ate all their Cheez-Its.

It’s not my fault, though. All my Cap’n’ Crunch is gone!