Planter’s Cheez Balls

28 Dec

In the ranks of highly coveted discontinued snack foods, few rate higher than Planter’s Cheez Balls. Far tastier than their other artificial cheese puff counterparts, they became my go-to junk food as a kid. Nothing was better than a can of Cheez Balls and a stack of cartoons on VHS.

Vintage Cheez Balls can

Vintage Cheez Balls can

They were in production for several decades, and re-labeled with “Cheez Mania”  in the 90’s. Then, around 2001 or 2002 (if memory serves me right) they ceased production. It was one of those things that hit me out of the blue. I suddenly realized while walking the grocery store one day that Cheez balls were no where in sight, and in fact, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen them available.

Over the years I frequently longed for their cheezy goodness. Cheetos and  generic Cheese puffs just couldn’t compare. Nothing had that flavor I craved. I desperately began scouring the internet for them, when, after many a Google search, I encountered a piece of information that was paramount in my re-discovery of them.  Many fans of this product had conclusive information that it had been officially discontinued. However, there seemed to be occasional sightings across the US in which people had found them exclusively at convenience stores, and oddly enough, Blockbuster. I remember running across a feature on the MSN homepage one day.  In it, they discussed the most-wanted discontinued foods. I was pleased to see that I was not alone in  my desire for this product to spring back to life. I read that piece a few months ago… and then, just a week later..  I hit the jackpot.

One afternoon not long ago, I was having kind of a bad day. So my Fiance Daniel and I  treated  ourselves to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, after that we  decided to walk over to the blockbuster in the same parking lot.  We watch a lot of movies, so we’re frequently present at this location.

I was getting ready to leave when he stopped me. He was hidden by a shelf of snack foods.  I heard his voice call out to me . “Laura! guess what I have?” All in a moment, a whirlwind of thoughts rushed through my head. “No, it couldn’t be. Here? But, I’ve never seen them. Cheez Balls? I just read about them! Oh.. it would be a dream come true. Its been so many years!”

Daniel then proceeded to reveal himself and extended forth his arms. He was grasping a can of Planter’s Cheez balls. I squealed. My heart was racing with excitement. I felt a rush of happiness.  He then pointed out to me a small shelf, which was stocked with a meager amount of Planter’s snack products. THEY DO EXIST!  I quickly grabbed 3 cans and headed to the check out. I mentioned to the manager my excitement of finding them. He said that he too, had read the same article from the previous week. He said he knew they’d go over well seeing as he is the only one around who has them.

At last!

At last!

Later that night I indulged in that delicious, savory cheez (which is close to cheese, but not quite the same taste) flavor for the first time in years.

Since then, I have managed to keep one can in reserve.  Unfortunatley, as I had suspected.. they haven’t resurfaced. Someone else bought the few remaining cans, and I had the majority of them in my possesion.  I do hope they are re-ordered. Otherwise I may have to ask the management to do so. I found further evidence today of the demand for Cheez balls. Check out this auction currently running on Ebay. $25.00 per can for this luxury. Anyone who has actually taken the time to read this obviously has the same goal that I did. So, take hope from this article. Yes, they do exist.

Advertisements

8 Responses to “Planter’s Cheez Balls”

  1. Reaper December 28, 2008 at 3:13 pm #

    I forgot all about these, I remember I used to love them so much that I ate them until I got sick then I stopped eating them and then they went off the market when I gained interest in them again. I’d love to see Bonkers and Ghostbusters cereal make a comeback too.

    Nice engagement ring, btw!

  2. Reaper December 29, 2008 at 9:33 pm #

    In the 1980s, various episodes were released on VHS by Family Home Entertainment in the USA.
    Thought you might find this of interest too, namely the last sentence…

    On March 30, 2004, Rhino Entertainment released The Complete 1st and 2nd Seasons on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time. On September 14, 2004 the released Season 3, Part 1 which featured the first 19 episodes of Season 3. Both releases were digitally remastered and contained Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Rhino subsequently lost the rights to the series before they could release the remaining episodes of Season 3, the final season of the series. In 2008, Hasbro acquired the distribution rights for all Sunbow series including Jem, which gives hope that they will re-release the series at some point.

  3. Reaper May 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    Your public demands another entry, Mrs. Swanson!

    Jemgirl Fan Club President,

    Grant/Reaper

  4. pam December 16, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    Hi,
    I am looking for planters cheezballs as a Christmas present for my best friend. She was addicted to those things. I live in California and can’t find them anywhere! Where do you live and where did you find them? My email is pamelapender@gmail.com
    Thanks!!

  5. Laura December 16, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    I live in the Seattle area, and I found them at my local Blockbuster video. This was a year ago though, and I haven’t seen them since, which is very disappointing. I’ve read of other instances online though of people in various states across the country, and it seems that Blockbuster is the only place people are finding them, so its worth a look if you’ve got one nearby. It all varies by location, but they just might have them!

  6. alicia January 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    I know this article is several years old, but I was looking for these for years (literally) until I had the bright idea to contact Planter’s directly and ask about them. At the time, I was told they were no longer in production and the company had no plans to produce any. I have seen several petitions, with thousands of signatures each, online trying to get these back on the market, so hopefully Planter’s will take note and give us what we want. But I’m glad someone still has (or had?) hope after stumbling across some!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Razor Blade Casserole - January 14, 2010

    […] one, talking about cheez balls on the internet, say the balls were discontinued in 2006. Suddenly! A page from 2008 documents a person finding them in a store! Great piggly wiggly! But, you know, they’re […]

  2. Guilty Pleasures: Planter’s Cheez Balls | He Said/She Said NOLA - August 17, 2011

    […] of cake. But the ultimate fate of the Cheez Ball? Nothing but rumor and innuendo. Unverifiable reports of sightings: Jim Morrison toting two cans at a Costco in Omaha. A warehouse filled with 50 cases and the Ark of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: