Did Bugles Get Smaller or Did My Fingers Get Fatter?
America's #1 Finger Hat is no longer.
Going on road trips as a child, you probably had that one, specific snack you'd get from the gas station market as your parents were filling up the car for the long trip ahead. Maybe it was beef jerky. Maybe you opted for the classic Chex Mix. Or maybe you were like me, a Bugle kid, who not only looked forward to the snack's salty goodness, but who also had way too much fun putting the oddly-shaped chips on my fingers before devouring them one by one.
While this may sound a little odd to some, I'm - thankfully - not the only one who decided to play with their food when it came to Bugles. As many consumers popped the chips onto their fingers and pretended to be Freddy Krueger, the company embraced the fun, branded itself as "America's #1 Finger Hat."
During a recent trip to Buffalo, my boyfriend and I stopped to pick up some snacks and drinks before hitting the open road. I picked up some Bugles, and I have to admit, it's been a while since I'd had a bag. But when I popped it open, I was surprised by what I found. The chips' openings were thin, some of them barely big enough to fit a paperclip in, much less a finger.
I tried putting a Bugle on my smallest finger, my pinky, and had to balance it to even keep it on. So what happened to the Finger Hats??
Although it's very probable that our fingers have grown since we were children, it's also pretty easy to see that anyone, even a child, would have a hard time fitting their fingers inside the "new," thinner Bugles.
It seems they've been thinning down the chips since at least 2014, when "So You Think You Can Dance" finalist Alex Wong came across the same problem. There's even a whole Reddit thread dedicated to the debate.
Well, I was so curious (and honestly hoping that my fingers hadn't just gotten fat) that I decided I needed to set the record straight. I reached out to General Mills, the company that produces Bugles, where a representative said there have not been any official changes in the how the chips are formed during production.
Unfortunately, the mystery of the Bugles lives on, but maybe it's safe to say the problem stems from two places. Maybe Bugles are just meant to be hats for kids' fingers, and maybe some quality control issues have made Bugles' openings a little slimmer since we were kids. No matter what the answers reveal though, one thing remains clear: Bugles are delicious.