|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2009)|
Though originally marketed as being otherwise, the current incarnations of Munchos are actually thinner than most potato chips, to the point of being slightly transparent and containing air pockets. When first introduced, they were positioned as "a potato snack, thicker than potato chips." Their slightly curved shape and rough texture assist with dipping. Ingredients include dehydrated potatoes, corn and/or sunflower oil, corn meal, potato starch, salt, sulfate, niacin, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and yeast.
In 1969, a bag sold for fifty-nine cents retail (changed to $2 [$3.29 in some areas] for a 7.25-ounce bag, currently 4.25-ounce, or ninety-nine cents for a "Big Grab"). 65 cents in most urban states. The original Munchos debuted a few months after Pringles, another brand of product that identified as "potato crisps" (a term Pringles adopted after Frito-Lay successfully sued to prevent them from naming their product "potato chips"); in fact, early descriptions of Munchos closely parallel those of Pringles, with their curved shapes and thicker construction.
The current version of Munchos does not fit the description of the original Munchos; the current Munchos are, in fact, significantly thinner than the company's regular Lay's potato chips, and the chips include several tiny air pockets that form in the chip as a result of the frying process. Lay's Stax is a product that more closely resembles the original Munchos description.
Due to high production costs, advertising and prolific commercial distribution of Munchos are limited, although they can be found in most areas of the United States, and Canada.
An ad campaign in 1969 included the phrase, "It's MUNCHOS!" spoken in a really high voice. The commercials created by Jim Henson featured a spokesman named Fred (performed by Jim Henson) who talked about the Munchos and a monster named Arnold (performed by Jim Henson in one commercial, Frank Oz in later commercials) who craved the Munchos. Arnold's puppet eventually became Cookie Monster on Sesame Street. Fred's puppet later became Zelda Rose on The Muppet Show.