SpaghettiOs is an American brand of canned spaghetti featuring circular pasta shapes in a cheese and tomato sauce — and marketed to parents as "less messy" than regular spaghetti. More than 150 million cans of SpaghettiOs are sold each year.
In addition to the original variety, variations have included SpaghettiOs Meatballs (with miniature meatballs), SpaghettiOs Sliced Franks (with pieces of processed meat resembling hot dog slices), SpaghettiOs RavioliOs (with round, beef-filled ravioli), SpaghettiOs with Calcium, and other theme-shaped varieties.
Similar products are sold in the United Kingdom under names like "Spaghetti Rings", loops, hoops, etc.
Introduced in 1965 by the Campbell Soup Company under the Franco-American brand, the pasta was created by Donald Goerke (1926–2010), "the Daddy-O of SpaghettiOs", after a year-long internal study of the appropriate shape for a pasta dish that people could eat without making a mess. Rejected shapes included cowboys, Indians, spacemen, stars, and sports shapes. During the development of SpaghettiOs, Goerke was a marketing manager with Franco-American, then a division of Campbell. During his 35 years with Campbell, Goerke created over 100 products including the Chunky line of soups.
SpaghettiOs were introduced nationally without test marketing — with television advertising using the tag line "The neat round spaghetti you can eat with a spoon" and the jingle "Uh-Oh! SpaghettiOs", sung by pop singer Jimmie Rodgers (loosely based on his 1950s song "Oh-Oh, I'm Falling in Love Again").
In June 2010, Campbell recalled 15 million lbs (6.8 million kg) of SpaghettiOs with Meatballs — all that had been produced since December 2008 and much of which had likely been consumed — due to the malfunction of a cooker at one of the company's Texas plants. "No reports of illnesses associated with the product and ...no customer complaints" were recorded at the time of the recall.
Pearl Harbor tweet controversy
On December 7, 2013, the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, SpaghettiOs' Twitter account posted a picture of a smiling cartoon SpaghettiO holding a United States flag, captioned "Take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us." The posting was met with criticism by users, who found the tweet to be disrespectful to those who were affected by the attack. The post also quickly spawned parodies, as other users, such as comedian Patton Oswalt, edited the cartoon SpaghettiO into photos of other tragic events such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 9/11, the Hindenburg disaster and the sinking of the Titanic. SpaghettiOs' quickly removed the tweet in question, and apologized for any offense it may have caused.
- Fox, Margalit (13 January 2010). "Donald Goerke, Creator of SpaghettiOs, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- Nelson, Valerie J. (January 14, 2010). "Donald E. Goerke dies at 83; 'the Daddy-O of SpaghettiOs'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- Downey, Sally A. (13 January 2010). "Donald Goerke, 83, creator of Campbell's SpaghettiOs". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Jalonick, Mary Clare (18 June 2010). "Campbell Soup recalls SpaghettiOs". NBC News. Associated Press. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- Khan, Atiya (17 June 2010). "Texas Firm Recalls Three Varieties of 'SpaghettiOs' With Meatballs That May Be Underprocessed". Washington, DC: USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "Uh-oh: SpaghettiOs pulls its ridiculous Pearl Harbor tweet". The Verge. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- "SpaghettiOs pulls offensive Pearl Harbor tweet". New York Post. Retrieved 6 January 2014.