|Place of origin||United States|
|Main ingredients||marshmallow icing, coconut flakes|
Sno Balls are cream-filled chocolate cakes covered with marshmallow frosting and coconut flakes formerly produced and distributed by Hostess and currently owned by private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. Sno Balls are usually pink; however, they were also available in chocolate, lemon, white, green, blue and other colors, depending on the holiday. They come in packages of two and were sold at many convenience and grocery stores in the United States. A similar cake, called a "Snowball", is often sold at supermarkets in the United Kingdom; these cakes are typically covered in desiccated coconut, but are typically brown rather than pink, because they may have chocolate on their outside. At Halloween they come in the color green and are called Glo Balls.
Sno Balls were first introduced in 1947. Hostess attributes their initial popularity to Americans being released from the flour and sugar rationing during World War II. Originally, the cakes were colored white and lacked the crème filling. The crème filling was added in 1950. A little later the pink coloring was added to the shredded coconut in one of the two cakes in each package, but eventually the company decided that it was more efficient to have both cakes the same color, and they decided to color both cakes in each package pink.
Other colors (sometimes with their own names) besides pink were sold at particular times of the year, including:
- Green (Lucky Puffs) – St. Patrick's Day
- Lavender (Hoppers) – Spring
- Neon green (Glo Balls) – Halloween
- Orange (Glo Balls) – Halloween
- Orange (Scary Cakes) – Halloween
- White – Winter
Movie and television references
In television and movie references, Sno Balls are often used as an emblematic "junk food," or as a means of communicating caring from one person to another.
Used to connotate caring, Sno Balls appear in Con Air, where the protagonist, Cameron Poe (played by Nicolas Cage), narrates a letter to his wife, in which he informs her: "I got your package. Those pink coconut things have made me quite popular. Met a guy just the other day - Baby-O. He sure does love 'em." The video shows a package of Hostess Sno Balls in the care package she sent him, and, few seconds later, a pink Sno Ball being passed through prison bars from one inmate to another. In the X-Files, episode Tempus Fugit, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are eating at a restaurant; Mulder has arranged for restaurant staff to sing "Happy Birthday To You" to Scully while delivering a pink Sno Ball with a sparkler to her at their table.
Used as prototypical junk food, Sno Balls made a cameo on the sitcom Cheers, season 9, episode 25, where the character Woody Boyd, played by Woody Harrelson, (whose character in Zombieland, mentioned below, disliked Snoballs) announces that "Sno Balls are better because they're bite-sized" and proceeds to stuff the entire cake into his mouth. In Gilmore Girls, Season 4, Episode 9 ("Ted Koppel's Big Night Out), Lorelai Gilmore (played by Lauren Graham) and Jason Stiles (played by Chris Eigeman) go on a date at a grocery store. Jason says he was curious about the Sno Balls and had never tried them before. He says: "You wouldn't be curious about pink marshmallow coconut balls? Who makes these? How did the decision to dye the coconut pink occur? Why are they shaped like a chest? Is there any dessert on the face of the planet that could stimulate this much debate?” A few seconds later, Jason (played by Chris Eigeman) asks Lorelai: “Watch my snowballs please,” to which she responds: “Not on the first date, Mister.”
Other references to Sno Balls include Zombieland and The Hot Chick. In the movie Zombieland, Woody Harrelson's character, Tallahassee, is a fan of Twinkies, but not Sno Balls. When Tallahassee and Jesse Eisenberg's character, Columbus, happen upon a Hostess truck run off the road, they open the back of the truck in search of a Twinkie for Tallahassee. When they open the truck, packages of Hostess Sno Balls tumble out the truck's doors. The dialogue that follows is:
Tallahassee: "Sno balls . . . Sno balls . . . Where's the [expletive] Twinkies?"
Columbus: "I like Sno Balls."
Tallahassee: "I hate coconut. Not the taste. The Consistency."
Tallahassee: "Well, this Twinkie thing, it ain't over yet."
In The Hot Chick, Jessica (at that point played by Rachel McAdams) tells her friend April (played by Anna Faris) that she is a "binger" for eating a Sno Ball and that "This is going to go straight to your ass." Jessica then takes a bite of April's Sno Ball. Later, when Jessica finds herself in a man's body (played by Rob Schneider), Jessica and April meet in an empty stadium, where April is sitting on the bleachers eating a Sno Ball. Jessica admonishes April: "What did I tell you about these things? They'll go straight to your ass!" The Sno Ball reference serves as confirmation that Jessica has in fact swapped bodies with the man played by Rob Schneider. April proceeds to spray Jessica with pepper spray, and Jessica slips on the Sno Ball and tumbles down the bleachers.
- Spector, Dina (November 18, 2012). "The Hostess Sno Ball Is A Brilliant Reinvention Of Another Hostess Product". Business Insider. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
- "Sno Balls". Hostess. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
- Leite, David. "Some Like it Pink: Classic Sno Balls". Leitesculinaria.com. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- West, Simon (Director) (June 6, 1997). Con Air (Motion picture). United States: Bruckheimer, Jerry. 06:12-06:19
- "Con Air: Nic Cage Was Slowly Killing Baby-O One Coconut at a Time". Boxofficeboredom.com. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Coldwell, Will. "My Guilty Pleasure: Con Air". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- "Rat Girl". Cheers. Season 9. 14 April 1991. Event occurs at 7:50-8:20.
- Bjorklund, Dennis (1993). Cheers TV Show: A Comprehensive Reference. Praetorian.
- "The Last Box of Twinkies in Zombieland". Mercury News. November 18, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- "The Hot Chick - Bitchiness At The Mall". YouTube. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- "The Hot Chick, Stadium Scene". YouTube. Retrieved 19 July 2018.