Oh Cap’n! My Cap’n!

Walking down the ceral aisle at the grocery store recently, I spotted this out of the corner of my eye. I used to love Cap’n Crunch cereal, but I’m not sure I recognize whatever this is.

So I’m familiar with the work of Howard Moskowitz, and the concept that there is no one perfect spaghetti sauce (but instead, there are perfect spaghetti sauces). But seeing this just makes me feel old and out of touch.

It’s not just that there are additional shapes here. It’s that the traditional shape of the cereal I remember is absent, and 100% replaced by something new.

Anymore, I can’t differentiate between the name of new sodas and the name of popular bands. Seeing this made me wonder how much certain foods/brands that I loved as a child may have changed, without my knowing, over the years.

I know that grocery stores do well when they push the familiar. But seeing this variation on a cereal classic made me realize that all of the products on the shelves are likely changing. New Coke. Pepsi Blue. Berry Lucky Charms. Chocolate Toast Crunch.

I’m now wondering: what else has changed, under the radar? What staples from my childhood have potentially, ever so slowly, become unrecognizable?

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