Smiths drop huge hint about axed chip
After months of tireless campaigning, it seems Smiths are finally listening to the cries of Toobs fans.
The snackfood company broke Australian hearts twice over when it discontinued the tubular, tomato-flavoured chip in 2001. Smiths later revived them in 2007 only to give them the axe again eight years later.
But in 2020, news.com.au began fighting to get the beloved Tasty Toobs back on shelves after readers overwhelmingly voted for them in a survey as the "forgotten Aussie snack that should come back".
Smiths continually ignored our pleas, previously stating "demand for this tangy, tomatoey treat has declined and it is no longer possible to justify ongoing production".
However all that changed when a "dupe" of the gone, but definitely not forgotten, treat emerged on The Reject Shop's shelves that looked strikingly similar.
Discovered by self-confessed "snackfluencer", Leigh Campbell, she described the $3 imitation - called Barbecue Tubes - as tasting "pretty damn close" to the real deal.
Now Smiths appear to have had a change of heart, teasing a Toobs return could very well be on the cards after news.com.au took the discovery to those at the top.
"We love the love for Toobs - nothing beats the real thing," a spokesperson said.
"You never know what might be around the corner."
Talk about a change of tune.
Michael Busch, of Snack Lovers, who distributes Toobs newly identified rival told news.com.au the family owned Australian business was aware of the comparison.
"We are aware our BBQ Tubes have been compared to Tasty Toobs and are thrilled that consumers are enjoying them," he said.
"We have actually been selling the BBQ Tubes for over 10 years but the comparison with Tasty Toobs seems to only have occurred since our products entered the Reject Shop for the first time last year.
"The BBQ Tubes is our most popular product, sales through the Reject Shop and other retailers was very good during 2020 and seems to be continuing this year."
Other fierce campaigners who want Smiths to reconsider its Toobs decision are the 16,000 followers of the Bring back TOOBS Facebook page.
"There is nothing else like them on the market," Brad, the creator, told news.com.au previously.
"When you bite into one, you get that tang in your mouth. Even though a number of companies have tried to replicate them, they can't get it quite right. They are crunchy, tangy and the roof of your mouth knows you've eaten them hours later. You can't stop at one … bag."
Toobs were created by Albert Cranum in 1954 and peaked in popularity in the 1970s.
The chip was sadly killed off by Smiths Snackfoods in 2001 only to be revived six years later in 2007, under the new name Tasty Toobs.
They led a retro snack resurgence three years later, alongside Samboy potato chips and Barney Banana ice-creams, but by 2015 they were gone again. This was the second (and final) demise - it came just three months after Toobs shrunk from 175g down to 170g.
Are you keen for Tasty Toobs to return? Let us know in the comments below.
Originally published as Smiths drop huge hint about axed chip