Whatever Happened To Shark Bites?

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Let's set the scene: a young child wearing sunglasses sits in a beach chair. He rips the seal off a pack of fruit snacks. This isn't footage from someone's home video -– this is the iconic 1990 commercial for Betty Crocker's Shark Bites. "Just when you thought it was safe to eat fruit snacks," a voiceover entices. "Here comes Shark Bites; a feeding frenzy of fruity fun." The shark-shaped fruit snacks were a classic 1990s snack, featuring a variety of species including hammerheads, mako sharks, tiger sharks, and the fan favorite: special Great White shark pieces. 

Recent relaunches of favorite '90s-era snacks have found their way to 21st century supermarkets. General Mills' French Toast Crunch came back by popular demand in 2014, per TIME. In 2021, Dunkaroos hit shelves after a nine-year hiatus, via Food Network (though fans could recreate the graham-cracker-dipped-in-frosting fairly easily at home). Fruit snacks, on the other hand, don't seem to have the return power as some of their '90s snack counterparts. What are Shark Bites fans to do? Is the treat gone forever? And, if not, how can fruit snack shark fans take another bite?

Feeding frenzy fans left hungry

Shark Bites have heavily evolved since their release, and it has left a bad taste in some '90s kids' mouths. According to reviews on Amazon's Betty Crocker store, grown-up fans that were chasing that old Shark Bites taste but are disappointed by a newer version product. Buyers describe a totally different taste, unrecognizable flavors, translucence instead of opaque, and no Great White pieces to be found.   

It will be difficult to get your hands on a package of Shark Bites, though. While the product appears on the websites of many big box and grocery stores like Amazon and Kroger, they are listed as sold out or unavailable. Not even the snack's manufacturer, Betty Crocker, nor its parent company, General Mills, have them listed on their websites. It seems that at least for the moment, these beloved bad boys may be an extinct species.

The original television commercial advertised: "Shark Bites fruit snacks: You've got to eat them before they eat you." Fans of this snack are still waiting for their turn to take that bite out of the iconic fruit snack they remember from their lunchboxes.