Australians want their beloved Toobs back on shelves – and it seems someone is finally listening.
To date, Smiths have ignored the pleas of loyal fans who have created a dedicated Facebook page for the forgotten Aussie snack.
Even news.com.au’s recent campaign to bring back the retro tomato-flavoured chip fell on deaf ears.
However, it seems another chip maker may have spotted an opportunity, creating a bag of potato snacks that looks strikingly similar to Tasty Toobs.
A self-confessed “snackfluencer”, Leigh Campbell, spotted the $3 imitation chips in the unlikeliest of places – The Reject Shop – and has given a full review on her Instagram account.
“On the weekend I was at The Reject Shop buying rejects and I spotted something out the corner of my eye on a fifty per cent off stand,” she told followers on Tuesday.
The item was a 160g bag of “Barbecue Tubes” made by Australian company Snack Lovers.
After explaining she had campaigned to bring back Toobs in the past, only to see them “come back and then leave”, Leigh decided to give these lookalike potato snacks a go.
“These were reduced from $3 to $1.50,” the mum of one said.
“Will I die? Who knows. The first ingredient says, ‘ingredients snack’.
“Anyway I am going to try them, they’re made in Australia so I’m not that scared.”
Leigh – who is also a podcast host and journalist at mamamia – proceeded to munch on the tubular “dupe”, giving a real-time review of her experience.
“They’re an imitation, definitely not the real thing,” she said.
“They’re a poor man’s Tasty Toob, they’re really good in terms of getting as close as you can get. I’ll take it.
She then gave the snack a 7/10, writing: “Not identical to Tasty Toobs but pretty damn close.”
News.com.au has contacted Smith’s to confirm if there are any plans to review Tasty Toobs current discontinued status.
Campbell regularly gives her 57,5000 followers snack reviews and can be credited for getting Australians into the Kiwi Jelly Tip chocolate from Whittaker’s after raving about it. She also gave the highly-anticipated Bubble O’Bill ice cream tub a less than enthusiastic 6.5/10, describing it as “a flawed yet solid snack” over its missing gumball noses.
But could she be the woman who finally makes Smith’s listen to Australia’s cries for chips? Let’s hope so.
In 2020, news.com.au called on readers to vote for the “forgotten Aussie snack should come back”, and overwhelmingly found the humble Toobs, now named Tasty Toobs, is most missed, raking in more than 50 per cent of the vote.
“There is nothing else like them on the market,” Brad, the creator of the Bring back TOOBS Facebook page, which has amassed more than 16,000 followers, 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.
Have you tried The Reject Shop’s Barbecue Tubes? How do they compare? Let us know in the comments below.