Sound the Bugles: A Crap-Bag Snack That May Not Be So Bad

220px Bugles package

My other indulgence yesterday, whilst in my dark cave watching Breaking Bad with all means of communication shut off, was a single serving-sized bag of Bugles.

I don’t know whether for lack of attention or that they just have not been around enough to grab attention, but I recall as a kid that they came in a box, and I always really liked the taste & light crunch. I don’t even recall eating them non-stop or anything, or very often at all. They just have a nice corny taste & crunch.

Couple of months or so ago, I noticed seeing them again, regularly, like at convenience stores & such. I was curious. I looked at the label of ingredients, used to seeing 2 inches of unpronounceable ingredients for almost everything in a bag out there.

But I thought wrong: “Degermed yellow corn meal, coconut oil, sugar, salt, baking soda.”

To me? Impressive, for crap in a bag. So, next time you get the urge, go for some of those instead of…like, Doritos, with a solid inch plus of “gluten free” ingredients.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Contemplationist on January 30, 2013 at 12:08

    Wow I used to love Bugles back in high school. I would consume them by the bagfuls at home watching heavy metal music videos on MTV. Ah, good times.

  2. John B on January 30, 2013 at 13:17

    Loved those as a kid myself. Yes, they came in a box. Had forgotten all about them, but about a year ago was at an impromptu gathering where drinking was going on. There was nothing to eat but snacks, including bugles. Had a handful because of the ingredient list. I remebered the coconut oil part, I was a label reader from birth! There was another snack similar that came in a blue box from General Mills, but can’t remeber it’s name.

    • John B on January 30, 2013 at 13:18

      May have been called ‘Bows’.

  3. Keoni Galt on January 30, 2013 at 13:21

    I’ve noticed an upswing in the number of processed foods that now have coconut oil in them. Just a few years ago, it was all Partially Hydro Soy Oil, or Canola or safflower or some other n-6 unbalanced crap.

    Even some candy bars have made the return to what USED to be food manufacturers favorite oil.

    After all these years of going “paleo” there’s one thing I never ever gave up – corn tortilla chips. I just make em myself now. I buy traditinoaly made, lime-treated corn masa tortillas, cut them up and fry ’em in coconut oil. I’ve also made my own taco and tostada shells the same way.

    Yum. Coconut oil is truly a gift from the Gods!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 30, 2013 at 15:40

      …I have a candy bar maybe once per year if that. Usually a Snicker’s, it seems to taste the same. I was on the road a couple of months back and sprang for a Heath Bar. i was weird as a kid because that was my fav. I had a bunch of different ways to cherish it, from biting off a piece and letting the chocolate dissolve, then the toffee, to dissolving the chocolate and crunching down the toffee, to crunching the whole thing.

      They’ve reformulated and whatever is now encased in that “chocolate,” it’s not English Toffee or anything resembling it. It tasted like utter shit. I tossed it out the window.

      Guess it’s either Almond Rocca or just artisan toffee from here out.

      • Dustin Ginsberg on August 18, 2016 at 05:00

        You are right, Heath bars are not like they used to be generations ago. Hershey, who has, owned the Heath bar since 1996, after acquiring Leaf, who acquired the Heath bar in 1989, actually has a less famous bar that they developed before they acquired the Heath bar called “Skor” that is better than the Heath bar–look for it in some supermarkets and make sure it is a fresh date (ones I have tried in the last couple years have been a bit soggy, for some reason, even with a good date). Hershey came out with the Skor bar in 1981, after the recipe for the original Swedish version was brought to them. This Swedish toffee is what Heath originally sought to emulate. And while the Heath bar has been diluted with palm oil, the original Swedish recipe is intact in the Skor bar.

  4. Alex on January 30, 2013 at 13:37

    My wife is normally sensitive to corn, (gives her acne, stomach pains and uncomfortable stools) but she can eat these without symptoms. We presume it is because they are degermed, which makes me think the degerming removes whatever it is that makes corn the most objectionable as a grain, further making Bugles a more acceptable snack than other corn-based snacks.

  5. TempestTcup on January 30, 2013 at 14:04

    I will occasionally have Bugles because they are made with coconut oil, but if I really want a crunchy store-bought snack I go for Pork Rinds. Yum. The bugles are fun because you can fill them with hot sauce like tiny crunchy cups!

    • Simon Janes on January 31, 2013 at 21:35

      This just blew my mind—and this seriously changes my thoughts about snacks like this in the future. I’m kind of tired of corn-chips but I haven’t made my own quite yet like Keoni does.

      I’ve had to resort to my own designs for “french onion dip” for similar reasons: too much crap in the mix.

  6. Jenny on January 31, 2013 at 11:37

    oh bugles! These were my favorite when I was a kid. 1. They were imported from the states and so were “fancy”. 2. I would put one over each finger so I could have long “fingernails” like Lonnie Anderson’s character with whom I share a name on WKRP in Cincinnati! and she was the “fanciest” thing I’d ever seen in my strict Christian household. Glad to see they’re back. (Obviously wasn’t watching this at home.)

    • Richard Nikoley on January 31, 2013 at 11:43

      With the last handful the other day, I was wanting something like sour cream for a dip. Didn’t have any, but had some plain yogurt. It works. The creamy plain, full fat yogurt is essentially probiotic sour cream. makes an excellent dip.

  7. JP on February 1, 2013 at 10:55

    I read about Bugles using coconut oil on Matt Stone’s site…or maybe it was his atrocious new $0.99 book. I’m not sure why I started to read him again for a brief period. The Bugles tip was the only valuable thing I learned.

  8. J on March 28, 2013 at 19:25

    saturated fat per serving…ouch!

  9. John on January 26, 2014 at 17:50

    I remembered this post from a while back. Don’t usually eat stuff like this much, but I do plan on picking up some Bugles for the Superbowl. Also gonna get some Jackson’s Honest chips. Tried them once, they tasted great, and also, the Jackson’s chips didn’t beak into those tiny shards that stab your mouth that most regular chips now seem too.

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