Hamburger Helper is Toast. Get it while you can.

Better get it while you can.

The food that bloated an entire generation is in danger of going the way of the VCR.

In the late 1960’s and 1970’s Hamburger Helper was the staple of thousands of avacado-colored kitchens or eaten on a “TV table” in front of the four channels that passed for choice in viewing back then.

The Wall Street Journal, no less, is reporting on the possible demise of a ” food” that ranked right up there with the Twinkie.

Now that Hamburger Helper will soon be lost to history I expect that it will become the trendy food for the food snob, and HH Bistros will soon populate Bucktown and Logan Square and probably even dot Manhattan — the one in New York state.    All sorts of creations will spring from the imagination of chefs too young to be poisoned –or fed– the cardboard box delicacy.

Some old standbys haven’t fared as well. Hamburger Helper, and the other Helper varieties owned by General Mills, declined to 40% of sales of dinner mixes in the U.S. last year from 61% in 2007, according to market researcher Euromonitor, and Conagra Brands’s Chef Boyardee’s share of shelf-stable ready-meal sales fell to 23% from 25%.

General Mills said Hamburger Helper might not have robust growth prospects but generates consistent profits and feeds millions of Americans. It improved the taste by using real cheese and, to attract value-oriented shoppers, has added 20% more pasta, a spokeswoman said.

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