I really need to stop getting my hopes up. If you have the lowest possible expectations for things, then no matter what you get, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. But man, do I have a weakness for nostalgia, especially this week. Remember the ’90s? It was a pre-9/11 world where we didn’t have to take our shoes off at the airport. We had no cell phones, but did have beepers so our friends could shoot us a well-timed “80085" whenever the mood struck. There was no social media, so we were blissfully unaware of exactly how many assholes there were in the world. There was Zima.
It was a hell of a time to be alive, wasn’t it? That’s why Stop & Shop recently decided to launch a “throwback” website, as reported by industry publication Supermarket News. As a person who reads Supermarket News I found this to be extremely exciting, because, honestly, not a lot of exciting stuff happens in the trade papers. Then I clicked the link and was immediately disappointed, because this site is “90s” in name only. It’s a site full of Bagel Bites and lies, and I do not need Bagel Bites sullied with the stink of betrayal—not now, not ever.
According to Stop & Shop, “The ’90s: A Decade of Unforgettable Foods” is “a curated assortment” of all the foods you loved as a child. While I’m happy to have Go-Gurt and AriZona iced tea presented in a late-20th-century color palette, the website itself is bullshit. If you’re going to build a ’90s-throwback website, it needs to be a GeoCities page that runs on Netscape. If Stop & Shop had really wanted to stoke our sense of nostalgia, it would have been best to go all-in on it, allowing a team designers to build something that looks like this. Had any of that happened, I would’ve gladly changed my diet to nothing but Lunchables and Capri-Suns. But alas, it seems as though I’ll be sticking with my breakfast cereals of yesteryear.