WAYSNACK MACHINE: Planters Cheez Balls

Planters Cheez Balls

I already spend far more time than is mentally healthy talking about discontinued snack food, and this is the one I grumble about the most, usually to my cats because they’re the only ones who will listen at this point. I’m talkin’ about my beautiful, beautiful Planters Cheez Balls.

Packaged in that yellow-lettering-on-blue-background canister that is still used today, Cheez Balls took Mr. Peanut’s cashew can and ramped it up to a size that could store a whole battalion of green Army men.

They were roughly the size of a shooter marble and delightfully crunch yet airy, so much so that you could cram your maw full of them and they’d almost instantly disintegrate into a wonderful cheesy paste.

I remember that my dad initially bought them for my brother, but once I tried them I ate the entire canister, which presumably resulted in me getting an Indian burn. That’s a terribly insensitive name for it, but that’s what it was called.

After that incident we had to have TWO canisters of Cheez Balls in the house at all times, each labeled with our names. Such is the way of sibling life; I’m sure many of you can relate.

Planters Cheez Balls 2

The Internet tells me Planters Cheez Balls were discontinued in 2006, but I feel I stopped seeing them on shelves well before then. I refuse to believe I lived in a world where I did my own grocery shopping and I never bought myself a dozen cans.

“Why don’t you just eat Cheetos Puffs?”

Nobody asks me, because they’re all tired of me talking about it. To them I say that, while Puffs are okay, they’re not the same consistency or the same flavor, plus they lack that poppable sphere form. Planters made a unique product.

The closest thing I’ve found these days is The Snack Artist (a Safeway brand) Cheese Balls, which come in a barrel so large it’s embarrassing to take up to the checkout stand, even by my standards. They’re a bit more dense and the cheese is a little different, but they’re probably your closest bet.

There was a change.org petition to bring them back, and it came just 180 shy of reaching its 1,000 goal. I hope one day to see those big, beautiful blue canisters back on shelves.

34 thoughts to “WAYSNACK MACHINE: Planters Cheez Balls”

    1. Agreed. Exact same taste but those come in a GIGANTIC canister like Snack Artist cheese balls

    2. I looked them up without much hope because I *think* Utz is mostly an East Coast company, but I should not have limited my imagination, because this is the Internet. So I found out I can get them from both Walmart’s website AND Amazon. And nobody has to see my giant shame barrel. Thanks guys!

        1. …in Lebanon.

          I watched a YouTube video where a guy claims to have a canister (in 2017) and it seems to be legit. Even made and distributed by Kraft/Heinz as a product of the USA. But the label looks distinctly different than Planters’ current design. It’s very odd!

          1. The bright side is word will spread like wildfire on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, etc, that Planters still makes the Cheez products. People are going to be incensed a piece of their childhood lives on, being made here in America yet not getting sold to us. That’s a salt wound level of insult.

          2. I have a canister that I just picked up in Hong Kong. Country of Origin: USA, Made by: Kraft Food Global Inc, Northfield IL 60093-2753, USA.

            Looks like they still sell it around the world, just not in North America (despite manufacturing it there). TIME TO RAID THE WAREHOUSE!

      1. Ms Kelly my co workers laughed at me because i called Planters asking about their cheese balls… They were the best… Im so glad someone can finally relate… You couldn’t just eat one!!!

    3. No they’re not, I remember the planters fondly and just finished a barrel of UTZ Cheese Balls with the kids and while not bad, they’re slightly chemical and not as small and pillowy soft and dense as the planters.

  1. My mom used to buy these on special occasions when company came over way back when.
    I was craving them a couple of weeks ago and I was surprised with a huge container from Sam’s Club 🙂

    1. I agree!! I had the Kroger “Now That’s Cheesy” brand and they are on point. I would recommend them to any Planter’s Cheese Ball lovers. I think the Utz brand are too salty.
      I missed the online petition or I so would have done it. I did write a letter to Planters to bring them back with no avail. Let’s re-open the petition.

  2. I hated stocking these when I worked at Walgreens because they’d come in a case of like 24 but you could only fit 5 or 6 on the shelf because they were so big. So then you had to find space for all the extra in the warehouse

  3. I thought the Cheez Balls were okay, but I was crazy about the Cheez Curls. Cheetos taste flat compared to Cheez Curls… or at least, to my memory of them at this point.

  4. Other notable items: Squeeze Pop, Fiery Habanero Doritos. I also miss the old Andy Capp hot/cheddar fries before con-agra ruined them, they were so soft and yummy instead of this crunchy, chemically, fake tasting stuff they have now.

    1. The original Cheez Balls were fried in a peanut oil, giving it a whiff of peanut aroma with that cheese smell akin to Cheetos. The balls were full of cheesy tasting goodness coated with a light cheese dusting that stained your picking fingers orange for a good after licking goodness. The balls were not greasy and not mushy. The crunch was soft enough without cutting the roof of mouth.

      1. That does sound great! I love fake cheese dust!
        Collect as much on my fingers as I can to form a thick paste. So gross sounding but so good!

  5. I miss these so much! Same with Doo Dads and Quackers. Gotta agree with the one poster; UTZ cheese balls taste nothing like the Planters ones.

  6. I want these back sooo bad!! Utz brand are not even close to Planters…I’ve been on a hunt for something similar, using my friends and family as taste testers as well, and the closest we’ve found is the Walgreens brand cheese balls.

  7. After traveling to Florida this weekend, I almost lost my mind at Publix. They sell Wise Cheez Doodles. They were glorious. But, they left me searching for them in my neck of the woods. So, that lead me down a rabbit hole of snacks I haven’t seen in ages. Now, I’m here. However, I have some news for everyone. I FOUND Planter’s Cheez (now labeled Cheese) Balls on two separate websites.
    The conundrum is, it states they are a US import and unfortunately don’t ship outside the EU and UK, respectively.
    WHY??? *shakes fists*

  8. They were delicious, I miss them. Utz BAC of cheez balls are good but not quite the same. However, I found a cheese ball today that has come closest to Planter’s than any other product. I found them by accident at the grocery store, they were past the cash registers, on the way out the door. I took a chance, grabbed a bag and went through self checkout. I just ate the entire bag. They are called Chedda! Balls. They are apparently made in Chicago by a company called Chicago American and they were only $1. Now, I have to go back and snag a few bags.

    1. I used to travel to the US from Canada to get Planters Cheez Balls. I still live in hope of them coming back.

      I have found a replacement that comes quite close….the satisfying butteriness is there and it’s the best one currently out there. The company is Herr’s.


  9. Just bought some of these, the same ones from the you tube video. They’re perfect, and just like I remember them from the 80s and 90s!

  10. Does anyone remember when they had a Fiesta flavor or something?
    There were green specks.
    I ate some Cheetos Cheddar Jalapeno Crunchy and it made me think of them because of the green specks.

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