Your favorite snacks that go festive in the holiday season

That nostalgic bite, re-envisioned for the winter


Utz’s White Cheddar Snow Balls are a lighter snack option to try out. 

Elise Kim | Cavalier Daily

With finals right around the corner, most people would expect an article detailing the newest health craze snacks or the best homemade nut mix for that crunch you crave when your textbook glares up at you dauntingly — but I digress. There is nothing that screams “holiday” more than your favorite munchies celebrating the festivities of winter.

I’ve taken the liberty of compiling into a list some of the most popular snacks that released holiday flavors this December, both old and new — but ranked in no particular order. You can’t discriminate against any of these spirited snacks by trying to rank them — that’s just rude.

Let’s start off with a classic. Rold Gold is back with their White Fudge Peppermint Dipped pretzels this season — a definite necessity for all you pretzel-lovers out there. The winter feels are real with this snowflake-shaped, peppermint-flavored dipped pretzel. Since its release in 2011, this timeless classic has been an essential for me during the holiday season.

Its competitive counterpart, Snack Factory’s White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Crisps and Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Crisps are another holiday favorite for me. These taste about the same as the Rold Gold pretzels, but with a more pronounced peppermint flavor because of the real peppermint pieces layered generously on each pretzel. One of my holiday necessities, for sure.

Though it may not necessarily constitute a “snack,” this release is still worth mentioning. For the first time in 10 years, Hershey’s has decided to release a new flavor. Of course, what better way to kick off the season’s warm and cozy vibes than with the Hot Cocoa Kiss? The two components to hot chocolate come together in this classic Hershey’s Kiss filled with a delectable marshmallow-flavored crème.

Next on this festive list is none other than Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish — their Hot Cocoa Goldfish is a clear win over here. Coming in hot and brand new this holiday season, these chocolate grahams and marshmallow fish-shaped pieces bring me back to my childhood and are perfect for when the sweet snack munchies hit. I’m starting to see a trend with hot cocoa this winter.

As a brief break from the artificial sweets, this intermission takes us to a hidden gem. Planters has a Winter Spiced Nuts Mix that is absolutely to die for. Featuring honey roasted peanuts, sesame sticks, almonds, cashews and pecans, this mix is perfect for packing in a Ziploc bag to accompany your studies at the library. But let’s be real, the whole can is coming along for the ride — it’s that good.

For a lighter snack option, try out Utz’s White Cheddar Snow Balls. No, these are not your ordinary cheese balls — they actually look like snowballs and what better way to reminisce on past snow days or the first winter snow than by munching on these deliciously savory, cheesy snowballs?

Returning to the tirade of sweets, we have the return of the well-known Winter Oreo. The classic Oreo gets a red makeover, but the flavor profile stays the same with this festive classic. I must admit, though, I am slightly disappointed that they removed the winter shapes on the cookies. However, to compensate for this, Oreo released a new limited edition flavor this winter with their Peppermint Bark rendition. The classic cocoa cookie sandwiches a generous layer of peppermint-flavored crème and crunchy sugar crystals in this ambitious take on a winter classic.

A slightly less sweet, but still festive option is Angie’s Boomchickapop Holiday collection. The four flavors, though a little less prevalent in stores, is a blessing to our taste buds. Boomchickapop markets festive, low-calorie popcorn for easy go-to snacks to satisfy our sweet cravings without feeling full to bursting from a holiday sugar rush. Hot Cocoa Marshmallow, White Chocolate and Peppermint, Dark Chocolaty Drizzled Sea Salt and Frosted Sugar Cookie range from 110 to 120 calories a cup for some festive goodness.

If we’re all being honest though, finals season usually constitutes rushing out with barely enough time to pack snacks. What better substitute for a grab-n-go than a Clif Bar? They’re back with their holiday flavors — Iced Gingerbread and Peppermint Bark. These are not only versatile snack options to fill you up, but they’re obviously delicious. Iced Gingerbread? Yes, please!

And for the best news — these snacks are also all conveniently located at the local Charlottesville Target. Easy access for the yummiest snacks this season? A win-win. You’re welcome.

Elise Kim is a Food Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at 

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