Remembering – Fiendish Feet
If you were to travel down the dairy aisle of any 90’s U.K. supermarket, you would be sure to have spotted something a little different sitting next to your usual yogurts pots. Sat amongst your low-fat Greek yogurt and the pots of creamed rice were a pack of four little dessert that screamed out for attention. Fiendish Feet sat on the shelves proudly, with their little plastic feet and painted faces, catching the eye of any kid browsing the chilled desserts aisle. Created by St Ivel, who produced dairy products throughout the United Kingdom, the low-fat dairy yogurts were aimed at children, with fun kid-friendly designs on the packaging and a tasty flavoured dessert on the inside.
These anthropomorphic yogurt pots certainly caught the attention of a lot of kids, and the four flavoured horror deserts quickly spiraled into a much larger brand that produced merchandise, bags and even a computer game. Continuing our look back at some of the creepier toys, games and collectables of the 80’s and 90’s, we remember the little pots, that turned desserts on their heads, by standing on their feet. Remembering – Fiendish Feet!
The OG (1989)
The brainchild of Jacqueline O’Neill, the marketing manager at St Ivel, the original Fiendish Feet desserts came in two multi-packs of four flavours. Pack one included Spooky Wooky (Banana flavour), Fangs a Lot (Strawberry flavour), Frank ‘n’ Stein (Raspberry flavour), and Rattle ‘n’ Roll (Chocolate flavour), with raspberry being the packs unique flavour.
Pack two contained Pharoah Nuff (Chocolate flavour), Dooya Finkisaurus (Toffee Apple Flavour), Howling Wilf (Banana flavour) and Horrible Herman (Strawberry Flavour), with toffee apple being the packs unique flavour.
Using horror staples as the characters basis, the desserts contained a Ghost, a Skeleton, a Vampire, Frankenstein, an Egyptian Mummy, a Dinosaur, a Werewolf and a Demon. A promotional poster for the horrifying range introduced the pots as a hierarchical group of misfits led by the banana flavoured Spooky Wooky. The simply yet distinctive designs were colourful and fun, but not afraid to show off their horror routes. That is blood dripping off the teeth of Fangs a Lot!
They pots themselves were plastic Injection molded using different colours for each of the different flavours. With shared flavours between pots, that meant that production costs could be reduced by using the same base for six of the eight different characters. The designs were printed directly onto the surface of each pot.
New Faces (and Feet) – Monster Mousse (1990)
At the turn of the decade, a new range of post were added to the already popular dairy desserts. These mousse pots continued the delicious antics of the OG Fiendish Feet, with three new faces added to the fold. Tongue Twister (Strawberry Flavour), Snortilla the Grunt (Blackcurrant Flavour) and Melting Melvin (Orange Flavour) joined diary king Pharoah Nuff (Toffee Flavour) all setting the stage for a wider range of products. Interestingly, another new face arrived on the OG packs, with a character called Slurpy Bertie replacing Pharoah Nuff.
Whilst the OG had been pretty straight forward Hollywood monsters, the new gang were a little more non-descript. What were they? You know, it really didn’t matter. They were a welcome addition the much loved Feet family and were pretty tasty as well.
A Little Wiggle Room – Tremblers (1991)
A year later from the Monster Mousse range hitting shelves, a new dessert launched. Tremblers were Yoghurt Jelly with Sauce. Upon removing the lid from one of the four flavoured pots, you would be greeted by a liquid sauce sitting onto top of a jelly like filling. As you put your spoon into the dessert, the sauce would fall deeper into the pot. It was like an alternate fruit flavoured crème caramel.
The new characters were, Trembling Trev (Strawberry Flavour), Flossie Flame (Banana and Toffee Flavour), Moaning Mummy (Orange Flavour) and Mesma Eyes (Redcurrant and Raspberry Flavour).
Petty Pots – Fiendish Feet Fromage Frais (1991)
Like any good company, St Ivel was always looking to expand upon their franchise. The flagging end of 1991 saw a huge boom of popularity in Fromage Frais. I’m sure that a huge amount of the appeal was in the small serving sizes. The little “kid” sized pots were market at smaller appetites, but you can be sure that there was some financial sense to portion size to. One can only assume the Fromage Frais is more expensive to produce in normal 100g pots, because nearly ALL Fromage Frais desserts came in tiny little 50g pots.
Now once again we can only speculate on why, but for whatever reason, the Fiendish Feet Fromage Frais went through a dramatic redesign from their bigger cousins. One thing is for sure, these were CHEAPER looking, with barley any effort going into the characters design. But the biggest change was the feet, or lack of them! Instead of the distinct selling point that launched the entire franchise, the pots had crude bottoms with ridges, representing the gap between legs.
Packs containing only three different characters, with each set having two of each. It was clear that these were no longer aimed at being collectables but were more like crude opportunist products aimed at capitalising on a new growing market. The three characters were called Tiddly Wink (Raspberry Flavour), Masked Menace (Apricot Flavour) and Sneaky Beaky (Strawberry).
A Great FEET of Destruction – Redesign (1992)
After 3 years of feeding little monsters to little monster, the novelty of the feet standing yoghurt pots had begun to wane, and with their recent venture into Fromage Frais, eyes were focused on how to turn more profit on the flagging franchise. With the FEET design being the most costly part of the yogurt pot, the powers that be decided to adopt the “Legs” used for the Fromage Frais. But what else could they do away with?
The different coloured pots were dropped in favour or a single pink colour and the different flavours dropped down to two. The pots were now more square than round and the faces printed onto paper to be stuck on later in the production process. Four original characters returned for the re-brand, and each one now had a nice little side design, designating the fruit flavouring inside. Spooky Wooky (Strawberry Flavour), Fangs a Lot (Raspberry Flavour), Frank ‘n’ Stein (Raspberry Flavour) and Rattle ‘n’ Roll (Strawberry Flavour) were the new papered faces of the redesign.
Is it Getting Cold in Here – Freezable Mousse (1992)
Alongside the re-branded yoghurts, a bunch of Freezable mousses also appeared. And here is where it gets weird. The new desserts used the ROUND designs of the OG yogurts, and they also printed the designs directly onto the pots. The colour of the pot and all the flavours were the same, but this new range of desserts certainly seemed like they were more inline with the brand than the new yoghurts. It’s possible these design choice were made for the dessert that could now go in the freezer, but it’s a little weird that they did not keep in brand across the board.
The frozen new faces were Snow Joke, Freddy Frostbite, Freddy Frostbite and Eski Moan. These little monsters were the last of the Fiendish Feet franchise, as it shortly stopped production. With the major loss of its USP, the lack of diversity of flavours and a general competition, the monster pots that stomped their way into our hearts, sadly dwindled in numbers, before being discontinued in 1993.
Get Outta Town – Special Additions and Merchandise
Before the re-design, there were several special addition pots that came out, introducing new characters and even a new diary product. Ivor Cold Toe came out at the festive periods, replacing Fangs a Lot in the four pack, and Hot Cross Bunny was another Fangs a Lot replacement at Easter. Cheesey Wheesey was a spreadable cheese that appeared next to other cheese products, spreading the brand further down the aisle.
Along side specials, posters, badges, stickers and magnet also marketed the growing brand during it’s heyday. A lot of these came in the form of giveaways that appeared on the packs. Other items included bumbags (fannypacks), bicycle clips and even a comic strip.
The most bizarre of all items was launched with a brief attempt at a revival in 1996, when a handheld video game was being given away with the new packs. Sadly, even a new era of handheld entertainment was not enough for letting the Fiendish Feet once again dwindled away.
Alongside merchandise, a number of adverts were produced, using lice action and animation. They were dark enough to make an impact but fun enough to be family friendly. For many kids, these little gems were there very first time they laid eyes on the Fiendish Feet.
Follow Your Feet
The Fiendish Feet ran for a number of years between 1989 and 1997. The monster desserts downfall started when St Ivel compromised the franchises unique selling point. By getting rid of the feet, to reduce cost, they reverted the dessert to nothing more than another pot on the shelf. They were fun, fiendish and made a huge impact. Above all else, they were a damned good idea! A tasty one too!
Huge shout out the amazing tribute page at RadioFeeds, who’s extensive research and work made this article possible. Check it out HERE.
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“Hello Horror Fans – What a delicious article. It makes me MAD hungry just reading about those little MONSTERS. Do you remember the Fiendish Feet or any other horror dessert from your child hood? DROP us a message in the comments below.