I’m old enough to remember when Kool-Aid packets sold for about twenty-five cents.
From The Takeout:
When you’re in the mood for Kool-Aid, you can walk into a grocery store and chose from about 20 different flavor packets all priced at about a quarter a piece. However, if you’re in the market for some quintessentially classic, high-grade, “Oh Yeah!”-era Kool-Aid, you’ll have to enter the fruit-flavored underbelly of one the most intriguing subsets in the world of pop culture food enthusiasts: the black market of vintage Kool-Aid packet collectors.
While there’s no real quantifiable way to know just how big this particular community is, the best place to pulse-check their vitality is eBay. A quick search for “Kool-Aid packet” seemed to signal the market is alive and well, returning over 250 active listings, some of which were going for triple-digit asking prices: $400 for a still- sealed case of Pink Swimmingo, $225 for a single packet of Yabba-Dabba-Doo Berry, and $195 for a single packet of one of Kool-Aid’s most beloved flavor mascots, Purplesaurus Rex, just to name a few. A search for recently completed eBay auctions showed a display of 1960s Grape packets being sold for $250 and a single packet of Rock-A-Dile Red closing out at $125. The good stuff don’t come cheap, my friends.
If you’re scratching your head as to why people might pay hundreds of dollars for packets of unsweetened drink powder that still only cost about a quarter in the grocery store, continue on, because the vintage Kool-Aid packet collector community is a microcosm of broader dynamics of fan culture. Really.
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