Bugles were developed by a food engineer, Joe Appelbaum, who also created Daisies. They have been available in the following flavors: Original, Nacho Cheese, Sour Cream & Onion, Ranch, Chile Cheese, Salsa, Smokin' BBQ, Churros, Southwest Ranch, Sweet and Salty Chocolate Peanut Butter, Sweet and Salty Caramel, Cheddar, Ketchup, Coriander, Hot Buffalo, Shrimp, Jalapeño Cheddar, and Hot & Spicy BBQ (Exclusively manufactured by Tom's). Bugles are so-named because of their "horn" or bugle shape.
Bugles were test-marketed in 1965 and introduced nationally in early 1966 as one of several new General Mills snacks, the others being the flower-shaped Daisies, tube-shaped Whistles, round Buttons, bowtie-shaped Bows, and wheel-shaped Pizza Spins, all of them long discontinued.
Bugles are fried in coconut oil, which contributes to their being significantly higher in saturated fat than similar snack foods, which are typically fried in soybean or other vegetable oils. Bugles contain no hydrogenated oils.
Ingredients of Original Bugles: degermed yellow corn meal, coconut oil, sugar, salt, baking soda, BHT. Ingredients for all variations of Bugles are listed on the General Mills website.
Bugles produced under the Tom's Snacks label no longer use coconut oil, but rather "vegetable oil (contains one or more of the following: canola oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil)."
As of November 2014, Bugles are sold as Bugles in the United States, Canada, China, Saudi Arabia and several more countries in Central America and the Caribbean.
Bugles were discontinued in Canada in early 2010 due to a decrease in demand but brought back in November 2011 due to renewed consumer demand. In the United Kingdom, Bugles were available in the early 2000s and manufactured by Golden Wonder. They were discontinued after several years, and brought back in 2016.
General Mills also licenses the name and shape to other manufacturers of the same product:In Kuwait, Bugles are manufactured and marketed by the KITCO parent company.
In France, Bugles are manufactured and marketed by the Benenuts marque of Groupe Pepsico of France under the name 3-D's Bugles in various flavors, including natural, cheese, bacon, ketchup, and ham & cheese.
In Japan, Bugles are named "Tongari Corn" have been manufactured by House Foods since 1978.
In South Korea, they are known as "Ggoggal Corn" (꼬깔콘) and have been produced by Lotte Confectionery since 1983.
In Sweden and Norway they are known as "Sombreros", made by Estrella.
In Israel they are known as "Apropo", and are made by Osem.
In Turkey, they are called "Cherezza Twist" and "Patos Critos" as they are manufactured by two different companies.
In Brazil, they are manufactured by Yoki, a brand of General Mills.
In Singapore, Bugles are manufactured by Tong Garden Food Products under license. Tong Garden fries its Bugles in palm oil.
In Poland, Bugles are sold by Frito Lay Poland Ltd. under "star" brand name.
In the United Kingdom Bugles are sold by Walkers.
In the Netherlands and Germany Bugles are sold by Lay's as Lay's Bugles.
In Spain and Portugal, Bugles are manufactured by Matutano under the name of 3-D's Bugles and only Bacon-Cheese flavour.