The last thirty years has seen a revolution in chip flavors. Some really weird flavors and some really good ones too. But many of our favorites have totallydisappeared. What happened to your proverbial favorite Brand? Here is a list of, sadly, 10 Discontinued chips we will never crunch again.
10. Fritos BBQ
Corn chips are one of the oldest snack foods in America. It all began way back in the 1930s, during the height of the great depression. Charles Doolin, owner of the Highland Park Confectionery, was looking for a salty snack to add to his line-up. He responded to an ad placed selling an original recipe for fried corn chips along with an adapted potato ricer as well as some retail accounts. Only 28 years old at the time, Doolin purchased the company for $100, and as they say the rest is history. Fritos have gone on to be among the most successful snacks food to this day. While Fritos never steered too far from their original recipe, one side-flavor did pierce through and gain it’s own following, and that’s the Fritos BBQ. These were very successful and considered to be better than the original flavor by many. That’s why it came as a complete shock when after decades of being on shelves, Fritos BBQ were discontinued. We couldn’t believe it either, but Fritos themselves have confirmed it numerous times on social media, these are gone… So while you may still see some Fritos BBQ at your local stores, understand this is only the left over stock, no more are being made, these are indeed officially discontinued. There’s, of course, a change.org petition to bring them back and tons of fans sharing out cry all over the internet, but to no avail so far. Though not all hope is lost, as Fritos BBQ Hoops are still actively being sold in Canada, and the Fritos Chili Cheese variation that’s on American shelves now is said to be similar in flavor. That said, we have to think this is some kind of marketing ploy by Fritos and the BBQ flavor will be back, some day soon, here’s to hoping!
9. The Doritos Experiments
Once PepsiCo was created, Frito-Lay soon began to expand with the development of new snack food brands in the 1960s and 1970s, including Doritos, Funyuns, and Munchos. The most popular new Frito-Lay product launched during this era was of course Doritos, which was initially supposed to be a more flavorful regular tortilla chip, but these regular tortilla chips were too bland and lacked flavor so they got the ax. So, the company went back to the drawing board and re-launched Doritos in Taco and Nacho Cheese flavors. The spicier one proved more successful, and Doritos quickly became the second most popular Frito-Lay product on their production line, second only to their Lays potato chips. As for Doritos, one of their earlier flavors, Sour Cream and Onion was also one of the first to go. Discontinued in the early 80’s it was brought back for a limited time in 2013. These were not the only flavors to get discontinued, there was a plethora of them in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Just to name a few, Chester Cheese, Rollitos, Collisions, and something called Quest. Other discontinued brands included Pizza Hut Pizza Cravers & Taco Supreme, launched in conjunction with Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Cheddar Queso, Extreme Bold BBQ, Black Pepper Jack, Fiery Habaneros, Doritos X 13-D (a flavor experiment gone totally bad) and Doritos 3D (which was a kinda Doritos meets Bugles thing). These all also had limited shelf lives. The Doritos 3D came in various flavors, Jalapeño Cheddar, Nacho Cheese, and Zesty Ranch. Sold in mini versions in pop up cans resembling Pringles, they were re-released in 2015 as Doritos Jacked 3D, but they were thicker and resembled triangle-shaped Funyuns.
8. Ruffles – Various Flavors
Ruffles is a brand of ruffled ridged potato chips made by Frito-Lay since 1961. The Frito Company acquired the rights to the Ruffles brand from its creator, Bernhardt Stahmer. The chips were named after a piece of gathered folded fabric called ruffles. With its slogan “RRRuffles Have Ridges!”, these chips were designed to create a sturdier, crunchier potato chip that wouldn’t break in the bag and is perfect with dips. Ruffles has had its share of discontinued chip flavors as well too. Some of the flavors we’ll never crunch again are; Ranch, Cajun Spice and Flavor Rush (no idea what the flavor was), and Salt & Vinegar. In Canada, there’s a whole different world of discontinued flavors such as Spicy Ketchup and Hot Wings. Canadians are known for a few food treasures like poutine, Montreal-style bagels, smoked meat, Tim Horton’s and All Dressed chips. Ruffles eventually brought All Dressed chips to a U.S. market for a limited time. For those unfamiliar with the flavor so adored by our neighbors to the north, it’s a little hard to describe how these taste. All we know is that they’re made with paprika and a mysterious All Dressed spice blend that’s secret. Basically, these chips taste a little bit like ketchup, vinegar and BBQ all mixed together. All Dressed is currently the most popular Ruffles chip flavor in Canada and has quite a cult following.
7. Humpty Dumpty Had A Great Fall
Many people remember Humpty Dumpty Chips, we all loved them growing up as kids. We remember the nursery rhyme and the company logo that featured a potato tipping his hat off to ya. The Humpty Dumpty chip company was founded in 1947, in Maine by George Robinson and Norman Cole. At the time, it produced some of the more popular chip flavors like Regular, BBQ and Salt & Vinegar, but they also had Sour Cream, Clam flavor and Lobster Bisque flavored chips. Those last two sound pretty disgusting – well, they were discontinued after all. Who wants fishy smelly chips anyways! Rumor is that they still sell them in some parts of New England, but that’s questionable, they would taste pretty rancid by now. Humpty Dumpty has changed hands many times. Purchased by Borden in 1989, in 2000 it was sold to a Canadian firm called Small Fry and then in 2006, it was sold to Old Dutch Foods and was rebranded. Old Dutch kept the Humpty Dumpty label where it still sells chips in the US, but in Canada, the Humpty Dumpty chip line has totally disappeared. Today these chips are only sold as Old Dutch. But the Humpty Dumpty name does remain on products such as the Bacon & Hickory Potato Sticks, Ringolos, Cruncheez, Party Mix, and Sour Cream & Onion Rings. The current USA Humpty Dumpty Potato chip line includes Regular, BBQ, Ketchup, Dill Pickle, Salt and Vinegar, “Buffalo Wings & Cheese” and two types of ridged chips.
6. Cheetos Crunchy Salsa Con Queso
Back in the 2000’s Hot Cheetos were all the rage, and Cheetos was pumping out flavor after flavor trying to one up itself. All the while pleasing their fans who couldn’t get enough of their spicy snacks. There was one flavor, that ended up flying under the radar, the Cheetos Crunchy Salsa con Queso. This flavor was mild at best and really not that spicy so it wasn’t getting all the buzz with the hotter more intense flavors being pushed at the time. That said, these were delicious, and taste wise probably better then any of the “Hot” offerings released. As many of the Hot Cheetos where more half snack, half gimmick. But as most things that fly under the radar go, they were grounded for good and discontinued, not all that long after they were released. There was a barely seen change.org petition to bring them back but with complete lack of action and outcry, you know this snacks fate is all but sealed. Having been discontinued in the 2010s, there’s always a chance you’ll still see a bag of these shuffled in behind currently offered Cheetos flavors at some random store but don’t count on it. This is one snack that just got lost in the hype of the Hot Cheetos craze and was never given a real chance to shine. It’s a shame as it was one of the better Cheetos flavors ever released, a flavor we’ll never crunch again.
5. O’Grady’s-Cheesy – Au Gratin Potato Chips
O’Grady’s is another chip brand that seemed to have vanished into thin air. These chips were all the rage in the ’80s. O’Grady’s Au Gratin Potato Chip was the taste of a generation and the chips became no longer available, you could just hear the sounds of thousands of children crying. The O’Grady’s chip was about three times the thickness of your average potato chip. The Au Gratin Chip also featured about twice the saltiness of any other chip on the market. What was really good was they seemed to ooze baked cheddar cheese. So cheesy! In 1984, like other chip brands, it was swallowed up by the PepsiCo-Frito Lay conglomerate. They were changed to Ruffles Au Gratin in the late ’80s but they never really tasted the same as the original O’Grady’s version.
4. Doritos 3D Evolution Bacon Cheddar
The original Doritos 3D released back in the 1990s were… different. They captured everyone’s imagination and everyone gave them a try when they were new. They were very successful, but eventually the gimmick got old and people went back to their trusty, more flat Doritos. Like many other items on this list, sales started to drop and the plug was eventually pulled. No different for Doritos 3D as they were discontinued in the 2000s and haven’t been heard from since, despite much fan out cry for their return. The folks over at Doritos have however experimented with 3D variations since that time, this includes mini versions of the original 3Ds as well as new “Jacked” variations. But the most sought after, clamored for variation is the Limited Edition run, Canadian only release: Doritos 3D Evolution Bacon Cheddar. This is considered the best flavor of the new style 3D Doritos and seeing as if it was only a Limited Edition run, are very hard to get your hands on. This might be the holy grail of discontinued snacks you’ll never eat again. As a region specific, limited edition run, one time flavor offering, these were hard to get even when readily available. The Limited edition run started back in 2015, so yes, you may be able to find some of these out in the wild, buried in the back of some store shelf somewhere in the vast country of Canada. Chances are most of us will never even see these, let alone have the chance to taste them.
3. Planters Potato chips
Everyone knows Planters Peanuts. They’ve been around forever. Best known for their mascot Mr. Peanut, Planters was founded by Italian immigrant Amedeo Obici in Pennsylvania in the early part of the 20th century. He started his career as a street vendor roasting peanuts. He called himself the “peanut specialist”. Obici went into partnership with Mario Peruzzi, the soon to be the owner of Planters, who had developed his own method of blanching whole roasted peanuts. Not long after this, Obici moved to Suffolk, Virginia, the peanut capital of the world, and opened Planters’ first mass production plant and facility there. They then expanded their snack empire by getting into the chip business. Releasing Planters Potato Chips, Corn Chips, Cheez Balls and Cheez Curls. And though they were all fairly well received at the time of their release, they all eventually ended up being discontinued. Planters Potato Chips resembled Pringles but couldn’t quite break into their market share. Same with Planters Corn Chips, which were similar to Fritos. Planters Cheez Balls and Cheez Curls, though close relatives to Cheetos, had their own flare and were the most missed of the bunch. So much so that after consistent fan out cry over the years, Planters Cheez Balls and Planters Cheez Curls we re-released in 2018 and are still currently widely available. Who knows, maybe with time we’ll see a re-release of the Planters Potato Chips and Planters Corn Chips too!
2. Hostess Potato Chips
Most Canadian’s will remember this chip brand, which was founded in 1935 in Ontario Canada, by a young boy who started out by cooking them in his mother’s kitchen. Hostess monopolized the Canadian snack food industry until the early 1990s, as the number #1 leading brand. But then US companies entered the Canadian Market and basically wiped them off the map. In the early ’90s with the introduction of Kettle Chips and Miss Vickie’s they suffered serious brand erosion and were bought out by Lays in 1996. As of 2018, the Hostess Brand is only used on a few products like the Hickory Smoked potato sticks. In the mid-1970s, Hostess decided to introduce three new chip flavors – Orange, Cherry, and Grape. As you can imagine, the attempt was a dismal failure, and the products disappeared from stores only a few months later. The products were so poorly received they remain a topic of discussion to this day. The introduction of corn chips to the market led to a partnership between Hostess and Frito-Lay in 1987, bringing Doritos to Canada for the first time; followed by the introduction of other Frito Lay brands, including Ruffles, Tostitos and Cheetos. Other former Hostess products that were replaced or rebranded were Taquitos, which became Zesty Doritos, Cheddar Nacho Flavor Crunchits became Crunchy Cheetos and BBQ Crunchits has long been put out of production.
1. Sun Chips – Going, Going, Gone
Sun Chips, introduced as a healthier chips choice in the early 90s, were all the rage. This brand of favorite snack food were deep fried, which come to think of it, isn’t really that healthy at all. The only difference with these chips and regular chips was that Sun Chips were made from multigrains. The chips were rippled and tasted delicious and everyone thought it was a healthier snack alternative. Produced by Frito-Lay, their permanent flavors included Original, Harvest Cheddar, French Onion, and Garden Salsa. Recently, two Veggie Harvest flavors were added. Limited edition flavors have included Cinnamon Crunch, Honey Graham and Apple ‘n Caramel. Internationally, other flavors have been introduced such as bulgogi in South Korea. The Sweet and Spicy BBQ chips appear to be gone though. This ﬂavor of Sun Chips has since disappeared from shelves and it’s no longer listed on the Sun Chips product page. Sun Chips has not been a stranger to controversies. Branded as a healthy snack at first, some flavors of Sun Chips were made with pork enzymes to create their unique flavors. With the presence of pork derived ingredients the chips were forbidden to some due to religious beliefs and were definitely not vegetarian products. As of 2020, Frito-Lay’s website listed nine flavors of Sun Chips that do not contain porcine enzymes. They also got into trouble with their bags as Frito Lay introduced compostable packaging for the Sun Chips. The bag is made of plant-based material and is supposed to break down within 14 weeks in a hot, active compost pile. Instead of being happy, people complained that their bags made too much noise. In 2011, the bags were pulled off the shelves and replaced with new, quieter biodegradable bags. Parent company PepsiCo has reported that annual sales of SunChips have been declining for quite a few years now. So stock up on your favorite flavors while you can, because these will probably be the next discontinued chips we will never crunch again!