Have you ever gone to the store or pulled up at your favorite fast-food restaurant, order your usual, only to have it taste just… Off? Arguably one of the worst feelings of all, these food change-ups happen more than you would think, and we are here to shed light on these unfortunate happenings. Here are 10 Foods They Don’t Want You To Know Have Secretly Changed (Part 2).
10. McDonald’s Ice Cream
Everybody knows that a meal at McDonald’s is not complete without a good old ice cream cone. Okay, everybody also knows that it might not necessarily be “all ice cream,” but it’s still tasty enough to satisfy your craving for something cold, sweet, and light. Whether you get it as a soft-serve or a McFlurry, McDonald’s ice cream hits just right. However, what most people might not have noticed, is that in the last couple of years, the ice cream has been a little bit different than what it used to be. In 2017, as the company made a promise to get rid of as many artificial ingredients as they could and around 60 percent of the dessert menu underwent drastic changes. Our beloved soft-serve lost all of its preservatives, colors, and artificial flavors – without a peep. McDonald’s only announced the newly changed treat after it had already been implemented for months, in practically every location. McDonald’s also tweaked another of its recipe, the one for their strawberry and chocolate shakes. They took out the high fructose corn syrup to make them seem a wee bit more natural, and whipping toppings lost their artificial flavors. Obviously, this change was for the best, and even though no one ever really noticed the difference in taste, the chain noticed a change in its integrity and values.
9. Lucky Charms
Ah, Lucky Charms. The ultimate sugary breakfast. It would probably be pretty hard to find someone who’s not a sucker for these delicious, and yes, charming little cereal. Around since the 1960s, they were made to be a childhood favorite. And what will every Lucky Charms lovers agree is the best part of this cereal? That’s right, the tasty marshmallows! It’s so iconic; you can even buy an entire bag of just marshmallows – if that’s not a success, then what is? But did you know that those colorful little sweet treats used to be way different? More, simple? Technically called marbits; there were originally four marshmallows: green clovers, orange stars, pink hearts, and yellow moons. But today? You can find a plethora of fun shapes and colors in your bowl – and while they are pretty amusing, they have nothing to do with the original Lucky Charms. The first change didn’t happen until 1975 with the addition of the blue diamond and frosted sugar on the non-marshmallow bits. And since then, the marshmallows have never stopped coming! From purple horseshoe to leprechaun’s hats to red balloons, the list goes on and on. The famous magic rainbow was added in 1993, which is still a fan’s favorite to this day. It turns out; change is not always for the worst; in this case, we got to enjoy a little more colors in our mornings!
8. Nestle Chocolate
7. Taco Bell’s Cheese
Is it really a real Taco Bell experience if you don’t get anything with bright, neon nacho cheese? It’s like, one of the main events of the meal! For some reason, unnatural-colored cheese just seems to taste better? Well, at least, according to Taco Bell’s track record. Taco Bell has long been a place full of grease and shameless harmful ingredients – but that’s a thing from the past as the chain took a step in a “healthier” direction, sort of, back in 2015. They made the promise to remove artificial ingredients — especially colors — from their food. It sounds like the right thing to do, right? But, when you think about it, removing ingredients also means removing, or at least changing the appearance of your favorite items a little bit, too. It’s the price to pay, basically. Like the nachos, Nacho Cheese Dorito’s Loco Taco Supreme, or really anything that has nacho cheese in it, all look a little paler and taste a little less extreme than usual. That’s because the ingredient they got rid of was Yellow No. 6, the artificial color that’s always given to the cheese to make it “pop” so much. Basically, the thing that makes the cheese look like it could glow in the dark. A few other menu items were also impacted by this sudden change, like the seasoned beef. In other words, your cheese is no longer shining bright like a diamond, but hey, it’s not trying to kill you anymore!
Speaking of bright-colored food, Fanta is the mother of all bright orange foods. The drink of choice during many of our childhoods, and let’s face it, of our adult life as well. How can you resist a nectar so sweet and so bubbly? This “fantastic” drink has been around since the 1940s and has changed more than once. While some changes were for the best – like how it was originally made from leftover processed fruit, cheese, and bread in Nazi-era Germany – some left the sweet tooths out there a little upset. The latest changes happened in 2017 and were supposed to be a little less noticeable, and yet, most people noticed the drastic change right away. Obviously, it had everything to do about sugar. It was said by Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey that the company was trying to appeal to a new generation of customers that weren’t fans of sugar like the ones before. To do so, they had to remove a big chunk of sugar from their recipe – all sneakily. The test, conducted in Australia and the UK, meant shaving over 30% of the sugar and the calories from both Fanta and Sprite. Why they kept this tweak a secret is still unclear, but either way, not everybody was happy about the new taste of their favorite soft drink. Maybe they’ll bring the changes over to us, but even if they do, they probably won’t even tell us.
5. Cadbury Creme Eggs
By now, you’ve probably figured out that you shouldn’t mess with someone’s sweet treat – it’s sacred. Whether it’s a drink or a chocolate delight, sweet things are meant to be sweet. But, in 2015, Cadbury, another UK company, still decided to make some extreme change to its ever-popular Creme Eggs. It did not go unnoticed by fans, that’s for sure. Cadbury came under fire when it confirmed having secretly changed its recipe for the delicious chocolate shells. They swapped the iconic Cadbury Dairy Milk shell for cheaper cocoa-mix chocolate. The company claimed that this change was going to be for the best and that this was the way the Creme Eggs used to be made back in the day anyway, but avid Creme Eggs lovers didn’t buy it. Claims started going around saying the new Creme Eggs tasted cheap and just “wrong.” Of course, the sales drastically dropped both in the US and the UK, as people refused to buy the lower-quality versions of their beloved chocolatey eggs. But, the disappointment doesn’t end there. Another Cadbury product was put under the spotlight and accused of tasting cheaper, the mini eggs. Some experts claim it was due to rising cocoa prices; others think it’s due to changes made by Kraft after it bought Cadburys in 2010. No matter the reason, the fact is, the eggs still changed, and there are no signs pointing to ever getting back the old version – the one everybody loved.
4. Oreo Cookies
We know what you’re thinking: what, they changed Oreos’ recipe? How could they? However, you can settle down because nothing they did has affected the sweet and delicious taste of Oreos – at least, not enough to be noticeable. Plus, once you know what they changed it for, you’ll probably get on board anyway. You see, before 1997, Oreo cookies could not be enjoyed by everyone because of a very specific ingredient that was used in the creamy filling. Oreos were made with lard – aka pork fat – which is not suitable for every dietary restriction. By getting rid of this animal product, mainly for health reasons, the cookie became even more universal. Now, not only is it kosher, but it’s also vegan! Of course, there are still some risks to find trace amounts of dairy due to cross-contact, but there are no direct animal-derived ingredients. The choice of whether or not these are suitable for your diet is a personal one, but at least now, you can make a more enlightened decision. Aside from this change for the better, the company has also been accused of tweaking the recipe once more, this time a little more recently and not so justified. People have claimed that their cookies now tasted cheaper, but Oreos confirmed nothing else has been changed.
Is there anything better than a giant bucket of fried chicken? The ever-recognizable colors of the colonel, along with its unique recipe, are enough to make any day better. Being one of the most well-guarded culinary secret recipes of all time, it would be hard to imagine it ever changing – especially since it’s so darn good. However, as it turns out, the recipe did change a little bit – only not in the way you would think. Back in 2007, fast-food restaurants were beginning to be blamed for the growing obesity problem in America and the risk of heart disease – something that had to do with all of the artery-clogging trans fat their food had. So, as a way to quiet down those accusations a bit, KFC decided to take a step in the right direction and switch to a cooking oil with no trans fat in all its U.S. locations. A smart move that made all of the chicken at KFC just a teeny, tiny bit healthier, since now, there is no trans fat in the majority of the menu. Trans fats can increase the low-density lipoprotein, also called bad cholesterol, and lower your good cholesterol, which in time becomes harmful. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t do, is mess with the colonel’s recipe, but in this case? We can let it slide.
2. HP Sauce
Everybody in the UK knows how vital HP sauce is to the dinner table. It goes well with breakfast, lunch, dinner – basically, with every meal of the day. While it’s widespread across the globe, it’s a staple in British kitchens and has been for a very long time. The original recipe for this classic brown sauce was first introduced in 1895 by Frederick Gibson Garton, a grocer from Nottingham and had stayed the same for over 116 years. That was until the company decided to make some alterations to the carefully guarded recipe. It all happened when Heinz bought the British brand in 2005. Obviously, those changes were all made in secret, and the recipe was altered without anyone knowing. At the request of the Government health chiefs and to comply with the Coalition Government’s Responsibility Deal, HP Sauce had to cut its salt content by almost half and now contains 38 percent less salt. This was done for obvious health reasons; reduce everyone’s salt intake; however, with less salt also came higher amounts of carbs and calories. And to top it all off, fans of the sauce have said to notice the difference in taste, which was supposed to be incognito.
1. Papa John’s Sausage
In this day and age, the pizza war is fierce. Chains are constantly in competition and try to become the number one pizza joint. Papa John has been in the game since the 1980s and built the business on the principle of using better ingredients to make better pizza. While other giants have tried to do the same, Papa John has done a pretty good job over the years, at least since around 1997. Before that time, John Schnatter, aka Papa John’s, had no idea how one of his best-seller toppings, sausage, was made, so he decided to pay a visit to one of their suppliers. What he saw did not please him and made him reconsider his choice of a butcher. He told Business Insider how he saw him doing things with the sausage that he didn’t like, like using the hoof and the face of a cow. This practice isn’t uncommon per se, and those cuts even have a name: head meat, but it wasn’t something he wanted to serve at his joint, so he made a deal with the supplier to make sausages with only traditional cuts. While this change wasn’t as radical as some others that we’ve seen in this list, it was still a significant change for the chain, especially considering their quest for “better ingredients.”