In the fast-paced world of today, nobody has the time to make their own food. It’s either take-out or frozen dinners. But most often these readymade foods are heavily disappointing. Continuing with our list of disappointing foods, here are 10 Times Grocery Store Foods Didn’t Meet Expectations!
10. Hamburger Helper
Hamburger Helper is a unique boxed food item that is supposed to help make your meal prep easier. It generally has some kind of starch like pasta, potato or rice along with seasoning packets and sauce in powdered form. All you have to do is add ground beef and a liquid like water, milk or stock. Hamburger Helper comes in many flavors like Cheeseburger Macaroni, Philly Cheesesteak, Cheesy Enchilada, Crunchy Taco, Double Cheese Quesadilla, etc. Hamburger Helper entices customers on grocery store shelves with its mascot of a cute white glove that has a red nose. The imagery of a beautiful plate of cheesy macaroni or creamy pasta adds to the shelf appeal of Hamburger Helper. But appearances can be deceptive! Most customers have complained that the contents of Hamburger Helper contain way too much sodium. As for the taste, customers who purchased the cheesy Hash Brown Hamburger Helper stated that it tasted like cardboard and the potatoes had an artificial taste. Some who have tried the Beef Fried Rice Hamburger Helper found that no matter how long they cooked the rice, it never cooked completely and had almost no flavor. In another instance, a few poor souls bought the Three Cheese Hamburger Helper thinking that it would make an easy meal for their families but were sorely disappointed when their pasta dish turned out to be an epic disappointment. On the whole, Hamburger Helper meals are cheap and easy, but almost always never look like the picture on the box. Disappointing!
9. Ristorante Thin Crust Pizza
Besides cake mixes, baking supplies, cereal and a variety of other food products, Dr. Oetker also makes frozen pizza. Their line of Ristorante Pizza is a hit with customers across America. And their Ristorante Thin Crust Pizza is prominently displayed in the frozen food aisle of grocery stores throughout America. Ristorante Thin Crust pizzas come in a variety of flavors like Margherita, Spinaci, Speciale, Vegetale, etc. The pizzas come pre-arranged and frozen in a box. All you have to do is unwrap them, heat them in the oven and enjoy hot. But somehow, when you pull them out of the oven, they never look like they do on the package. Ristorante Thin Crust Pizza is described on the box as a thin crust pizza with delicious ingredients that provide a culinary feast, with various cheeses and spicy herbs that add to its full flavor. But customers would like to disagree. The main problem reported by a majority of customers is its thin crust. Most have said that it resembles a piece of cardboard, tastes bland and has an unappealing texture. The toppings are often sparse and look unappetizing. Most Ristorante Thin Crust Pizzas have very little shredded cheese and only a few pepperonis on it. If other toppings are involved, generally they are sparse and the entire pizza looks like a big mess of ingredients. When heated up, the thin crust soaks up the pizza sauce leaving the pizza crust hard and tasteless. Though the thin crust is supposed to mean fewer calories than a regular crust, it does involve a huge compromise on the taste and texture of the pizza.
8. Amy’s Cheese Enchilada
One of the most popular cuisines in the world, Mexican cuisine, has an amazing array of dishes that suit every palate. And enchilada is one such versatile dish consisting of a rolled tortilla filled with cheese, beans, meat and veggies covered in a delicious sauce. Amy’s Cheese Enchilada claims to be all this, but has sadly disappointed many customers. Amy’s is a brand known for their variety of frozen meals that customers can just heat in their microwave and enjoy instantly. They describe their Cheese Enchilada meal as comfort food, Mexican style! Further, the brand states that the package contains two tortillas made from ground organic corn, filled with a blend of cheeses, accented by olives and peppers and covered in their tasty, traditional enchilada sauce. But alas, the actual product is far from the description! In reality, the enchiladas seem to be completely drowning in sauce, making the whole dish look like a soup. The enchiladas were also hard, greasy and very heavy. After the meal is microwaved as per the package instructions, many customers have complained of enchiladas becoming very tough and almost black at the bottom. Most have agreed that nothing in Amy’s Cheese Enchilada looked fresh. Though easy to microwave and serve, Amy’s Cheese Enchilada left many customers disappointed.
A childhood favorite for most Americans, Twinkies is a snack that can be enjoyed by anyone! Perfect as an after-school snack, a cure for your sweet cravings or as a midnight indulgence, Twinkies have been stocked by grocery stores for many decades. After briefly becoming unavailable, Hostess Twinkies have recently made a comeback. In a nutshell, Twinkies are ready-to-eat snack cakes filled with a flavored sweet crème. A range of Twinkies flavors, including limited-time and special edition flavors, have adorned grocery store aisles over the years like chocolate, banana cream, blueberry, birthday cake, etc. Twinkies are also said to be extremely long-lasting. Despite their legendary fame, Twinkies have their fair share of customer disappointments. Their crème filling seems to be the most popular cause of complaints. There never seems to be enough crème filling in the Twinkies. It is mostly all cake with a minute amount of crème filling at the extreme center of the cake. A side-by-side comparison of the picture on the box and a cross-section of the Twinkies shows a remarkable difference in the amount ofcrème filling. Some customers have also complained that the taste of the Twinkies is quite greasy; some found it to be extremely sweet. Many people have felt that the sponge cake of the Twinkies was stale, and had a chemical or fake taste. Overall, many have wondered about the popularity of Twinkies given its disappointing taste.
6. Lean Cuisine Frozen Dinners
For most people, diets, healthy food, calorie-counting are the order of the day. In our battle against the weighing scale, every little bit counts. As such, Lean Cuisine Frozen Dinners promise meals with a low-calorie count that also satisfy your taste buds. Like most frozen meals, Lean Cuisine Frozen Dinners have a plethora of options that you can choose from like lasagna, pizza, pasta, chicken, etc. prepared in a variety of different ways. Most consumers have their expectations in check when they buy frozen meals. Even though the package portrays a delectable-looking meal, we know that if it looks that good, it probably isn’t true! Most customers have found that Lean Cuisine Frozen Dinners did not meet their expectations. Their thin crust BBQ chicken pizza was found to be hard and rubbery, nearly impossible to chew. Compared to the size shown on the box, Lean Cuisine enchilada was very small and had practically no chicken pieces in it. Reportedly, it was mostly rice and had a greasy off-putting taste to it. A customer found just one piece of chicken in the entire dish of his Lean Cuisine Grilled Chicken Primavera dinner! Their sesame seed chicken sorely disappointed a customer with its rubbery green beans, bland sauce and minimalistic chicken. Another bought a lean five cheese microwaveable pizza which had very little cheese and a slab or two of very dry-looking pasta. The brand certainly made sure that the pizza was lean!
5. Lays Chips/Doritos
Snack-time favorites, chips are the go-to food for any occasion for most people. And with the mind-boggling array of options available to chip buyers, you simply cannot escape the lure of chips at the supermarket! Our grocery stores are filled with every style, flavor, cut and color of chips. The flavors are endless and the brands making these flavors ensure that they continue to grab your attention with even more flavors. Brands like Lays Chips and Doritos are the most well-known chip brands in America. Their rows upon rows of colorful chip packs are attractive and prominently placed in grocery stores. Lays Chips and Doritos spend millions of dollars each year in advertising and marketing their products. Is it any wonder that most of us reach for a pack of Doritos or Lays Chips when we are in the mood for chips? But these very brands are guilty of cat-fishing customers with their almost-half-air-filled packets of chips. Those plump-looking packets of chips on supermarket aisles are mostly full of air. Brands may tell you that this is done to preserve their freshness and increase their shelf life, but we’re not completely sure if that is true. A research study found that packs of Doritos were about 48% air! Lays Chips fared a little better at about 41% of air. This doesn’t seem to be fair to customers at all. When you pay for a full bag of chips, you expect nothing less than a full bag of chips. And when brands give you a bag that is almost half full of air, it certainly is a huge disappointment.
4. Skyline Chili Spaghetti
A Cincinnati institution, Skyline Chili, is a popular chain of chili restaurants in Cincinnati, Ohio. People from across the country flock to Cincinnati to taste this superb chili dish. Unlike the chili of the South, Skyline chili has dishes consisting of spaghetti or hot dogs doused with a uniquely spiced and flavored chili sauce topped with a mountain of grated cheese. After achieving much success with their chain of restaurant, Skyline Chili has also ventured into the sale of canned chili sauce and frozen meals. Skyline Chili meals are now available in the freezer aisle of most supermarkets. The frozen meal is packaged in a colorful blue box with an attractive picture of a plate of their famous chili spaghetti. The picture depicts clearly distinct layers of spaghetti, their famous chili sauce, and a mound of grated cheese on top. But alas, this pre-cooked Chili Spaghetti meal is far from the picture shown on the box! In reality, what a customer got was a container of very gross-looking brown sauce with bits of cooked spaghetti floating around in it. Cheese was nowhere to be seen and the beans were probably somewhere at the bottom of the brown pool of sauce. What a mess! As for the taste, customers have reported that it is far from the taste of the original Skyline Chili Spaghetti served at the restaurant. They found the taste of the frozen meal to be bland, soapy and very weird. There was no hint of any of the original spices and on the whole, the meal looked and tasted very unappetizing.
3. Popsicle Characters
Who doesn’t love a good popsicle? And if the popsicles come in the shape of your favorite cartoon characters, there’s nothing better! From Tweety Bird to Pikachu to Powerpuff Girls, popsicles are now available in an endless range of characters. While the packaging and marketing of these popsicles may lure innocent customers, what you discover when you unwrap the packaging can shock you! Imagine you just bought a Scooby-Doo shaped popsicle from your local grocery store and unwrapped it to find something that looked like a Frankenstein’s Monster of a dog? This is exactly what one customer found in his Scooby-Doo popsicle. A very weird looking ice cream pop with unevenly placed gumball eyes, and a melted face that would probably give you nightmares! But poor old Scooby-Doo is not the only one who suffered such a horrible fate. When a customer unwrapped a Tweety Bird popsicle, what he got was a yellow bird-shaped lolly with gumball eyes that made the bird look as high as the sky! Everyone’s favorite Spongebob Squarepants has not been spared either; inside the wrapper was a yellow popsicle that looked like something that you would retrieve from a horrible nuclear disaster. X-Men, Spiderman, Dora the Explorer, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Bugs Bunny are some other falsely advertised popsicle characters.
2. Stouffers Bistro
Stouffers Bistro meals are advertised as ‘restaurant-inspired flavors you can bring home.’ They go on to state that in their frozen meals, you can enjoy the taste of restaurant favorites anytime with Bistro Crustinis, Melts and Paninis that are meaty, cheesy and ready in no time. Unfortunately, customers would not agree with this description. Most people think that the biggest problem with Stouffers Bistro meals is that they are packed with sodium, which is not exactly healthy for you. When a customer opened their Philly-Style Steak and Cheese Crustini, he was shocked to find that there were just two small pieces of meat in the filling and a whole lot of shell. Overall, it was nothing like the Crustini with a flaky crust and layers of mozzarella and steak described on the box! Another customer was hugely disappointed with their experience of Stouffers Bistro Cheddar & Goat Cheese Mac. Instead of cavatappi pasta in white cheddar and creamy goat cheese sauce, what they got was pasta in a thin, runny and mild cheese sauce that had not been seasoned at all. Extremely disappointing!
1. Stuffed Crust Pizza
Move over boring regular crust and thin-crust pizzas; the stuffed crust pizza is here! At least that’s what Pizza Hut customers thought when they decided to order a stuffed crust pizza. What you see in the advertisements is not what you get in reality. And it’s not just Pizza Hut who is guilty of such false advertising; multiple brands just don’t get it right. And what about the crazy stuffed crusts like bacon and cheese crust, hot dog crust, and the most bizarre of all, Pizza Hut’s cheeseburger-ringed pizza? While they all sound very fancy, customers often find that the stuffed crust pizzas look like a big mess rather than a scrumptious pizza. For hot dog stuffed crust pizzas, customers were disappointed with the overcooked, almost burnt and dry crust and very salty hot dogs. The overall pizza was just not appetizing at all. Some even hated the look of the pizza likening it to human toes! Yuck! Some customers of the bacon and cheese stuffed crust were disappointed that the bacon was not crispy and the promised Applewood smoked bacon flavor was quite lacking. A greasy and heavy pizza is not anyone’s idea of a delicious meal.