We lead busy lives juggling work, family, and friends. When there’s no time to cook meals from scratch, ready-to-eat meals and ‘TV dinners’ are what save the day. But most often, these foods fall short of expectations. Check out our list of 10 Times Grocery Store Food Didn’t Meet Expectations.
10. Special K Crustless Quiche
In these increasingly stressful times, most meals are often out of a box. The packaging displays the scrumptious and most delicious version of the food, but what you get on opening the package will most likely disappoint you. As consumers, we are fooled into buying clever advertising rather than the actual food. One such disappointing food is Special K Crustless Quiche. Created by the iconic Kellogg’s brand, Special K is known for their special creations suitable for people on a diet, but they also manufacture three different varieties of crustless quiche that look absolutely yummy on the packaging. Special K Crustless Quiche comes in ‘Portabella, Kale & Quinoa Quiche’, ‘Sausage, Pepper & Cheese Quiche’ and ‘Ham, Cheese & Quinoa Quiche’. Kellogg’s describes them as being filled with yummy ingredients, making them perfect for mealtimes. But the fact is these crustless quiche are not all that they are made to be. Firstly, customers have complained that the size of the quiche is quite small compared to the one shown on the box, almost the size of a hamburger patty. The taste is also generally not exceptional, just average and not very satisfying. The texture and flavor are one-note and flat too. Overall, Special K Crustless Quiche is disappointing for its small size, lack of exceptional flavor and high price.
9. Hostess Milky Way Brownie
An iconic brand, Hostess is known across America for its range of delicious snacks and treats that everyone loves to eat. While most Hostess products are fabulous in taste, the Hostess Milky Way Brownie did not live up to customers’ expectations. The picture on the box of Hostess Milky Way Brownies looks absolutely scrumptious, with a bar of yummy brownie with caramel-like sauce on it topped with pieces of Milky Way candy. But what you get instead is a piece of ordinary brownie with an odd-looking icing that is nowhere the color or taste of caramel, and the bits of candy on top do not add any interesting flavor to the brownie. The whole brownie looks like it was hastily made on some production line. The brownie tastes alright, of cocoa and sugar, but nothing extraordinary. The icing though is the biggest disappointment. It is extremely sweet and has a strange texture that is granular and powdery at the same time! And the pièce de résistance, the pieces of Milky Way candy, are another major disappointment—nothing of their original caramel-nougat flavor comes through. They seem to be there just for decoration. All-in-all, what you expected was a delectable slice of fudgy brownie dripping in caramel sauce topped with bits of Milky Way candy, but what you get in reality is just another piece of chocolate cake!
8. Amy’s Bowls Chili Mac
When time is at a premium and multi-tasking is the order of the day, there is simply no time to cook fresh meals from scratch. At such times, the freezer section of your supermarket is what you rely on the most. Boxes depicting the most appetizing food stare back at you from the freezer aisle, and give you the promise of making dinnertime a breeze. But alas, most of those promises are broken the moment you open the box of frozen dinner at home. The frozen meal most often turns out to be an unsavory version of the meal shown on the box. Most brands are guilty of false advertising. And Amy’s Bowls Chili Mac seems to fall in this category. The company describes its chili mac as a perfectly spiced organic chili mixed and their signature creamy Mac & Cheese, mixed together to make one heavenly bowl. But ‘heavenly’ is not the word customers use when referring to Amy’s Bowls Chili Mac! Most customers have complained of receiving a sub-standard version of the meal shown on the box. To begin with, this chili dish is not very appealing to look at. As for the taste, it is like a basic chili, nothing beyond that. It is edible and similar to chili from a can and something that you would forget as soon as you’ve eaten it. It feels like two dishes, chili and mac & cheese, thrown into a bowl and combined together, but not very well.
7. McCain Smiles Fries
Who doesn’t love a plate of freshly made french fries? And if the fries are in the shape of a cute smiley face, they are even more fun and exciting to eat! McCain Smiles Fries are exactly that – potato fries in the shape of a smiling face, much like a smiley face emoji. Most people keep their expectations in check when buying frozen food, but fries are so basic that getting a result at home similar to that of the packaging is actually very easy! So what seems to be the problem then, what about the McCain Smiles Fries did not meet expectations? Well how about when your Smile Fries don’t have a smile! Yes, every now and again you’ll be chowing through your pile of Smile Fries and one lonely fry with no smile will be all that’s there to greet you. Aside from missing smiles, some customers have called the flavor of the Smiles Fries bland, and complained about them not cooking evenly but for us, the real let down is when we’re expecting a smile, but receive a blank face.
6. Pillsbury Toaster Strudels
Pillsbury is well known for its amazing snacks and foods like slice-and-bake cookies, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, crescents, etc. Among the various delicious foods that Pillsbury makes, toaster strudels are one of their top-selling items. Pillsbury Toaster Strudels are described as instant and convenient treats with a sweet filling, creamy icing and flaky crust. They are ready in a matter of minutes and come in a variety of flavors like apple, blueberry, cherry, strawberry, glazed donut, and limited-time flavors too. Attractively packaged and advertised, Pillsbury Toaster Strudels boxes are colorful and have fun graphical elements on them. But like most packaged food, Pillsbury Toaster Strudels do not live up to customer expectations. To begin with, the flaky crust does not always turn out as advertised. For a perfectly browned strudel, customers are recommended to toast them for 1-2 cycles on low heat. But sometimes the strudels burn up too quickly even on low heat. And the size of the strudel is also relatively small. But the real problem lies with the frosting; it never matches up with the frosting on the package. The frosting packets are tiny and not enough to make the quirky designs shown on the box. And if you apply the frosting to a freshly toasted strudel, it instantly melts into the strudel.
5. Would You Like Some Chips With Your Air?
Chips are unarguably the world’s most favorite snack. But typical of packaged products everywhere, chip manufactures are also guilty of misleading innocent customers by projecting bags full of chips while in reality, about 50% of these packets are nothing but air. Those glorious packs of chips that call out to us, almost tempting us from supermarket shelves, just plump and colorful, making us think that the price of the chips is justified by the size of the pack. But when the bag is opened, most of us feel cheated to see that the bag is half full of air! This is one of the most disappointing experiences for customers, who often take to social media to show off their half empty chip bags. Most all customers think this is because chip companies want to rip us off, but that’s not the case at all. The “air” in the bag serves multiple purposes, namely that it’s a nitrogen based air that preserves the chips and the empty space is so that the chips have some room to move around so that they don’t get crushed. So basically, the air that disappoints us all so much, is the reason why we have a bag of fresh, crispy, fully intact chips to munch on. Fun fact, according to a research report, the brands with the highest amount of air in their chip bags were found to be Cheetos and Ruffles.
4. Hot Pockets
Hot Pockets are the stuff of childhood memories for most Americans. These were the go-to portable meals for kids in the ’90s. Hot Pockets are like puff pastry made from a buttery crust that is stuffed with a variety of fillings like cheese, pepperoni, sauce, etc. You could even call it a pizza in a pocket! The method to eat hot pockets is to simply unwrap them from the box, microwave them and enjoy. With this simplistic, insanely fast delivery of food from frozen to you eating, you can’t expect the quality to be fresh home cooked. Though this is indeed what the packaging will have you believe, with it’s golden brown, fresh out of the oven looking crust. The meat, sauce and cheese filling just perfectly melted and oozing out. Yet anyone who’s enjoyed a Hot Pocket knows that there is no such golden brown flakey crust coming from your microwave. And for the melty cheese, tender meat and juicy sauce well, everyone knows your Microwave is just as likely to serve up a Hot Pocket where the sauce burns your tongue, half the meat is still frozen and the cheese is all on one side… This is the reality of Hot Pockets, you’re playing roulette every time you grab one out of the freezer and put it in your microwave. And though most of us are fine with this, and learn to put it back in the microwave or let it sit before eating. But one thing is for sure. Hot Pockets will still taste good in the end, even if they looks nothing like the box tried to tell us they would.
3. Banquet Cherry Berry Pie
Pies are probably America’s favorite dessert, made everywhere from diners to home kitchens to upscale restaurants. Many people find baking a pie to be an extremely satisfying and relaxing activity. But not all of us are blessed with amazing pie-baking skills! But that does not mean that the delights of pies should remain out of our reach. Pies are now readily available in the freezer aisles of most supermarkets. Many popular brands manufacture assembled and semi-cooked pies for consumers. One such brand is Banquet. Their Banquet Cherry Berry Pie is well known to customers across America. They describe this product as a delectable cherry-berry pie, made with real cherries, served up hot in a tender, flaky crust. It is supposed to provide the taste of a ‘freshly baked pie’ to customers. But what some customers have come to experience instead is an epic food disaster. When cooked in the microwave or oven, it came out as two flat pieces of crust with a runny, berry-colored liquid filling instead of a hearty pie! From the picture on the box, Banquet Cherry Berry Pie looks like ‘pot-pie’ style of pie, but the real pie is nothing like it! The filling is the main culprit in this disaster of a pie. It looks like melted hot juice that tastes like fruit concentrate with a few limp berries thrown in. And the paucity of actual fruit in the pie filling makes the whole thing an unsavory experience.
2. Chef Boyardee Ravioli
If you have ever eaten pasta out of a can, you would know exactly what Chef Boyardee Ravioli tastes like. It is simply ravioli in marinara sauce that is sold in cans. And this product has been sold for quite a long time. Making pasta meals easy, all you have to do is open a can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli, heat it up and enjoy! But what happens when you open the can and out comes a gross-looking clump of white ravioli pasta and red sauce that looks more like jelly than Italian pasta? This is definitely not what is pictured on the can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli! What is shown in the advertisement is most often the result of a food stylist and clever photographer’s hard work. In reality, this beef ravioli does not look appetizing or taste very good. The pasta is a pale white color, the meat looks gray and the sauce is a weird consistency. Nothing about this canned ravioli looks great, and the taste is quite forgettable too.
1. Smart Ones Frozen Dinners
Frozen dinners is a concept that has gained much popularity in the last few decades. And Smart Ones Frozen Dinners is a popular frozen dinner brand in America, catered towards people who are conscious about what they eat. They have a variety of entrée options that you can buy from the freezer section of the supermarket. Some of their frozen dinners are even endorsed by Weight Watchers. Though Smart Ones Frozen Dinners promise the world to you, the actual product does not meet expectations. One of their many frozen meal options is a chicken parmesan meal. Customers have reported that the chicken is either too rubbery or dripping in juice. There isn’t much sauce, the noodles are starchy, and the cheese is almost non-existent. Their roast beef in gravy with portobello mushrooms and mashed potatoes is also quite disappointing. One customer found only four odd pieces of meat with a sad-looking paste of potatoes in his box of Smart Ones Frozen Dinner. Not very appetizing!