You never see it coming. One day, your favorite food items are stocked on grocery store shelves, the next, they’re nowhere to be found. Today, you can sometimes find stale boxes of discontinued food items for sale on Amazon or eBay, but these are more for collector purposes, since, if you value your health, it’s best to avoid eating food items that have been sitting around for who knows how long. While we’ll forever mourn the loss of these beloved food items, we also want to celebrate them, and all the joy they brought us. So let’s journey back to the grocery stores of yore, and take a look at all the food items that have been lost to time.
10. Kellogg’s Danish Rings
In 1976, Kellogg’s introduced Danish Rings as a replacement for their Danish Go Rounds, a fruit-filled pastry that, since its release in 1968, had made for a popular snack. The reasoning behind the discontinuation of Danish Go Rounds was that the pastry had a tendency to break apart and crumble easily. Danish Rings were an upgrade, as they were much flakier, giving them a more enjoyable texture and making them far less messy to eat. Other than that, they were quite similar to Danish Go Rounds, although they were stamped in an oval shape, unlike Danish Go Rounds, which were formed by winding a rope-like piece of dough into an oval. This famous oval shape made them reminiscent of the Danish breakfast pastry (hence the name), and they were marketed as a great way to kick off your day. However, poor Danish Rings never had much of a shot. There was another Kellogg’s fruit-filled pastry in town. They’re called Pop-Tarts. You may have heard of them. For whatever reason, the vast majority of consumers seemed to prefer Pop-Tarts to Danish Rings. The latter made a valiant attempt, but, in the end, it couldn’t compete with its rival breakfast pastry. As a result, Danish Rings were discontinued in 1980. They were similar enough to Pop-Tarts that we almost feel like we shouldn’t miss them, but something about Danish Rings makes it impossible to let go completely.
9. Pop-Tarts Frosted Chocolate Vanilla Crème
While Pop-Tarts as a whole have made it out alive, some of their flavors didn’t do so well. One of them was Frosted Chocolate Vanilla Crème. This Pop-Tart variety was a decadent treat, but one that was acceptable to eat for breakfast, because that’s what Pop-Tarts are for (right?). The chocolate pastry was filled with vanilla crème and frosted with vanilla icing, topped with a chocolate crumble. After being discontinued in 2009, Kellogg’s teased us with a comeback, reintroducing the flavor in 2014 as part of the celebration of Pop-Tarts fiftieth anniversary, during which they also brought back their discontinued Vanilla Milkshake flavor. This special rerelease was, however, quite short-lived, and Frosted Chocolate Vanilla Crème Pop-Tarts were gone as quickly as they had reappeared. Some have made the argument that this flavor was unnecessarily similar to Frosted Cookies and Crème Pop-Tarts, even going as far as to claim that the latter flavor is superior. Now, to each his own, but it seems like there’s enough room in this world for both flavors to exist in peace. Why try to pit them against one another? To be fair, the flavors do have their similarities, but they’re different enough that if Kellogg’s were to produce both, it wouldn’t feel redundant. On that note, anyone who was a fan of Frosted Chocolate Vanilla Crème Pop-Tarts back in the day can attest to the fact this this flavor is good enough to merit a comeback, please and thank you.
8. Nestle Alpine White Chocolate
There’s a serious shortage of white chocolate bars, and it really doesn’t help that they went and discontinued one of the best ones. Occasionally, you can find white chocolate versions of Kit-Kats and Aero Bars, and, of course there’s Hershey’s famous Cookies and Cream chocolate bar, but, all in all, white chocolate candy bars are few and far between. That’s why we can’t afford to be discontinuing all the good ones! Everything about this chocolate bar was fantastic, right up to the advertisements. Although, those were made great by the fact that they were so terrible. Do yourself a favor and look them up on YouTube; they get increasingly bizarre as time goes by. But back to the candy itself. Nestle Alpine White Chocolate was made even better by the fact that it contained almonds. They added a pleasant crunch and a little saltiness that really enhanced the overall flavor of the candy bar. It was released in 1986 and discontinued in 1993, to the disappointment of many a chocolate-lover. Nestle claims this was due to lack of sales, and one employee, who claimed he couldn’t make an official statement regarding whether or not the candy would ever make a comeback, allegedly pointed out to an inquiring client that the bar had been discontinued for over two decades and told them to do the math. He makes a fair point; the Nestle Alpine White Chocolate bar has been discontinued for so long that the odds of it returning do seem quite slim. But, unlike that Nestle employee, we like to be optimistic.
7. Pudding Roll-Ups
Sometime during the 1980s, Betty Crocker decided that conventional pudding cups were too inconvenient for kids to be lugging around all day. Which is a fair point – how many of us have opened our lunch bags, only to be disappointed by the discovery of a crushed pudding cup? The solution to this issue, however, was more troubling than the problem itself. Betty Crocker decided to give pudding a whole new form and created something reminiscent of a Fruit Roll-Up. These flattened pudding strips came in three classic pudding flavors, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Fudge, and Butterscotch. Pudding Roll-Ups were marketed as “pudding in disguise,” which may have been a selling point back in the eighties but, today, is mildly concerning. We’ve got to give it to this food item, though. Pudding Roll-Ups did make transporting pudding a lot easier. All kids had to do was shove a couple of individually wrapped “puddings” into their pockets and hit the road. As their own snack food, Pudding Roll-Ups weren’t all that bad. Actually, we kind of liked them. But trying to pass them off as pudding was just plain strange and didn’t do anything to help the marketing. As a result, they only survived a couple of years before production was nixed.
6. Doritos Black Pepper Jack
In the graveyard of long-lost Doritos flavors, you can find Doritos Black Pepper Jack, one of the forgotten greats of the chip world. This Dorito flavor really went all in on its cheesiness. The flavor is anything but subtle; it almost tastes like you dipped a Dorito in cheese. This is by no means a bad thing (who doesn’t love cheese?). As for the black pepper, its flavor wasn’t super pronounced, but it provided a nice kick at the end. They came in reflective silver bags, in which you could actually see your reflection. A comment on Reddit claimed that the purpose of that was so you could look at yourself in shame after finishing a whole bag by yourself. The ease at which you could eat a bag of these chips on your own is a testament to just how good they were. Unfortunately, this was one of those food items that never stood much of a chance. It was initially released as a limited-edition product, meaning that it was always going to be discontinued. Luckily, some stores, particularly in Canada, will bring these back every once in a while, so keep your eyes open for them. You never know when – or where – Black Pepper Jack Doritos might make a reappearance, but when they do, you better be ready to stock up.
5. Fruit-Shaped Trix
This one might come off as a bit superficial but hear us out. Trix Cereal is still alive and well these days. The cereal is made of multi-colorful corn puffs, which, today, are shaped like spheres. Each color represents a different flavor of cereal. We apologize in advance for the horribly cutesy names, but the classic flavors include raspberry red, lemony lemon, orangey orange, wildberry blue, grapity purple, and watermelon. That last one doesn’t quite fit, but we appreciate the normalcy of it. The cereal is represented by its famous mascot, the Trix Rabbit, who has been around since the 1950s. He’s evolved over time, but, at his core, he’s still the same bunny we (and our parents and grandparents before us) know and love. He’s most recognizable for his role in cereal commercials, where he tries to trick children into handing over their Trix Cereal. This leads to the famous catch-phrase: “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” So why all this talk about Trix if the cereal is still being produced? Glad you asked. In the original Trix, the cereal pieces were shaped like the fruit to which their flavor and color corresponded. Today, they’re just boring old circular pieces. We said it was superficial, remember? Their new, far more boring, appearance takes a lot of the fun out of eating Trix Cereal, and, for that reason, the original fruit shapes are sorely missed. There’s been talk of bringing back the fruit-shapes in Canada, so here’s to hoping that they follow through with that plan!
4. Hostess Chocodiles
The Hostess Chocodile was once the subject of a major debate. Is it, or is it not, a chocolate-covered Twinkie? We’re all about asking the important questions here. This long-running debate was finally settled when Hostess confirmed on television that, yes, a Chocodile is in fact just that. The reason the answer wasn’t clear was because the cake of a Chocodile and that of a Twinkie seemed to differ in texture. This, however, was actually due to the chocolate coating. The chocolate caused increased moisture levels, which ultimately made the cake of a Chocodile taste slightly different than that of a Twinkie. In the late nineties, Chocodiles stopped being sold on the East Coast of the United States. This was because only factories on the West Coast would be continuing to produce them, and they wanted to maintain the product’s freshness. For a short time, Chocodiles could be purchased exclusively on the West Coast, but before long they disappeared entirely. In recent years, Hostess seems to have released a dessert very similar to the Chocodile, under the name Chocolate Covered Twinkie, but even these are difficult to find. This rebrand also meant that the Chocodile mascot, a fun-loving crocodile named Chauncey, has been removed from the packaging. I think we can all agree that Chauncey deserved better.
3. Black Cherry Vanilla Coke
It’s starting to feel that the only Coke flavor that has the power to stand the test of time is the original one. Honestly, if Coca-Cola will go as far as to stop producing Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, there’s nothing they won’t discontinue. In 2006, Coca-Cola simultaneously introduced Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and began to phase out Vanilla Coke. It seems as though the logic was that the Black Cherry Vanilla would replace the Vanilla flavor, as well as appeal to fans of Cherry Coke, which, in the same year, was freshly dubbed Coca-Cola Cherry. Unfortunately, things didn’t seem to go as planned. Vanilla Coke’s audience was not satisfied with settling for Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, and their outcry was loud enough for Coca-Cola to resume production of the discontinued drink, this time under the name Coca-Cola Vanilla. By mid-2007, Black Cherry Vanilla Coke sales weren’t impressing anyone, and Coca-Cola had no choice but to discontinue it. However, the fact that this soft drink wasn’t selling well doesn’t mean that it wasn’t good. With less than two years on the market, it barely got a chance to make an impression. And yes, this is a heavy-handed hint that Coca-Cola should give this beverage another shot. Although, now we’re kind of wondering what would happen if we tried mixing Coca-Cola Cherry and Coca-Cola Vanilla… Naturally, it wouldn’t be identical to the Black Cherry Vanilla Coke we miss so much, but it would probably be better than nothing.
2. Snapple Element Drinks
Ringing in the end of the century, Snapple Element Drinks hit shelves in April of 1999. In keeping with the “Element” theme, the original four flavors were dubbed Earth, Sun, Fire and Air. These drinks were paired with fruit flavors in what seems like a relatively arbitrary manner. Earth was grape cranberry, Sun was starfruit orange, Fire was dragon fruit and Rain was agave cactus (which sounds like code for tequila, but let’s not dwell on that). After this initial quartet was met with success, Snapple decide to expand the Element lineup, adding beverages such as Voltage, Turbulence, Gravity, Altitude and Velocity. It’s a bit of a stretch to get these new names to fit under the element umbrella, but considering what they had to work with, we’ll give them a pass. Later on, they also came out with a tea line, which included green tea, ginseng black tea and mango tangerine tea, named Moon, Lightning, and Infusion, respectively. We knew this drink was on its way out when, in 2005, its original glass bottle was swapped for an aluminum can – without a doubt the inferior packaging. After the switch to aluminum cans, they came up with a new line of Element drinks: Aluminum Energy. This lineup added an energy boost to preexisting flavors, like Fire and Rain, in addition to creating new flavors, like Venom and Metal, exclusively for this line. Unfortunately, even the innovation of adding a new subset to this branch of Snapple drinks wasn’t enough to keep it afloat. After sales started to drop, all Snapple Element Drinks got the axe.
1. Post Cröonchy Stars Cereal
Who didn’t watch The Muppet Show growing up? Whether you saw it live, or your parents subjected you to reruns, the puppet-lead variety show was a cultural phenomenon that touched the lives of many. If you conducted a survey asking people to choose their favorite character, there are very high odds that The Muppet Show’s resident culinary genius, the Swedish Chef, would win by a landslide. His segments could always get a laugh from even the toughest audiences and were enjoyed by viewers of all ages. Thus, it’s unsurprising that, in creating a Muppets-themed cereal, this would be the character selected as a mascot (although we’re sure Animal and science duo Bunsen and Beaker gave him a run for his money). The cereal in question was dubbed Cröonchy Stars. This, of course, is the proper Swedish translation of the name “Crunchy Stars”. Well, “proper” judging by the Swedish Chef’s dialect, at least. On the box, the Muppet describes the cereal as “cinnaomonnamony.” This is another accurate and very real Swedish term. In the Chef’s unique dialect, it means “cinnamon-flavored.” Now, you’re probably thinking that this crunchy, cinnamon flavored cereal sounds a lot like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And you would be absolutely correct. In fact, the cereals were a little too similar. By the time Cröonchy Stars was released, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was already one of the top-ranking cereals available. How could it compete with that? Spoiler alert: it couldn’t. Cröonchy Stars was discontinued in 1989, just one year after its release. We respect the faith they had in this cereal, as it was actually rereleased in 1992. Unfortunately, it didn’t perform well the second time around either. When it comes to discontinued foods, if you get a second chance and you blow it, it’s pretty much a guarantee that things are over for you. While Cröonchy Stars is greatly missed, we hold out hope that a new Muppets cereal will one day grace grocery store shelves.