Picture your favorite childhood food items. Now, try to think of the last time you saw them in your local grocery store. More likely than not, you can’t remember. This has nothing to do with your memory, and everything to do with the fact that food items are discontinued left and right. Furthermore, food companies seem to have it out for the foods that brought so many of us joy in our childhoods. It’s almost like they enjoy stomping all over our nostalgia. Here’s a list of ten more food items that have fallen victim to this mysterious vendetta.
10. Urkel-Os Cereal
Cereal was already well-established as the go-to breakfast food of many a child. Then, cereal companies decided to make their products pop culture themed. Subsequently, the food item that was already a hit among kids began to draw them like hotcakes. Grocery store aisles were filled with children begging their parents to buy them cereal based on their favorite sitcoms. One such cereal was Urkel-Os. For those of you born after 1998, who somehow haven’t been subjected to reruns by nostalgic family members, Steve Urkel was a character in the sitcom Family Matters. He was your prototypical nerdy character, with big glasses and suspenders, and famous for his catchphrase “Did I do that?” Urkel-Os looked like Froot Loops, if you removed all pieces expect the pink and yellow. The cereal itself was strawberry and banana flavored, and referred to in an advertisement as a “fun, circle-shaped product.” The statement is…literal, if nothing else. Questionable marketing choices aside, the cereal had an impressive run, being discontinued nine years after its 1991 release. Many will tell you that they found Urkel-Os much too sweet and artificial, even as children, but these people are vastly outnumbered by those who look back on the cereal fondly. Even those who didn’t like the taste were happy to eat the cereal, and would likely love to see it brought back, simply due to the fact that Urkel was such a beloved character of their childhoods.
9. Pepsi Blue
From August 2002 to May 2004, a new drink was shelved alongside our favorite sodas. Though it bore the Pepsi logo, its flavor was quite different from the classic soft drink we know and love. Pepsi Blue’s official flavor couldn’t be vaguer; it was described by Pepsi as “berry.” Reviews from consumers gave us a bit more detail, with some giving it the more specific description of blueberry or raspberry flavored. Others, who found the drink to be nothing more than liquid sugar, described the flavor as similar to that of cotton candy, with an aftertaste more-or-less akin to that of a berry. Regular Pepsi is decently sweet already, but Pepsi Blue makes the original soda taste like lemon juice. The drink’s sickly sweetness alone sounds like grounds for discontinuation, but that’s not all there is to it. Fun fact, the drink’s bright blue color? Not its natural look. Pepsi Blue achieved its coloration from an agent called Blue 1. This dye was actually banned in several countries, and its use in this drink started a massive controversy. This, combined with the poor marketing that lead to less-than-impressive sales, meant bye-bye Pepsi Blue. Interestingly enough, the bright blue color and the overly-sweet taste were both part of a marketing strategy. PepsiCo wanted to ride the popularity of their brightly colored Mountain Dew Red with this shockingly blue drink. Additionally, they hoped that the sweet berry flavor would draw in the teenage crowd. The drink did well enough, but it never quite hit the heights of popularity PepsiCo hoped it would. Though it was discontinued in North American markets, Pepsi Blue can still be found in several other countries. So, next time you’re travelling abroad, keep your eyes peeled for this blue bottle.
8. Ben And Jerry’s Crème Brûlée
Ben And Jerry’s has a vast and wide variety of flavors to choose from, in fact, that’s part of the charm when eating Ben And Jerry’s ice cream, choosing one of the seemingly endless flavor options. With so many flavour options, that also means many discontinued flavors… Ben And Jerry’s Crème Brûlée ice cream was one of the more popular flavors to receive the axe. It was available from 2007 to 2012 and Ben And Jerry’s describes the flavor as: Sweet Custard Ice Cream with a Caramelized Sugar Swirl, and boy was it yummy. Sadly, it is now gone, residing only in Ben And Jerry’s “Flavor Graveyard” with the rest of Ben and Jerry’s discontinued flavors… Tears were shed when this one disappeared, but Ben And Jerry’s offers hope! “Dead and buried” flavors, as Ben And Jerry’s calls them, can be resurrected! That’s right you can go to the webpage of the discontinued flavor you love and click “resurrect this flavor!”. Ben And Jerry’s does periodically re-release the resurrected flavors with the most votes so Ben And Jerry’s Creme Brûlée Ice Cream, we hope you see you again someday!
7. Apple Newtons
In 2012, Nabisco changed the name of their famous cookie snack from Fig Newtons to Newtons in order to encompass the other flavors they were beginning to release. The Newtons brand came to be all the way back in 1891, with its name taken from the town of Newton, Massachusetts. Originally, the brand made exclusively Fig Newtons, but now the rectangular cookies can be filled with paste made from any fruit under the sun. They’ll probably never be able to completely distance themselves from their original fig cookies, but they’re making efforts to get recognition for their other flavors as well. While their strawberry, raspberry and mixed berry cookies have been thriving, Apple Newtons got the axe not too long after their conception. Nabisco tried to quell our outrage at the discontinuation of their Apple Newtons by releasing an Apple and Cinnamon flavor, but anyone who was a fan of its predecessor knows that the new iteration isn’t nearly as good. One fan recalls a favorite dessert from their childhood, which was a microwaved Apple Newton served topped with vanilla ice cream. Sure, it’s no apple pie, but it’s still a tasty and easy to prepare treat. With the introduction of Apple and Cinnamon Newtons, the chances that Nabisco will ever bring back Apple Newtons are slim to none. And so, we mourn the loss of this great snack food, while settling for its cinnamon-infused counterpart.
6. Keebler Pizzarias
Throwing it all the way back to the late-eighties and early-nineties, who here remembers Keebler Pizzarias? Many chip companies have tried their hand at the pizza flavored chip, but, as of now, we’re still waiting for someone to pull off what Keebler did almost thirty years ago. Most pizza flavored chips are wildly disappointing, but Pizzarias were special. They came in three different pizza flavors, with Cheese Pizza being the most popular. The chips themselves bore a strong resemblance to Doritos, but the triangle shape was to mimic the look of a slice of pizza and the red-orange coloration was to give the appearance that they were topped in cheese and tomato sauce. Word on the street is that these chips tasted pretty much exactly like an actual slice of pizza would. It’s pretty incredible that they managed to capture those flavors so well, especially since even the best chip brands have consistently failed to produce anything that tastes remotely similar to pizza. Pizzarias were rebranded by TGI Friday’s, who now sells them as Pizza Chips. Despite the fact that now, instead of being shaped like pizza slices, each chip is shaped like an entire pizza (i.e. a circle), they have a very similar flavor. If you’re a Pizzarias purist, you might not be a huge fan, but if you’re looking to revisit a childhood favorite, ordering these Pizza Chips could make for a fun experience.
5. ET Cereal
Remember what we said early about pop culture themed cereal? It’s always a hit, no matter how good the actual product is. Although, we have to give it to ET Cereal. This is a breakfast food we can definitely get behind. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you probably still know that Reese’s Pieces are featured in E.T. the Extraterrestrial. It’s a pretty mainstream reference. And it was that reference that was used to craft this delicious cereal. If you haven’t guessed yet, ET Cereal is chocolate and peanut butter flavored, just like Reese’s candy. The puffed grain pieces were shaped like the capital letters E and T, which is an even more obvious tie-in to the film. Released in 1984, two years after the hit film’s debut, ET Cereal had a surprisingly short run. The movie may have endured, but the cereal did not. It was discontinued in 1986, after a mere two years. E.T. the Extraterrestrial is a great pick for family movie night and if this cereal were to make a comeback it might encourage parents to introduce their kids to the film and cereal alike. It would be a trip down memory lane for the adults, and a great experience for the kids. Because, let’s be real here, everyone has to see E.T.at least once. It’s too culturally relevant and straight up enjoyable to miss out on.
4. Reese’s Bites
Speaking of the peanut butter and chocolate combination… Reese’s Bites were part of Hershey’s Bites lineup, which took candies like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Kit-Kat and Hershey Milk Chocolate bars and released them as ball-shaped candies. In this case, Reese’s Bites were chocolate covered balls with a peanut butter filling. They really weren’t all that different from the original candies. Their chocolate coating might have been slightly harder, but, other than that, it was basically the same as the difference between Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Minis. One is just smaller than the other – and, as such, makes for a much better movie theater snack. The Bites candies were introduced in the late nineties and had their curtain call in 2003. Reese’s Bites, as well as the other candies in the Bites lineup, were discontinued because they were deemed a choking hazard. As far as reasons behind discontinuation go, this is a pretty good one. After Reese’s Bites came Reese’s Swoops, which were pieces of Pringles-shaped chocolate drizzled with peanut butter, and after Reese’s Swoops came Reese’s Minis. It seems like the third time’s the charm, and Minis are here to stay as the snack-sized counterpart of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Of course, there are plenty of other Reese’s products still out there as well, so, luckily for us, we don’t have to look too hard to get our chocolate and peanut butter fix.
3. Skittles Bubble Gum
Skittles candy had its first commercial release in 1974. They’re still thriving today as one of the most popular candies in the world. Naturally, while the original candy has been going strong since its introduction, over the course of its run, many variations of the candy have been tested. Some successful, others less so. Skittles Bubblegum, sadly, falls into the latter category. There’s nothing wrong with the candy itself. In fact, it tasted incredible, and, as far as bubblegum goes, it was pretty solid. Despite the good reviews, it was sold for only two years. We’re not quite sure of the reason behind its discontinuation, but the problem might have been that they did too good of a job at emulating the original Skittles candy. Skittles themselves already have a texture kind of similar to that of gum, and the tastes of the two candies were virtually identical. In the end, Skittles Bubblegum was just a slightly chewier, slightly longer lasting (we say slightly, because we all know that bubblegum always has a disappointingly short lifespan) version of the original Skittles. It’s understandable, because nothing can ever top the Skittles we know and love, so if you’re given the choice between two candies that are almost exactly the same, original Skittles will win every time. However, they weren’t going to give up on Skittles Bubblegum so soon. After the initial gum was discontinued, Wrigley’s introduced X-Treme Fruit Skittles Gum, in hopes of increasing excitement over the product with new flavors. Unfortunately, that one fell through too. It seems like Skittles gum just wasn’t meant to be.
2. Slice Soda
This soft drink is one of the longest lasting food items on this list. Slice Soda came out in 1984 and wasn’t discontinued until the mid-2000’s. This makes us miss it even more, because we had time to get attached. The soda came in a variety of different fruit flavors, including Mandarin Orange, Grape, Lemon Lime, Strawberry, Pineapple, and Fruit Punch. Slice Soda had a strong start, but its popularity gradually waned throughout its run. It wasn’t hugely popular, but it maintained a strong cult following. The drink was originally owned by PepsiCo, which introduced it all the way back in 1984 and they remained the manufacturer until it was discontinued. That said, Slice was re-introduced, in the US and Canada only, by a company called “New Slice Ventures”, who acquired the Slice Soda trademark rights for those 2 countries. The re-introduction did feature some changes to the drink formula, making it lower in both sugar and calories. This will become a welcomed change for some, but not so much for those looking to expeirence the original exactly as it was.
This General Mills snack food got its name from its distinctive shaped – the hollow, cone shaped chips are reminiscent of everyone’s favorite horn, the bugle. After a test run in 1965, Bugles had their official release in 1966, alongside several other General Mills snacks, such as Pizza Spins, Whistles and Daisies. If you don’t recognize those last three names, that’s perfectly understandable, since none of them made it into the eighties. Bugles alone managed to make it to the end of the century without being discontinued. However, since 2000, the snack has been discontinued in several countries worldwide, due to decreased demand. Some, like the United Kingdom, caved to the subsequent outcry and began producing them again, but others have left them in the past. Bugles are known for their satisfying crunch, which comes from the fact that they’re fried in coconut oil. The sheer number of flavors that they were produced in is staggering. They covered all the bases that you would expect of a chip, but also went to some very unexpected places as well. For example, there were Sour Cream and Onion, Smokin’ BBQ, Salt and Vinegar, Jalapeño Cheddar, and Nacho Cheese, but there were also Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter, Churros, Coriander, Cookies and Cream, and Shrimp. Which so much variety, Bugles had something for everybody. Luckily, they’re still available in certain countries, so not all hope is lost. A quick Google search will tell you whether or not they’re still being sold in your area. And even if they aren’t, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find them on Amazon. If you really love Bugles, the effort to get your hands on them will be more than worth it.