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Top 10 Discontinued Snacks That Are Back!

Don’t you hate it when your favorite snack foods are discontinued? Just when you’ve found your niche, they take it away, leaving you in the cold and left scrambling to find the next best thing. Here are the Top 10 Snacks That Have Returned. Whether you love them or hate them, they are back!

10. Twinkies

Twinkie’s used to be the proverbial all American snack. A small cake-like roll that has been described as the” golden sponge cake with a creamy filling”. Formerly made and distributed by Hostess Brands the makers of that other popular snack, the chip. Twinkies were invented in Illinois in 1930, by James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Company, to maximize the full use of his bakery machines to increase production and profit. The original Twinkie was filled with banana cream, which he dubbed the Twinkie after a billboard sign in St Louis advertising the “Twinkle Toe Shoes”.  During World War II, because of rations and lack of bananas, they switched over to vanilla cream filling, which launched the Twinkie into stardom. Over the years it has seen many changes as well as different fillings, along with different promotions and advertising attached to movies, music, and pop culture. The honeymoon lasted close to 80 years and in 2012, Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy protection. They stopped production of the Twinkies for a 10-month period until they were bought over by Apollo Management in 2013. In Canada, they were secretly made in a bakery in Montreal by Saputo ‘s Incorporated Vachon Inc. They eventually made a comeback in the US on store shelves but in a reduced format.  Urban legend has it that due to the chemicals in Twinkies they have an infinite shelf life, and can last anywhere from 10-100 years, who knows, maybe we can find one after the apocalypse. 

9. French Toast Crunch

We all love to have the best of both worlds, so why not combine your two most favorite breakfast snacks in one with cereal and french toast. French Toast Crouch is best described as a crispy corn cereal resembling tiny pieces of toast sprinkled with maple sugar that taste syrupy. This cereal was launched in the mid-199os by General Mills, the giant name of breakfast cereals. It may not be the healthiest breakfast available, but these tiny morsels are the best; so sweet and full of flavor. What is very cool about this cereal is that it actually looks like real pieces of mini-sized slices of French toast. They lasted for about 10 years, then General Mills discontinued French Toast Crunch in the United States. Meanwhile, French Toast Crunch was still is being produced and marketed in Canada and Australia. In Canada, it is still going under the Brand name “French Toast Crunch” and “Croque Pain Doré” in French. The Canadian French Toast Crunch is made with the original recipe and in its true form. It is available at most big retail chains including Walmart, Costco, and any local grocery store. However, consumers in the U.S. who craved the taste of these sweet cinnamon maple toast shaped cereal had to live without for a while. Fed up of the situation they took to Facebook and started a “Bring Back French Toast Crunch “campaign.  Due to popular demand, General Mills reintroduce the product in 2014, not only to capitalize on profits and demand. They also played on the nostalgia of the consumers who ate the cereal as kids in the 1990s. Thanks to a cult following, this cereal can be found again on the shelves in the cereal aisle and a whole new generation can see what the fuss was about. 

8. Cheez Balls

Made and sold by Planter’s, the famous peanut company, Cheez Balls quickly became the snack of the ’80s and ’90s and threw Cheetos for a loop. This snack was so much better than its counterpart, perfect little balls of light and fluffy orange cheddar cheese puffs, they were so easy to pop in your mouth. Everyone remembers them with fond memories of their childhood. They were not a figment of anyone’s imagination as Cheez Balls went M.I.A. in 2006 after the acquisition of Planter’s by Kraft Food’s in 2000. The reason for their demise is not documented, but assuming that the reason being Kraft wanted to focus on their brand name line of cheese products, by abolishing the others. Although there were many cheese balls brands on the market at the time none compared to Cheez Balls, the variety still maintains a cult following till today. After 12 years of public outcry, they decided to bring back this favorite snack in 2018.  Similar in look and taste, the only difference, a sticker that reads “Back Again!”. Now this treat is available to a whole new generation and old-time fans, for a limited time or hopefully maybe forever, who really knows! We can’t wait to get cheesy sticky orange fingers again.  Planters Cheez Curls, the longer, skinner version of Cheez Balls, also made a comeback as part of the revival. Cheez Balls and Cheez Curls still have the same delicious taste, airy texture and fluorescent color that got you hooked in the first place and fans can enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane with every canister.

7. Crispy M&M’s

Everyone knows that M&M chocolate candies were a copycat of the Smarties Brand. Founded by Forrest Mars Sr., the eldest son of Franck C. Mars, the American business magnate who founded the food company Mars Incorporated, which is most famous for its Mars Bar chocolate candy. Mars’ son Forrest Edward Mars developed M&M’s after a fallout with his dad, when he started his own company, making chocolates.  He first got the idea in 1930,  during the Spanish Civil War when he saw soldiers eating British-made Smarties. In 1940, in partnership with Bruce Morrie, they developed the M&M’s brand. It was during this decade that came up with the famous tagline that they are so famously known for today “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”. During the years to follow, M&M has been marketed in every color and permutation. In 1954, the peanut M&M version was introduced, the funniest thing, Forest Mars was allergic to peanuts. In 1998, Crispy M&M’s were introduced as a limited-edition item. They were slightly larger than the milk chocolate variety and also featured a crispy wafer center. They were discontinued in the United States in 2005, much to the chagrin of many fans, even though they remained available in Europe and Southeast Asia. After a 10-year hiatus, and much Facebook fanfare and complaints they were brought back in the US in 2015.  They are now available in Crunchy Espresso, Crunchy Raspberry and Crunchy Mint as well. 

6. KFC Double Down

The KFC Double Down sandwich is decadent, with its two pieces of fried chicken fillet doubling as bread, filled with mounds of bacon, melted cheese, and BBQ sauce. Initially test-marketed in certain parts of the US and Canada in 2010. It was promoted via billboards and commercials as 100 % premium chicken. It was originally offered for a limited time only. The sandwich was super popular. Similar to present day’s fad for the sold-out Popeye Fried Chicken Sandwich. Videos of people eating the Double Down became a YouTube sensation. Even Stephen Colbert jumped on the bandwagon and was featured eating one on The Colbert Report, spurring on the item’s popularity even further.  It was reported that on its launch date, it was sold out everywhere within hours. Nonetheless, after all the hype, Double Down was discontinued the same year as it was only intended to be a limited time offer.  But it was brought back immediately the same year because of its popularity. In Canada, it was a different story, after being discontinued it returned in 2018, in a different version called the Waffle Double Down. This version of the Double Down featured a Belgian waffle between two seasoned chicken fillets and used maple- aioli sauce. But it’s not the same.  From its original launch date to present, The KFC Double Down has sold over 10 million sandwiches equally a total of about $50 million in revenue.  In Canada, the Double Down became KFC’s best-selling new menu item ever, selling over 350,000 units in less than 10 days. 

5. Chicken Fries Burger King

Burger King Chicken Fries were first introduced in 2005.  They are actually a slender piece of fried chicken that resemble fries, and not actually made from spuds. Essentially a skinnier version of the chicken nugget just shaped like a fry. The concept was intended for their larger male adult consumers.  It was supposed to be made with higher quality ingredients. Also, the chicken fries were targeted towards a specific group with a specific packaging design in mind that make them easier to handle and fit into car cup holders.  The product was part of a series of product introductions designed to expand Burger King’s menu with both a more sophisticated fare appealing to people on the go and aiming at the 24- to 36-year-old male market.  They did not really catch on and they were discontinued in 2012 but continued to be sold in some markets, such as Italy. In 2014, thanks again to social media and its rampage of tweets and petitions, the fast-food chain brought back the fries for a limited time offer in North America, which eventually lead to their permanent status on the menu in 2015 in over 30 countries globally.    Burger King plans to keep the modified fries as a regular menu item. 

4. Surge & Pepsi

SURGE, for those who have never tasted one, is a citrus-flavored soft drink introduced to the market in the 1990s by Coca-Cola to compete against Pepsi’s Mountain Dew. Similar but not really, according to and depending on who you ask.  Surge was advertised as having a more hardcore edge than its counterpart Mountain Dew. Coca Cola was attempting to lure customers away from Pepsi. Originally launched in Norway as Urge in 1996, and was so popular that it was later released in the U.S. as Surge. Because of low sales records, they discontinued the product in 2003 in most markets. However, popular fan bases such as Facebook’s “Surge Movement” led to Coca-Cola re-release the soft drink in 2014, for the US market via Amazon.  Surge was re-released in convenience stores in the Eastern U.S for good in 2015 and in 2018, it was also being sold at Burger King restaurants. Crystal Pepsi had the same fate, first sold in Europe in the early 1990s. The U.S. & Canada got it from 1992 to 1994, with brief limited releases till the mid-2010s. Its market was sabotaged by competitor Coca-Cola, in a “kamikaze scheme ” which ended its Tab Clear product and brought on Crystal Pepsi death. In 2014, following a Facebook campaign by consumers, both Surge and Crystal Pepsi, saw a resurgence in demand, leading to speculation they would return. In 2016, Pepsi announced its return and it has been making the rounds subsequentially every year for a limited time.

3. Doritos 3D

Doritos 3D was a line of puffed Doritos introduced in the 1990s and discontinued in the mid-2000s. They had a puff of air inside them, making them more round than traditional Doritos These now discontinued snacks have been described as “Doritos-meets-Bugles. Flavors included Jalapeño Cheddar, Nacho Cheese, and Zesty Ranch. They also came in a mini version and were sold in plastic cylinders with a pop-top, like Pringles. Fans loved them and they had a real cult following. As of 2019, the Doritos 3D line of puffed Doritos is still sold in Mexico.  The 3D Doritos were discontinued sometime in the early 2000s but were later modified and re-released as Doritos Jacked 3D in 2015, Doritos Jacked 3D are thick and raised and resemble triangle-shaped Funyuns. Although they do not appear on store shelves in the US and Canada, there was an online petition in 2014 to bring them back, they are still presently MIA in this neck of the woods. But it won’t be long before they bring them back sooner or later.

2. Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger

In 2013, Wendy introduced the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger. Made with warm cheddar cheese sauce, thick-sliced bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, smoky honey mustard, all stuffed between a pretzel bun. Wendy’s was counting on the pretzel burger to be the game-changer. It was not and flopped. A year later it was discontinued along with the Monterey Crispy Chicken Sandwich. Given its relatively short duration, it’s most likely that Wendy will bring it back at some point. Maybe not as a permanent menu item but as a yearly limited offer. Wendy’s replaced the popular pretzel bun for a new gourmet lineup, such as the Bacon Portabella Melt Burger. Wendy’s never intended for the pretzel bun to last beyond a limited time. This is their business model; Wendy’s constantly experiments to keep only profitable innovations on the menu. Among changes that didn’t work in Wendy’s favor include some of their breakfast items. This is no different from 1985, 2007, or 2009 breakfast attempts. Also, unlike its pretzel buns, Wendy’s flat-breads also haven’t sold well, dragging down profits. Maybe Wendy’s new slogan should be “If it is broke, don’t fix it, but if it is fixed, break it again.”  One man’s failure is another man’s gold and Burger King has jumped on this bandwagon and beat Wendy’s to their own game. This year Burger King unveiled their version of the Pretzel Bacon King sandwich, oddly similar to  Wendy’s version. The sandwich which made its soft launch in some stores in September, and will also launch in Canada soon will feature “two 1/4 lb savory flame-grilled beef patties, melted cheese, crispy bacon, topped with mustard and creamy mayonnaise all on a perfectly toasted pretzel bun. Delish!

1. McRib Sandwich

MacDonald’s McRib Sandwich is also another menu item that keeps making a yearly comeback. First introduced to the McDonald’s menu from 1981-1985, this boneless pork, barbeque sandwich was popular with some consumers. You either liked it or hated it!  After poor sales, it was discontinued in North America, never to be seen again till 1989 to 2005. Meanwhile, it stayed on the menu in many countries except the US & Canada.  In 2018, McDonald’s announced that the McRib sandwich would officially be coming back for a limited run every year during the fall in most markets where it is sold.  Although it is permanently on the menu at McDonald’s restaurants in Germany and Luxembourg year-round. They say there is not much of a demand for pork in the US market. This delicious sandwich, comes serves with onions, pickles on a hoagie style bun, it is a perfect mess of a sandwich and really super tender. The elusive McDonald’s sandwich is back for a limited time at more than 9,000 U.S. restaurants, now is the time to sample your share before it disappears again for at least another year.

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