The label for junk food is usually pretty accurate: a convenient food that requires little to no preparation is highly processed, and more often than not, provides little nutrition. That pairs well with fat, sugar, and salt, all key ingredients to junk food of all kinds. The items on this list give a whole new meaning to “junk” food. Stay tuned as we list the Top 10 Disgusting Junk Food FAILS. (Part 2)
If you’re a fan of whipped cream, you have probably heard of the Reddi-Wip brand. In the early 1960s, the company believed it had found a way to do for bacon what it had done for whipped cream in a can. Cooking bacon in your toaster in 90 seconds sounds like a great idea, but just because something sounds great doesn’t always mean it is. Reddi-Bacon was pre-cooked, so all you had to do was pop one into your toaster, sit back and enjoy; however, the taste wasn’t really, how should we say… good. There is a huge difference between freshly cooked bacon hot off the skillet and bacon cooked weeks ago and reheated. Another issue was that the bacon grease could drip into your toaster and potentially cause a fire. Not exactly your idea of a perfect morning. Even if the bacon didn’t torch your toaster to the ground, the grease probably would’ve made a pigsty out of it, at the very least. There’s really no market for toaster bacon today because a lot of people routinely cook bacon in their microwaves or the old-fashioned way, in a pan. Although Reddi-Wip spent a lot of money developing and marketing this product, it never even got out of the testing stages and would never know what a shelf life feels like. Some said it was ” a product ahead of its time.” Hmm, not so sure… maybe it was just a product ahead of logic and common sense. Either way, this was one heck of a junk food fail.
9. Ghostbusters Keylime Slime Twinkies
If there’s something strange in your grocery store, who you gonna call? Well, certainly not the Ghostbusters, as they were partially at fault for the creation of this next junk food fail. Created as a limited-edition and promotional product for the release of the blockbuster sequel in July of 2016, the new Hostess Twinkies Keylime Slime Edition created a buzz when they first hit the shelves. But that hype was short-lived, as people started to actually test the product. Right from the start, a neon-green, oozing filling isn’t exactly the most appealing sight you look for in a Twinkie. And, it had the word “slime” in the name. Not exactly screaming yummy there. Actually, if you looked right at it, you might get the same feeling as being face-to-face with a ghost. But, since it was for Ghostbusters, it seemed rather suiting. However, the key lime flavored green center did not live up to its high expectations. A sour yet underwhelming flavor of lime mixed with the stickiness and overall unappealing look of the treat was not what people were expecting. Some people even advised others to buy them just for the novelty or as a “souvenir” – but to not actually eat them. The general feeling was a big, fat meh. Disappointing, but not surprising.
8. Heinz EZ Squirt
When you think about Heinz EZ Squirt, there’s probably that one burning question lingering on your lips: “why in the world would anyone want to mess with a classic condiment like ketchup?” It’s a pretty legitimate question. Not since that weird, kooky Heinz fiasco has anyone tried to mess with it since. Heinz really wanted to take their company to the next level and revolutionize – or at least try to – the ketchup industry in the early ‘2000s. But, the thing is, ketchup is already an iconic and ridiculously popular condiment all on its own and doesn’t need a lot of embellishment. It’s tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and some seasonings. That’s it. It’s nothing fancy but people love it anyway. So, why and how could Heinz come up with a new type of ketchup? The EZ Squirts were basically a brand of colored ketchup made to appeal to kids, made in a smaller and more colorful bottle, easy to grab with their little hands. The first color entry was “Blastin’ Green,” created as promotional ketchup for the first Shrek movie, which kids were going crazy over. And at first, the brand really took off, with the sales capturing an all-time high with over 60% of ketchup sales in the U.S.. So how did it all go wrong? When they started to come out with all sorts of other kinds of weird colored ketchup. Like purple. Or blue. Red tomatoes, we’ve seen. Green tomatoes? Also fair. But, have you ever seen a crop of blue tomatoes? I didn’t think so. Apparently not even the kids wanted to dip their nuggets in blue goo. None.
7. Crystal Pepsi
Have you ever heard that clear soda is better for your teeth than dark soda and that it’s somewhat healthier? Well, even though this is a complete myth that was debunked years ago, it seems like Pepsi thought it was a good marketing strategy in the 1990s and turned its classic brown Pepsi into Crystal Pepsi. It was basically the same as the original. The only difference? The color. It was crystal clear and looked more like water than actual soda. Why did they do this? Who knows. Maybe it was to trick your brain into thinking you were properly hydrating instead of chugging down gallons of soda. Or to take advantage of the people’s interest in purity and health. Or maybe, it was so people would finally be able to tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke. Either way, it didn’t last very long. It was all fun and games at first, as the clear Pepsi was like the shiny new toy on the playground. But eventually, its small popularity ran its course, and people went back to their beloved dark Pepsi, and the water-like product was discontinued not long after its release. It just seemed like a very pointless and counterproductive product that the world could’ve lived without. The very definition of a failed junk food item.
6. Celery Jello
There’s always room for a little bowl of jello at the end of your meal. It’s light, flavorful, and jiggly. The perfect little dessert. The keyword here being dessert. Traditionally in the U.S, desserts are sweet. Not vegetable-y. And that’s one concept Jell-o might have failed to grasped when they came out with a… yes, celery flavored Jello in the 1960s. This particular jello mix wasn’t meant for dessert-making purposes per se, but rather to be used as a “salad mix” to create those big jello blobs full of vegetables and regret you would see at the center of the pot-luck table, probably left untouched. To be fair, cooking with Jello was really big back then and was included in a lot of recipes, so we can’t completely hold it against them. But, for the celery part, that’s another story. Why oh why pair it with celery? One of the most despised and hated vegetables out there? How misleading must it have been as a child to see some good old green jello, expecting it to be lime flavored, but instead you’re met face to face with your nemesis, the taste of celery? Then again, celery wasn’t the only savory flavor they made. There was also Italian Salad, Mixed Vegetables, and even Seasoned Tomato flavored Jell-O – each sounding more appetizing than the last. Jell-O eventually came back to its senses and refocused on sweets and snacks by the 1980s, as the popularity of savory jellos slowly died down. Good riddance? Let’s just hope so.
5. The Chicken Dinner Candy Bar
These days, almost everything we do is on-the-go. We eat, drink, and even sleep whenever we find the time. However, we’ve found a way to make things easy and quick, to save you the hassle of taking the long way. And this goes for dinner as well. You’ve heard of protein bars and protein shakes to replace almost every nutrient of a full dinner, but have you ever heard of a Chicken Dinner in a bar? This candy bar from the 1920s sure seems like it was ahead of its time. Big time! A Chicken Dinner Candy Bar… No, the name wasn’t created as some kind of joke: it is what it says: a full chicken dinner bar stuffed with pieces of dried cabbage, dried peppers, and dried celery and coated with chocolate. Not exactly the kind of chunks you expect to find in your candy bar, that’s for sure. It was marketed during the war era to sustain people during the bad financial period. And also as away to not actually have to cook a full dinner. A concept not so unfamiliar to us today, to be quite honest. It’s kinda hard to imagine finding a modern version of this dinner-in-a-bar at your local grocer. It’s not that bad of an idea if you really think about it, just maybe not the most appetizing one. We can see its spin-off now…the Thanksgiving bar – a full turkey dinner meal in a bar. Yum yum – pass the cranberry sauce.
4. Pizza Cones
Ice cream cones are a summer staple and a popular treat everywhere around the world. Pizza is also celebrated around the world as a delicious food and a great addition to almost any occasion. You know, not many foods can say they have their own “parties,” but pizza can. Chefs like to experiment and come up with trendy items that can become the next food breakthrough, but combining two great ideas doesn’t necessarily create a new great product. The restaurant K! Pizzacone, which opened in New York City in 2010, had high hopes for its pizza slices shaped into a cone that resembled an ice cream cone. Unlike most pizza at pizza shops, these pizza cones were partially baked at a facility in Connecticut and transported to the restaurant in the city. When a customer would place an order, the pizza chefs at K! Pizzacone would swing into action and add sauce, cheese, and a selection of toppings to the cone. Then the unconventional pizza was baked for a few minutes before being served. These cones might have tasted like pizza, but pizza lovers also want their pizza to look like pizza, so pizza cones didn’t exactly sell like hotcakes. I mean, they sound okay, if not a little odd. Pizza is already an on-the-go snack. There was no reason to make it more complicated to eat by trying to make them more “easy to grab.” No. Pizza in a cone is not a pizza.
3. Gerber Singles
Ok, it can be hard enough for some people to be single. But do they really have to make it seem worse by eating adult baby food? A reaction most people had when considering buying jars of Gerber Singles – as in you’re single so eat these sad little jars of food all by yourself. This junk food fail from 1974 was marketed to college students and young single people living on their own. There was and still is a big market for easy to prepare single-serving meals, which is why the idea could’ve sounded good on paper. But that was short-lived. Gerber Singles were basically meals pureed into jars and put on the shelves for people to buy. Reminds you of anything? The kind of food you ate as an infant, perhaps? Mushy meats and vegetables aren’t appealing to most adults, so it’s safe to say that Gerber was banking on the laziness of young people to overcome their qualms about the actual food. But, there are always limits to laziness. Like standards and dignity. You don’t need to cook a 5-course meal every night if you live alone or just don’t feel like it, but maybe turn to instant ramen or even frozen chicken wings, but mashed up food? That just seems a bit extreme. We should all glad that this product failed in its beginnings because who knows what other products they could’ve come up with since then.
2. A Hill of Pizza Beans
Sometimes, it’s best to stay true to what you do best. It’s not always necessary to go off the beaten track to find that one new, revolutionary idea to reinvent yourself. No. Sometimes, you just gotta stick to what you know and leave it at that. Heinz, for instance, is known for products like baked beans and ketchup and has become very successful because they stick to these kinds of “classics.” Unfortunately, the terrible tendency of wanting to get out over one’s skis affected the company when they came out with the Baked Beanz Pizza- see what they did with the z there? Yea, that pun was probably the best thing about this product. It just wasn’t very… good. Simple as that. What was it about the 1990s that made things like a baked bean pizza seem like a good idea? It just sounds like a horrifying combo. In 2003, Heinz came to its senses and discontinued the product. However, in 2019 it was reported that Heinz had plans to bring back this junk food fail as part of its 150th-anniversary celebration. So, this bean / pizza concoction is still lurking in the shadows, waiting for its unwanted comeback, so keep an eye out.
1. Fizzix Carbonated Yogurt
What’s better than mixing the milky creamy texture of yogurt with the sparkling and fizzy bubbles of soda? Well, turns out, just about anything! The Fizzix Carbonated Yogurts sticks by Yoplait were made for those who didn’t like wasting time eating with a spoon – and those who enjoyed weird combinations, apparently. It was marketed to teens and young kids to satisfy their “less developed” palate. The combination of the yogurt and the bubbles basically made it taste like soda more than yogurt. It doesn’t exactly scream: healthy snack! Yogurt is already hard to market to young people because it’s not as “hip” and it’s “healthier” than most other snacks. So, what do you do to make it more of a junk food? You add some little fizzy bubbles and trick them into thinking they’re drinking soda. But, then again, not really, since the taste was, well, not so believable. The yogurt sticks texture was a weird mix of solid – yet not really – and fizzy but not fully. It was just a big mess. Sort of like eating and drinking at the same time. The flavor wasn’t all there either. Thankfully, Yoplait realized just how weird the whole idea was and eventually discontinued the Fizzix, and a new line of the drinkable yogurts, today known as Go-Gurt, took its place, and the world had to say goodbye to the carbonated flop.