Not gonna lie, the drama surrounding some of these has me on the edge of my damn seat.
If you wanna talk nostalgia, there's literally nothing more nostalgic than the snacks and drinks we grew up eating. The fact that most of them have been discontinued is — to put it bluntly — criminal.
Recently, we shared a list of discontinued childhood foods that people desperately wanted back, and readers did not hold back when it came to sharing some of their personal favorites. Since there's no shortage of nostalgic food items that were tragically ripped from grocery store shelves forever, we're sharing some of the best responses — including the reasons why they were discontinued in the first place.
Buckle up, folks. It's time for a trip down memory lane.
1. PB Crisps
WHAT HAPPENED: It's the only discontinued snack I've found that has an entire website dedicated to advocating for its return. And honestly? I can get behind it. The website emphatically asks "why on earth would you discontinue these?!" So, "Jim at Planters" (who I guess is, like, in charge of customer care?) gave the people the sad-but-true information they needed...
2. Viennetta Ice Cream
Breyers / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: Fudgie the Whale had nothing — I repeat, NOTHING — on this slab of sliceable ice cream. Viennetta was (and continues to be) popular in the UK. In the 90s, it was introduced to the US market via Breyers, but it was pulled off the shelves in the late 90s due to "insufficient demand." Apparently, Breyers tried to re-introduce Viennetta in 2009, but nope, apparently Americans weren't having it (which makes zero sense to me because oh my god this stuff was incredible).
The TWIST? Last year, it was announced that Viennetta would be making a glorious return to stores nationwide with a re-release through Good Humor. That's right — if you miss this stuff as much as I do, you can theoretically grab a box whenever you want it.
3. Hubba Bubba Bubble Jug
Mars, Inc. / Via candywarehouse.com
WHAT HAPPENED: There's nothing like shaking up a pink plastic container of powdered bubble gum, pouring it into your mouth, choking on half the gum dust and then chomping on the other half once it somehow turns into literal chewing gum.
Even Redditors can't figure out exactly why this one was discontinued, but if you're yearning to once again fill your mouth with sand gum, you're in luck: Old Time Candy sells a version of this childhood favorite that they call "Sneaky Stardust," and I gotta say...it looks like the real deal.
4. Waffle Crisp
Post / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: The "brand new cereal with old-fashioned values" (IYKYK) was beloved by pretty much everyone from its inception in 1996 to the day it was tragically pulled off the shelves in August 2018. They weren't the only waffle cereal out there: Eggo Cereal by Kellogg's still exists, but if you've ever tried both, you know that Post's Waffle Crisp reigned superior in every way. I mean, each syrupy, crispy bite truly tasted like waffles, while the Kellogg's version was pretty much just cereal that kiiiiiiind of looked waffle-like.
WHAT HAPPENED: To this day, "texturally-enhanced alternative beverage" has to be one of the most incredible-yet-cringey slogans I've ever read. Actually, I lied! Their ad campaign that invited consumers to "embark on a tour into the bowels of the Orbiterium" definitely takes the cake.
Look, maybe this stuff wasn't great. Tiny gelatin balls floating around a clear bottle of syrupy liquid certainly doesn't sound appetizing to me, but the novelty of it all?! Untouched. Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on your POV — Orbitz was discontinued for good in 1997...the same year it was released. Yikes, yikes, yikes.
6. Keebler Magic Middles
Kellogg's / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: "Magic" undersells these chocolaty shortbread cookies. They were pure heaven. Fudgy on the inside and perfectly crumbly on the outside...I mean, to put it bluntly, they outshined Fudge Stripes in every way.
These fan-favorite cookies were discontinued rather unceremoniously in 2011, just 10 years after they began production. The reason? This claim isn't verified, but legend has it that Keebler pulled Magic Middles so they could "use the equipment that manufactured them for another line." And no, before you get excited, those Keebler elves currently have no plans to re-release them.
7. Pepsi Blue
Pepsi / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: Pepsi's short-lived, berry-flavored cola beverage was rolled out with a suuuuuper expensive marketing campaign — likely to appeal to young people that had become "bored" with regular Pepsi. How expensive, you ask? Well, they got Britney Spears as a full-blown spokesperson at the height of her career, sooo, I can't imagine it was cheap. But TBH, the costly campaign is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the various problems that ultimately caused Pepsi to discontinue the soda after only two years in production...
The food coloring responsible for the instantly recognizable Windex-blue hue? That's blue #1 — AKA, the food dye that's now been banned in many countries due to health concerns.
Here's where things get even juicier: After blowing all their money on an aggressively expensive marketing campaign — which, in addition to Britney, included product placement in major films and cross-promotions with both the Super Bowl and the Winter X Games — they switched gears entirely and adopted a genuinely cringey guerilla marketing campaign...
Universal Pictures / Via giphy.com
Pepsi's marketing team went "undercover" on online forums to "aggressively link" to Pepsi Blue and generate word of mouth...but in a twist that'll surprise absolutely no one, people saw right through it. To say that it left a bad taste in consumers' mouths (figuratively, of course, because Pepsi Blue wasn't bad!) is perhaps the understatement of the century. Like, Pepsi failed SO hard that "Pepsi Blue" eventually became a code word (!!!) on forums to let other users know there were undercover corporate insiders hyping up products.
So, yeah. Pepsi Blue was a pretty major fail. Oddly enough, it re-surfaced in The Year Of Product Returns 2021, but it only lasted until supplies ran out last summer. Perhaps for the better?
8. Froot Loops Cereal Straws
View this video on YouTubeKellogg's
WHAT HAPPENED: Am I the only one who can still recite every word of the Cereal Straws commercial? Here's the deal: Offer me a cold glass of milk, and I will politely decline. Pop a Froot Loops cereal straw in said glass of milk, and I'll happily drink a gallon. I was one of those kids who really, really didn't like the taste of milk, but putting a straw *made of cereal* into a beverage that would otherwise be a true struggle to get down always did the trick. Sadly, Froot Loops Cereal Straws were discontinued in 2009, and I was never the same...
Whether it was the viral tweet below or the Change.org petition with over 80,000 signatures, for some reason, Kellogg's decided to listen to the desperate pleas from 90s kids everywhere and brought Cereal Straws back last October. There's even a Cocoa Krispies variety this time around, so BRB while I go pick up every package I can find.
Since we're starting to become more environmentally savvy and ditching plastic straws, may I recommend bringing these bad boys back
9. Sprite Remix
Coca-Cola / Via parkstmarket.com
WHAT HAPPENED: Tropical Sprite Remix lives in my head rent-free. The soda was originally released in 2002 in three flavors: Berryclear, Aruba Jam, and Tropical. Sprite Remix only made it three years before it was discontinued due to poor sales in both the United States and Canada. It was (and I mean this with every fiber of my being) a true tragedy, as I've yet to taste a soda as genuinely refreshing as this stuff was.
Oddly enough, Coca-Cola did bring Sprite Remix "back" in 2016 to all the people who desperately missed it. This time, they used the slightly-tweaked name Sprite Tropical Mix...since obviously it was the "re-" in "remix" that caused the tank in sales.
They call it an "ode to [their] past," but since I haven't been able to find it in a single store in the six years it's been available (!!!), I call it a HOAX.
10. Hershey's Swoops
View this video on YouTubeHershey's / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: The other day I ate a cookie that contained (in no meaningful order): pretzels, M&Ms, salt & vinegar potato chips, toffee, and popcorn. I think back to 2003 me that was genuinely shocked to see Hershey's candy-covered potato chips at my local grocery store, and I wish I could tell him that things would get much, much wilder. Let's be real — whatever you thought of these, their instantly-recognizable TV ad still plays in my mind to this very day.
Some hypothesize that they were quietly discontinued due to their packaging and serving sizes. They were shaped like Pringles, and if you know anything about Pringles, you know how easy it is to devour an entire can in mere minutes. Swoops came six to a pack, so if you're eating them at a Pringles rate, they'll be gone pretty quickly. For many consumers, it may have just not been worth it.
11. Cheetos Twisted Puffs
Frito-Lay / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: There's always been one Cheeto to rule them all. That, my friends, is the untouchable Twisted Puff. Cheetos has had their fair share of discontinued products, but it's widely agreed that Twisted Puffs are pretty much the greatest loss of all. Fans praised their "softer crunch" that other Cheetos products just couldn't compare to, as well as their ability to hold a whooooole lotta cheesiness with all that spiral surface area. Regardless, Frito-Lay discontinued the beloved snack in 2013.
12. Betty Crocker Warm Delights
General Mills / Via amazon.com
WHAT HAPPENED: I'd like to hug Betty Crocker for introducing the world to single-serve Warm Delights...and then I'd like to SCREAM at the person at Betty Crocker who decided to discontinue them. The ability to make yourself a warm piece of cake in your microwave with only a little bit of water was simply the greatest gift of all.
As the self-proclaimed president of the Warm Delights fan club, I have a theory: Since each and every container of Warm Delights came in its own plastic serving bowl (bad for the environment!), I think Betty replaced them with the Mug Treats line since they're likely more cost-efficient to produce and use a lot less packaging. Since mug cakes were all the rage a few years ago, it also makes sense that they'd capitalize on the trend.
Still...I miss my Warm Delights, and I'm not the only one 😭.
13. Ouch! Bubble Gum
WHAT HAPPENED: There's never been a gum that's lost its flavor as fast as Hubba Bubba's tinned Ouch! gum. Regardless, it's definitely the most fun I've ever had chomping on a piece of bubble gum and only Fruit Stripes could come in a close second for those temporary tattoos on the wrapper.
Reaching into your backpack to reveal a *tin* of gum was the coolest thing you could ever do as a school-aged kid...but I guess it wasn't cool enough, as Ouch! gum scrapped the tin cans in 2009 for THIS...
So yeah, Wrigley's did away with Ouch! gum shortly after this rebrand. And TBH, I think it's *his* fault...
Kraft / Via instacart.com
WHAT HAPPENED: I have fond memories of burning every last taste bud on one of these bad boys while dashing to the bus stop to make sure I got to school on time. Realistically, I wouldn't have had it any other way. Bagel-fuls were 🔥, and I won't be hearing any other perspectives at this time, thanks! To my very, very personal dismay, Kraft discontinued their Bagel-fuls line after just a few years of production. There's no concrete date that we know of, but this blogger (and Bagel-ful fan) speculates that it happened in 2010.
Just to connect some dots: Kraft's Bagel-fuls hit the market in 2008, nearly 10 years before Bantam Bagels started selling at Starbucks locations nationwide and became all the rage. Obviously the market for cream cheese-stuffed bagels was out there, but Bagel-fuls were quietly pulled off the shelves nonetheless.
Had we (as a society) just not come to grips with our insatiable craving for bite-sized bagels yet? Were Bagel-fuls not trendy enough? IDK, but Bantam Bagels sold their business in 2018 for $34 million, so color me confused.
15. Bug Pops
WHAT HAPPENED: Nestlé reaaaaally knew how to dial up the nostalgia — between Bug Pops and Flintstones Push Pops, they pretty much defined my childhood. However, BOTH were discontinued for reasons that I hope to one day know. There was simply nothing better than letting those frozen bug gummies slowly defrost in your mouth (while pretending you were a literal character from The Lion King), and I still long to feel that immense joy again.
16. Starburst Fruit Twists
WHAT HAPPENED: Twizzlers are trash, and these discontinued candies proved it...and then some. Starburst Fruit Twists were similar to Twizzlers in shape, but that's about it. The flavors were bold and fruity, and the texture was soft and chewy — a far cry from the muted, dense formula of the classic Twizzler.
Theories as to why exactly the mighty Fruit Twist was discontinued range from "likely" to "LOL can you imagine." According to a Wrigley's rep, they were "forced to discontinue them" due to poor sales, but other fans theorize that Hershey's (the makers of Twizzlers) actually paid them off so they'd stop selling a superior version of their product.
View this video on YouTubeThe Wrigley Company / Via youtube.com
(FWIW, Twizzlers Rainbow Twists are actually pretty great! They don't come close to the magic of Starburst Fruit Twists, but while we await their much-anticipated return, they'll do just fine.)
17. Nestlé BonBons
View this video on YouTubeNestlé / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: True BonBons fans know that Dibs will never, ever compete when it comes to bite-sized, snackable frozen ice cream treats. BonBons walked so Dibs could run, and TBH, they deserve better. Believe it or not, there was a time when you could get a container of these for less than a dollar at the movies...but eventually, Nestlé revamped the brand with the launch of Dibs and phased BonBons out entirely.
The original BonBons were truly a feat of creamy deliciousness — they were considerably bigger than Dibs, which meant each and every bite had a bigger ice cream-to-chocolate ratio...which for ice cream fans was definitely a great call. Even Peggy Bundy from Married With Children was obsessed with these, and it's not hard to see why.
PepsiCo / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: This fruit-flavored soda was introduced by PepsiCo in the 80s and positioned in the soft drink market as a competitor to other popular lemon-lime sodas, like Sprite and 7-Up. Slice, however, originally contained "10% fruit juice" which set it apart in a pretty saturated market. By the 90s, Pepsi got rid of the fruit juice entirely...which basically meant it was just like its competitors. In 2020, Pepsi replaced Slice with Sierra Mist in most markets.
PepsiCo let the Slice trademark expire pretty unceremoniously — but in early 2018, an entrepreneur by the name of Mark Thomann scooped it up with plans to bring it back to the life. The new Slice isn't soda at all: It's sparkling water sweetened with natural fruit juice.
According to Thomann, "people remember the brand, but they don't always remember the specifics." Well, to be clear, I remember the specifics pretty darn well in this case (and I want my original Slice back).
19. Reese's Bites
WHAT HAPPENED: Like their Butterfinger BBs distant cousin, Reese's really figured out the ultimate method for packing all the goodness of their original candy into the most portable, delicious form ever. Sure, they may have melted at the actual speed of light, but they were so worth every last messy morsel of chocolate coating your fingers.
Reese's Bites officially hit the market in the early 2000s — however, many parents started to complain that the tiny, ball-shaped candies were a choking hazard to young children, and eventually Hershey's halted production altogether.
@Jcaa1996 We hear you, Julian, and we're glad you were a fan. We'll certainly count your vote for their return!
20. Clearly Canadian
Clearly Canadian / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: The 90s were prettyyyy much synonymous with Clearly Canadian, everyone's favorite sweet 'n' fruity sparkling water (that was always a very welcome sight in a lunchbox). After being discontinued in the early 2000s, the brand announced that it would be making a long-awaited return...but things got really weird from there.
The venture capitalist who acquired the brand launched a massive crowdfunding campaign which relied on Clearly Canadian fans to pre-order cases of the beverage...but after two years of waiting for their cases to arrive, many folks were still waiting on their deliveries.
It seems like any delivery snafus have been successfully remedied at the time of writing this post, but woof: "We are still not much of a 'company'" is perhaps one of the oddest customer service replies I've ever seen?
21. Carnation Breakfast Bars
WHAT HAPPENED: Elder millennials, this one's for you. Released in the mid-70's and reaching *peak* popularity in the 80s, Carnation's breakfast bars were a much-loved staple for kids (and adults) in search of an easy, grab-and-go breakfast. I mean, people really loved these things — one fan describes them as having a "soft, nutty crunch" reminiscent of an oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie. As far as Carnation products go, the drinks may have been sub-par...but the bars? The bars were everything.
Ever since the early 90s (when Carnation replaced them with the less-loved Breakfast Essentials Bar), people have been trying to get them back. Luckily, the internet is absolutely filled with copycat recipes that will at least bring back some of the nostalgia, even if they can't fill the void left when these bars were discontinued.
22. Fruit String Thing
General Mills / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: They were endlessly fun, they got stuck in every lil' nook and cranny of your teeth, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Betty Crocker really outdid herself with these, particularly when it came down to how darn exciting it was to unwrap one of these and slurp it up.
Fruit String Thing was pulled off of shelves in the early 2000s, with many citing that it was likely due to the "new wave" of healthy snacks being marketed to children. Plus, Betty Crocker had (and continues to sell) two other massively popular fruit snacks in the market — Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit Gushers — so competition was pretty intense.
View this video on YouTubeGeneral Mills / Via youtube.com
23. Pillsbury Waffle Sticks
View this video on YouTubeGeneral Mills / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: TBH, I really admire this tenacity of the man in this commercial to DUNK 👏 THOSE 👏 STICKS 👏 against all odds. Hot take — when compared to Toaster Strudel, these reigned supreme in every way. For me, it was that warm cup of syrup-adjacent goodness that sealed the deal.
While an official reason for their quiet discontinuation in the early 2000s has never been confirmed, fans speculate that it had something to do with the closure of a Pillsbury Factory in Allentown, PA. General Mills acquired Pillsbury (and all their products) in 2001, and there were massive changes in the following years...including, apparently, the removal of our favorite waffle sticks.
24. Heinz EZ Squirt
Heinz / Via youtube.com
WHAT HAPPENED: You know it, you love it...or you really lost your appetite over it. No matter where you fall on this stuff, Heinz's truly wild line of colorful ketchups took the world by storm in the early 2000s. Originally released in Blastin' Green as a promo for the first Shrek film, kids went absolutely nuts for this stuff. As a result of the launch, Heinz was even able to "capture an all-time high of 60% of the US ketchup market," but it wasn't long before kids simply lost interest, sales dwindled, and they pulled the line altogether in 2006.
Interestingly, the way they manufactured this stuff was...probably not what you expected. In order to create their vibrant-hued ketchups, Heinz literally stripped the red color from regular ketchup then dyed it accordingly. They then had to tweak the product slightly to taste like the regular stuff, which people believe to be the reason for "fortifying" it with Vitamin C.
Heinz / Via youtube.com
TBH, I'd be fascinated to see colorless ketchup (like WHAT?!), so Heinz, if you're listening, I have a million dollar idea for you.