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32 Discontinued Foods We Sort of Miss

author image Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a journalist in Los Angeles and the publisher of the Humor Columnist website. His work has appeared in Salon, Cracked.com, DAME and other publications. Donatelli is a graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

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32 Discontinued Foods We Sort of Miss

They are foods of nostalgia, dreamt up in a marketing brainstorm, pushed onto an unsuspecting public, and loved briefly by the masses. Then, without warning, they were ripped from our adoring clutches. Sure, they were junk foods, and we’re clearly better off without them, but for some reason we can’t help but miss these discontinued foods. So let’s pour a little Ecto-Cooler out on the curb for these favorites you may have forgotten about, but we definitely haven’t…

1. Planters Cheez Balls
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Facebook pages and online petitions plead with Planter's to bring back the Cheez Balls. Discontinued in 2006, the crunchy yet airy, stick-to-your-fingers cheese balls are deeply missed. Planter's appears to have focused their product line on peanut and nut-based snacks.

Related: 18 Fat-Rich Foods That Are Good for You

2. Oatmeal Swirlers
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General Mills combined healthy breakfast (oatmeal) with fun (sweet jelly to make designs) and kids were hooked. "Swirls just wanna have fun" made every breakfast a creative breakfast ... or at the very least, it made the oatmeal a little sweeter. Available in flavors like Strawberry, Cherry and Apple-Cinnamon, Oatmeal Swirlers were the thing that children's breakfasts in the 90s were made of.

Related: 15 Reasons to Kick Sugar

3. Fruitopia
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This wonderful fruit-flavored drink had its share of fans, most of them sugar-fueled schoolchildren. Parent company Coca-Cola discontinued the drink in the U.S. in early 2003 for lack of sales, but thanks to the magic of the Internet, fans can still get their hands on the sweet stuff by ordering from Australia, Germany and Canada, where Fruitopia is as ubiquitous as hockey and maple syrup.

Related: 15 Reasons to Kick Sugar

4. Carnation Breakfast Bars
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Decades later, some fans of the Carnation Breakfast Bar are still emotionally distraught over its disappearance from the market. Flavors included Peanut Butter & Granola, Peanut Butter Crunch and Chocolate Crunch. Thousands have petitioned to bring the snack back, but Nestle hasn’t budged. And so the people have taken matters into their own hands. Many fans now make versions of the breakfast bars at home.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Your Own Energy Bars

5. Coke BlāK
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Launched in 2006. Discontinued in 2008. Coke BlāK was a coffee-flavored soft drink whose name sounds like something straight out of “Spinal Tap.” Fans really dug its cola-meets-coffee-meets-cream-soda goodness, but not its price. It was almost $2 for an eight-ounce can. Like so many great American products, it continued on for a bit in Canada before, ahem, fading to BlāK.

Related: Sign Up to Receive the FREE LIVESTRONG.COM Weekly Health and Fitness Newsletter

6. Jell-O 1-2-3
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6 JELL-O 1-2-3

From 1969 to the mid-1990s, Jell-O 1-2-3 made moms and dads look like wizards. Jell-O 1-2-3 came in a box with a single bag of powder. The powder was blended with water and the frothy concoction was poured into glasses. Somehow -- most likely magic -- the Jell-O separated into three distinct layers, with a layer of gelatin at the bottom, a mousse-style liquid in the middle and a creamy layer on top. It was like eating science.

Related: 11 Banned Food Ingredients Still Allowed in the U.S.

7. Hostess Choco-Bliss
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You will never find a better chocolate snack cake. Ever. So don’t waste your time trying. With two devil’s food cakes, plus a creamy chocolate filling and a layer of chocolate, the Hostess Choco-Bliss had it all. With all those layers, the thing was messier than the end of a Tarantino flick, which meant it could be enjoyed all day because you would often find crumbs on your hands and cheeks hours later. Bonus fun: Watch the Choco-Bliss commercial on YouTube if you want to see the most 1980s thing ever created.

Related: Hostess Choco-Bliss 1980s YouTube Video

8. WWE Ice Cream Bars
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Wrestling fans were ready to body-slam Good Humor when it discontinued its WWE Ice Cream Bars -- and for good reason. These bad boys were delicious. The WWE Ice Cream Bars had a cookie and chocolate coating and a drawing of a WWE star on the front. Popular wrestler CM Punk has lobbied for their return, which means they might not be down for the count.

Related: 15 Cold Summer Treats Under 200 Calories

9. Chicken McNuggets Shanghai
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Fortune cookie say: “Great nuggets are coming your way, but only for a limited time.” Like the fading satisfaction one receives after eating Chinese food, these nuggets were gone too soon. Chicken McNuggets Shanghai were nuggets served with three sauces -- sweet and sour, teriyaki and hot mustard -- chopsticks and a McFortune cookie. McDonald’s, you know what to do.

Related: What’s REALLY Inside Those McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets?

10. Hostess Chocodiles
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Chocodiles were basically chocolate-covered Twinkies, and they might be the greatest idea mankind has conjured to date. Unlike some of the items on this list, which can be had for a price on eBay, Chocodiles are very difficult to come by. If you’re wondering about the name, it comes from the snack’s old mascot, Chauncey Crocodile.

Related: What’s REALLY Inside That Cinnabon Classic Roll?

11. P.B. Crisps
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For those of you who endured sad and unfulfilling childhoods, P.B. Crisps were bite-size snacks with a cookie coating on the outside and creamy, peanut butter filling. Combined with a glass of cold milk, they were magic. The organizer of a petition to bring back P.B. Crisps correctly calls their discontinuation one of “the most hardest [sic] blows in candy loss ever.” He may be grammatically challenged, but he’s not wrong!

Related: 15 Reasons to Kick Sugar

12. Clearly Canadian
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These sparkling waters were beloved by all who knew them. If you miss them, there’s hope. Fans of Clearly Canadian have undertaken an ambitious plan to bring the drink back. Their plan involves preordering enough cases to incentivize the manufacturer to restart the production line. If this gambit works, some of the other foods on this list might find a second life after all.

Related: 15 Reasons to Kick Sugar

13. Crystal Pepsi
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At the height of the Cola Wars, Pepsi tried to one-up Coke by creating a clear cola, which it launched with a memorable Van Halen-backed marketing campaign. Coke fired back with something called Tab Clear, which was reportedly enjoyed by a total of seven people. Perhaps that’s because Coke’s new Tab was endorsed by the decidedly less-popular Van Halen cover band “For Unlawful Cola Knowledge.” In December 2015, Crystal Pepsi made a short-lived comeback when the company held a giveaway awarding 13,000 six-packs of the retired soda. There is still a solid fan following requesting a more permanent appearance back on the market -- #BringBackCrystalPEPSI.

Related: 11 Banned Food Ingredients Still Allowed in the U.S.

14. Nintendo Cereal
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The Nintendo Cereal System, as it was actually known, contained two types of cereal, one for Super Mario Brothers, another for the Legend of Zelda series. While Mario’s cereal was intended to taste fruity and Zelda’s was meant to be berry-esque, both were 8-bit flavors in a 64-bit cereal world. This naked marketing gimmick was sold by Ralston, a company that also made dog food and—if memory serves correctly—Super Mario Bros. 2.

Related: 14 Protein-Packed Breakfasts to Power You Through the Morning

15. Hi-C Ecto Cooler
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To call Ecto Cooler nectar of the gods would not be doing this Slimer-endorsed snack drink justice. Even though the Ghostbusters cartoon tie-in looked like something your dad kept in a plastic spray bottle in the garage and used to kill weeds and/or raccoons, its taste was glorious - so glorious that the juice was available on store shelves until the early 2000s. Not bad for a drink based on a movie that hit theaters in 1984. A remake of the Ghostbusters movie is slated for 2016 and there is rumor that Ecto Cooler will make some sort of reappearance -- a theory spurred by Coca-Cola renewing the trademark on the product.

Related: 21 Foods That Sounds Healthy, But Are Not

16. Jumpin’ Jack Cheese Doritos
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Introduced to the world in a commercial by a hip, loose-tied Jay Leno leaning against a brick wall, Jumpin’ Jack Cheese Doritos were a big hit with Doritos lovers and snack aficionados. Tragically, the Monterey jack-flavored chips were discontinued for reasons unknown. Perhaps even more tragically, Jay Leno still has a TV career.

Related: 12 Worst Foods for Appetite Control

17. GatorGum
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What happens when you lace chewing gum with Gatorade and possibly crack? You get GatorGum, an amazingly potent stick of lemon-lime flavor. (Orange was available, too, but only weird kids chewed it.) The gum was popular among Little Leaguers during the 1980s, where its initial taste sensation was so extreme that it left players completely dazed in the batter’s box. They were like, “Game? What game? I don’t care, coach. HAVE YOU TRIED THIS GUM?!?”

Related: Sign Up to Receive the FREE LIVESTRONG.COM Weekly Health and Fitness Newsletter

18. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtle Pies
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Though their green sugar crusts looked downright nasty, turtle pies were filled with vanilla-flavored lumps of wonderfulness that were loved the way the TMNT crew loved pizza and every 12-year-old boy loved April O’Neil. Perhaps the greatest lesson of these pies is how there’s no way any kid would have ever touched one of these things if they hadn’t borne the TMNT seal of approval. Hear that, liverwurst industry? You need to get you some endorsements from reptiles who know kung fu.

Related: 13 Worst Diet Wreckers

19. Mr. T Cereal
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If you loved the taste of Cap’n Crunch, but hated how the dude on the box was not a TV star with a Mohawk, gold chains and a memorable catch phrase, then Mr. T Cereal was the cereal for you. We pity the fool who doesn’t get his daily allowance of fortified B vitamins.

Related: 14 Protein-Packed Breakfasts to Power You Through the Morning

20. PB Max
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Here’s a true snack food tragedy. These fantastic nummers were made of creamy peanut butter and oats on top of a square whole grain cookie, all of which was encased in milk chocolate. That’s pretty much our definition of heaven in a candy wrapper. While the exact circumstances of PB Max’s decline are unknown, we hear the Mars family held a distaste for peanut butter, public adoration and record profits.

Related: 16 Snacks That Are OK to Eat at Night

21. Pudding Roll-Ups
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The 1980s were a heady time for big business, and the Big Pudding lobby, fronted by Bill Cosby, was not to be messed with. This sugary consortium manipulated pudding into every possible food form in order to pump it in the stomachs of America’s youth. Didn’t think pudding could come in a flat form that you could roll like a cigar? Never doubt science. Pudding roll-ups came in chocolate, butterscotch and vanilla, and were sold with a slogan that should’ve tipped all of us off to their evil scheme: “Pudding in disguise!”

Related: 15 Reasons to Kick Sugar

22. Cröonchy Stars
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There’s never been a better cereal box in history. Designed by Jim Henson, the container encasing Cröonchy Stars featured ridiculous and sometimes unsolvable games and puzzles. The cereal itself? Not so awesome. It tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch if Cinnamon Toast Crunch had been made in the Soviet Union and shipped to the U.S. on a slow, leaky barge.

Related: 21 Foods That Sounds Healthy But Are Not

23. Smurf Pasta
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It was mushy canned pasta, but it was mushy canned pasta that had Smurfs on the label, which meant every bratty 9-year-old had to have it. This Chef Boyardee mix came loaded with “Papa Smurf’s secret sauce” – just try and find that not creepy. The brand even gave Smurf Pasta an origin story, in which Gargamel steals all of the Smurfs’ food, and Papa Smurf conjures the already-canned food so that his Smurfs don’t have to resort to cannibalism to survive.

Related: Sign Up to Receive the FREE LIVESTRONG.COM Weekly Health and Fitness Newsletter

24. Bar None
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Bar None was distributed nationwide in 1987, at a time when Hershey’s had clearly been resting on it’s E.T.-Reese’s Pieces laurels and hadn’t put out a new product in years. The children of America were ready for change, in the form of a cocoa wafer, chocolate filing, peanuts, and a milk chocolate coating. The taste was all kinds of excellent, and kids loved it. Then Bar None disappeared mysteriously, reappeared just as mysteriously in 1993, and later disappeared again. Kids nationwide were left thinking that it was somehow their fault, which might explain the nationwide increase in candy consumption.

Related: 19 Healthy Convenience-Store Snacks

25. Frank ‘n Stuff Wieners
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Frank ‘n Stuff Wieners were hot dogs with chili or cheese stuffed inside. When microwaved, the filling got hot enough to shoot fire through a child’s mouth and out of his ears. Painful? Perhaps. Delicious? Absolutely. (Assuming you survived the blast.) The wieners weren’t sold for long, and today there is shockingly little evidence that they ever even existed. But they did, and those fortunate few who ate these highly processed lava rockets and lived to tell about them can still be seen wandering down the hot dog section of their supermarket, quietly hoping for their return.

Related: 16 Snacks That Are OK to Eat at Night

26. Cheesy Poofs


Last summer, in honor of South Park’s 15th season, Comedy Central and Frito-Lay sold Cheesy Poofs in Wal-Marts across the country. The Poofs were basically the same as any other cheese-flavored puff (a can’t-miss snack), so yes, they tasted good. But Matt Stone and Trey Parker were said to be involved with the development of real-life Cheesy Poofs, which means each one probably contained trace amounts of Christmas poo. (You know, because of Mr. Hanky?)

Related: Sign Up to Receive the FREE LIVESTRONG.COM Weekly Health and Fitness Newsletter

27. Burger King Burger Bundles
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In the 1980s Burger Bundles were Burger King’s answer to White Castle Sliders. They didn’t taste as good as White Castle’s little burgers, but they were more accessible so you didn't need to take a Harold-and-Kumar-like journey to find the tiny snacks. The Bundles also provided an affordable alternative from the traditional, more-expensive BK burger. But then the ‘King jacked up the prices. Our suggestion: How about going back to the original three-pack for 99 cents? In case you haven’t noticed, it’s The Grapes of Wrath out here, Burger King.

Related: 12 Worst Foods for Appetite Control

28. Dr. Pepper Gum
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Dr. Pepper Gum was available during the early 1980s, back when drinking Dr. Pepper was a rebellious middle finger to the entrenched power of the Pepsi-Coke establishment. This gum was memorable for having liquidy Dr. Pepper syrup inside the center. Unlike so many liquid-centered based gums, snacks and lozenges, Dr. Pepper Gum syrup ACTUALLY tasted like Dr. Pepper. It was like chewing the drink. Dr. Pepper Gum was beloved by all who knew it.

Related: 13 Worst Diet Wreckers

29. Squeezit
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In a world where tiny kid hands fumbled to pop can tabs and struggled to lance straws into tiny drink box holes, Squeezit’s design was heroically simple: You just tore off the top and squeezed. It’s impossible to overstate how popular these were. The flavors were awful—totally watered down, no sugary kick—but the packaging was perfect. You could add pellets that changed the color of your drink, and there was even a black Squeezit that made you guess what the flavor was. HINT: It was white wine cooler. (No, it wasn’t.)

Related: 11 Banned Food Ingredients Still Allowed in the U.S.

30. The McDLT
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In 1984 McDonald’s solved an age-old fast-food dilemma with the McDLT. In traditional wrappers, the heat from burger patties would wilt the vegetables’ crispness. But with the McDLT, the meat and bottom bun were packaged separately from the lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickles, sauces and top bun. The innovative design delivered on Mickey D’s promise to keep “the hot side hot and the cool side cool.” But it also was made of Styrofoam, which is why it was discontinued in the early 1990s.

Related: What’s REALLY Inside Those McDonald’s French Fries

31. Reggie Bar
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Reggie Jackson, a baseball slugger for the Yankees with an enormously high opinion of himself, thought the Baby Ruth candy bar was named after Babe Ruth. (It’s not.) When he complained that he didn’t have a candy bar of his own, Standard Brands launched “the Reggie,” a circular bar of peanuts dipped in caramel and covered in chocolate. The bar was a grand slam. But while Reggie Jackson went on to be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993, the Reggie Bar has not yet received the requisite number of votes from sportswriters. It’s a travesty.

Related: Sign Up to Receive the FREE LIVESTRONG.COM Weekly Health and Fitness Newsletter

32. C3PO’s Cereal
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Let’s put aside the fact that C3PO was the LEAST likeable character from the original Star Wars movies, and probably should not have been allowed to endorse anything other than a laser gun that specifically destroys C3PO. We should also try and forget that the cereal itself was beyond unoriginal, tasting eerily like Alpha-Bits and looking like two Cheerios fused together to form a number 8. C3PO’s mattered because they gave kids one more way to think about Star Wars at every turn – in this case, just before they were supposed to be getting ready for school. It was a crunchy new force at breakfast, indeed.

Related: 14 Protein-Packed Breakfasts to Power You Through the Morning

What Do YOU Think?
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Did you remember all of these discontinued foods? Were there any that you had forgotten? Which were your favorites? Did you have any faves that didn’t make it onto our list? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Related: 21 Foods That Sounds Healthy But Are Not

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