Even in 2020, the 1990s still aren’t over. Dunkaroos were created way back in 1990, and they starred sweet cookies that we would dunk in the frosting. Dunkaroos were discontinued back in 2012 as they weren’t selling enough, but they lived on in Canada until 2018.
Today, they are sold on Amazon by independent sellers who have managed to hoard the last available stock for those who were craving a taste of childhood nostalgia.
Heinz EZ Squirt Purple Ketchup
Heinz crossed the line when it went purple and learned that soon after, it was introduced and then discontinued its line of purple ketchup. Heinz EZ Purple Ketchup tasted just like the usual stuff, but only in a purple color – which is rather gross.
The brightly-colored ketchup ended up not selling, as parents wouldn’t buy it for their kids.
Elvis’ Peanut Butter & Banana Creme Reese’s
Peanut butter and banana crème Reese’s cups were introduced as a remembrance to the late, great Elvis Presley. Apparently, Elvis was fond of peanut butter and banana sandwiches, so Hershey decided to pay their respects to him in 2007 by releasing their own rendition of their candy, with Elvis’s picture on the wrapper.
The candy was discontinued in 2007 after the promo event ended.
Strawberry Cream Twinkies
Who doesn’t love Twinkies? You’ve no doubt gorged on one or two as a kid, and perhaps a whole box as an adult, because hey, you’re a grown-up, you do what you want. Twinkies went bankrupt in 2012, and it discontinued the production of the famous snack.
Twinkies were off the market for ten months before they became available again on July 15, 2013. But they didn’t sell as well and therefore got the ax.
The Altoids we know today just don’t compare to the ones of yesteryear. Excuse our nostalgia, but the chalky, curiously strong, minty tablets that you associate with the name Altoids, just aren’t as good as their tangy, discontinued cousins. But what happened to Altoids Sours, and why were they discontinued in the first place?
The sad, but true account of the discontinued Altoids Sours: They just weren’t successful enough to justify continued production.
Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts
Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts were only expected to be a limited-edition flavor. They were bought by the same sweet-and-savory cravers who like dipping French fries into their milkshakes. Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts hit the shelves in 2016. These limited-edition treats lasted only for a little while before being discontinued. Overall, the reaction to these sweet and savory tarts was positive.
Being one of those products that contain a lot of high fructose corn syrup, these pop-tarts became another ‘no-no’ on every nutritionists’ checklist.
Big Stuf Oreos
Go big or go home, right? Big Stuf Oreos were first introduced in the late eighties, making them one of the oldest snacks on our list. Big Stuf Oreos were huge, at 300-calories per Oreo, these were sold individually until they were discontinued in 1991. This Oreo was ten times the size of a normal-sized Oreo.
Oreo learned that bigger wasn’t better when it came to these cookies, and soon enough, they were cut for low sales.
Coca Cola BlaK was a soft-drink that was coffee-flavored, yikes! Coca Cola tried it out in 2006, but at $1.99 a bottle, it proved to be too pricey for its target consumer, and Coca Cola discontinued BlaK seventeen months after launching it into the market.
The coffee-flavored soft drink may have had fewer calories than a Coke, but it was also just too unusual to get off the ground. In 2019, Coke announced it was preparing to create another Coke-coffee hybrid drink, along with perhaps a reboot of BlaK for U.S. audiences.
Planters released Cheez Balls in the nineties, which were bright, almost fluorescent-orange balls of cheese-flavored crunch that were incredibly popular. For twelve years, Cheez Balls were off the shelves after being discontinued in 2006, so in 2018, Planters agreed to a limited-edition release. Fans of the snack had been petitioning the company repeatedly until it agreed to sell their favorite snack again in 2018.
Cheez Balls were brought back for a summer, hitting shelves on July 1, 2018. They are now still available on Amazon and at certain Walmart stores. It’s still unclear if they will make another comeback.
Pepsi Blue came from PepsiCo, and this cotton candy with a berry aftertaste drink is probably the most closely related to Crystal Pepsi. The bright-blue-dyed drink was introduced back in 2002 and only stayed on the shelves for two years due to declining sales. Now, if you want some, you can only get it from the Philippines or Indonesia.
The drink made a brief comeback in the U.K. during the summer of 2019. The main reason it was discontinued there once again was that there was controversy around Pepsi’s use of Blue 1, a toxic food dye that has been banned in multiple countries.
New York Seltzer
New York Seltzer was a carbonated soft drink, and the clear soda had natural flavors, no artificial colors, and no preservatives. The soda was discontinued in 1994, but it cost about $0.77 for one small bottle. The 12-pack of ten-ounce New York Seltzer bottles are still available in their Vanilla Cream flavor.
The Los Angeles soda company, which has been around for so long that it is accepted as retro, is striving to make a comeback, selling its products at World Market.
Giggles Cookies were made by sandwiching creamy fudge in-between two smiling-faced shortbread cookies. They were available in the 80s, only before being discontinued in the 90s. Their design was actually similar to the emojis we are all familiar with today.
Whether they will be rereleased is unknown, which only adds to the mystery surrounding these long-forgotten snacks.
Made by Coca Cola, Fruitopia was introduced in 1994 and discontinued eleven years later in 2003. The drink was targeted at the young adult crowd. The drink itself was somewhat of a competitor for another drink, the more-popular Snapple. Some flavors were remade under the Minute Maid moniker after discontinuation. Most were abandoned in favor of Minute Maid, which ended up being the reason the label vanished.
The flavored tea drink market became more of Snapple’s field of expertise, and the remaining Fruitopia labels are only available at McDonald’s.
Carnation Breakfast Bars
Nestle’s Carnation Breakfast Bars were a favorite from the eighties. They were terribly unhealthy, sugar-wise, though they were easy to eat on the go, which made them so famous. Because of their demand, Carnation Breakfast Bars have been the inspiration behind a petition on Change.org. The petition calls for a refrain from all Nestle products until they start making Carnation Breakfast Bars again.
The petition wasn’t successful enough to bring them back, though, since Nestle products are so widely consumed. It remains debatable whether they could make a comeback in today’s climate, with their sugary, carb-heavy snack.
Black Pepper Jack Doritos
Another snack that has inspired a petition for a revival is Black Pepper Jack Doritos. This flavor of Dorito has a real kick as these Doritos blend black pepper and pepper jack cheese for a new flavor. They had no trans fats or cholesterol. This flavor of Doritos was discontinued in 2008, just ten years after its release in 1998.
The reason Black Pepper Jack Doritos were taken off the market was because of a lack of people purchasing this specific flavor.
These M&M’s were larger than others of their kind, and they had a crispy wafer in the middle and coated with milk chocolate. Crispy M&M’s hit the shelves in 1999, and six years later, they were discontinued in the U.S., though they did make a brief comeback in 2015. After high demand from fans, Crispy M&M’s were reinstated back in 2015.
After a successful petition to get them back, there are now crunchy M&M’s in three flavors: raspberry, espresso, and birthday cake.
The Wonder Ball is one of those toys that had its heyday in the nineties; looking back; it was probably quite dangerous—the Wonder Ball before being withdrawn from the market due to choking hazards. The chocolate candy exterior always kept tiny toys inside the hollow part of its egg-shape.
Presumably, some kids choked on the trinkets, and that was enough to scare the manufacturers into recalling them off the shelves before reintroducing them with candy instead of the little toys. Frankford Candy & Chocolate eventually bought the brand in 2004.
Fruit-Shaped Trix Cereal
Fruit-shaped Trix Cereal had its peak in the nineties when it was first introduced in 1991. Even though Trix Cereal may still be around, the fruit-shapes of Trix cereal were discontinued. General Mills published that they would do a reboot of some of the classic fruity shapes in 2018 after receiving over 20,000 requests concerning the classic Trix Cereal shapes.
Four flavors made a comeback: Raspberry Red, Wildberry Blue, Orangey Orange, and Lemony Lemon. Who were the primary consumers? Millennials who had grown up on the cereal and couldn’t let it go, even in their twenties.
Swoops chips were only made for a brief time, beginning in 2003 and ending in August of 2006. Swoops were Pringles-shaped chocolate candies by Hershey. They were made in multiple flavors, including milk chocolate, Reese’s peanut butter, Almond Joy, and white chocolate.
Swoops were discontinued due to low brand awareness; people just didn’t know about them and how tasty they could be and therefore weren’t buying them.
Jell-O Pudding Pops
Jell-O Pudding Pops were made by Jell-O throughout the nineties. Though they initially had strong sales, they were not profitable enough to last. The treats were first sold in the seventies, and they made $100 million in their first year. The Pudding Pops did make a comeback under Popsicle’s brand name, but they were never marketed under the Jell-O name again.
These freezer treats didn’t last under the Popsicle brand name either, as Popsicle used different texturing and flavoring that fans eventually rejected. The Pudding Pops were officially discontinued under all brand names in 2011.
French Toast Crunch
Equally enjoyable when eaten in a bowl of milk or as a snack, it is, in a word, delicious. French Toast Crunch (not to be confused with Cinnamon Toast Crunch) is another product that millennials hankered for being discontinued in the U.S. in 2006, but luckily they made a comeback for a short time in 2014.
French Toast Crunch, when it was rebooted, kept its famous French toast shape, looking like tiny pieces of toast as opposed to plain squares. They are still available at only a few select stores in America.
Some people think the McRib is an abomination, while others can’t get enough of the barbecue pork sandwich. The McRib is a mini-rack of ribs stacked in between two buns. It was first offered at McDonald’s in 1981 after test marketing showed that it would do well. It only lasted until 1985, when it was pulled for four years and then reintroduced.
Since then, it has been available only for a short period of time each year to appease the insistent McRib fans.
Butterfingers were available in the small, spherical form in 1992. Called B.B.’s, this snack food was advertised aggressively, even making an appearance on The Simpsons, who promoted it with much success. Declining sales and a conscious mindset to shift to healthier products led Nestle to sell Butterfingers to Italian candy-making giant Ferrero in 2018.
B.B.’s were yet another subject of a petition to bring them back onto the market. Butterfinger has yet to accept the peoples’ dissatisfaction with their replacement, the Butterfinger Mini Bites.
Anyone who grew up during the early 90s will remember Burger King’s Cini-Minis. This dessert item was launched in 1998, with a pack of four costing 99 cents and came with a little pot for the icing. It’s understandable that fans were distraught when they were discontinued in the 2000s, and they even created an online petition which had 2,730 supporters demanding their return.
And they did briefly in the U.S. in 2018 but are sadly lost again.
Pink Panther Flakes
Saturday morning cartoons, along with a sugary bowl of cereal, just go together. This is where Pink Panther Flakes come in. The best thing about Pink Panther’s cereal is that it made the milk turn pink, and sweet as well. The commercial for the sugar-covered pink flakes fused with the Pink Panther theme song.
The cereal chimed: “Pink Panther flakes are… pink.” It’s not the most original sound, but it is true! Some of the boxes even came with their own little spy kits, how quaint.
McDonald’s foods sure make a few appearances on our list. Ancient relics reveal that McDonald’sused to serve Onion Nuggets in the 1970s. These nuggets look like a golden fried onion ring, but, as we could have guessed, they came in the shape of a chicken nugget. Onion nuggets were first introduced in the 1970s; they were clumps of diced onions that were breaded and fried.
Even though these actually sound pretty tasty, they didn’t make the cut, and their successor — the Chicken McNugget — went national in 1983.
Space Dust Candy
Playing off the success of Pop Rocks, “Space Dust” candy was released in 1976, and it was basically a powdery version, ground-up version of the candy. But, there was one problem: many parents were concerned about the powdery nature of “Space Dust,” and their name was too similar to other illicit substances.
The candy was renamed as Cosmic Candy, and, in an open letter to parents, the candy’s inventor assured parents the candy is safe. Despite the new name, the candy eventually fizzled out.
Cröonchy Stars only lasted one year on the market before falling off the shelves and into oblivion. While the box cover was amusing, with The Muppet Show’s Swedish Chef proudly holding his bowl of Cröonchy Stars, the cereal itself seemed to just have fallen short among other cinnamon-flavored cereals.
Cröonchy Stars’ biggest competitor was likely Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which had already been snatching the hearts — or tastebuds of many cereal lovers.
Smurf Berry Crunch and Smurf Magic Berries
A breakfast classic, Post’s Smurf Berry Crunch was a fruity red and blue cereal that came out in 1983. With the Smurfs being painfully cute, blue creatures, they had their own animated T.V. series from 1981 to 1989 and first appeared in a Belgian comic strip in 1958.
As they rose in popularity, they eventually got their own fruit-flavored cereal, with colored bright red and purple, and the box featured Papa Smurf about to eat a spoonful. Smurf Magic Berries made their appearance with mini marshmallows a few years later.
When Baby Shark was about to attack the candy aisle, we knew what to doo doo doo doo. You can technically still buy Shark Bite gummies from Betty Crocker. But kids nowadays will never know the thrill of finding a rare great white shark in the package of sweet fruit punch treats.
The limited-edition cereal was described as “berry fin-tastic with delicious berry flavor, soft marshmallows, and a crispy crunch with every bite.
Keebler Magic Middles
This shortbread cookie filled with fudge called Keebler Magic Middles was the most-craved-for cookies in cafeterias across America in the 1980s and ’90s. They had peanut butter flavor available, too. They quietly discontinued these – both the original and peanut butter flavors so they could use the factory for another line.
There are no new plans to manufacture them again, but one may never know. The Magic Middles cookies were best enjoyed when being dunked in milk, and they have a Facebook group dedicated to bringing them back.
The caffeine-free, transparent soda U.S. had a short run in the early 1990s. Crystal Pepsi was initially launched by Pepsi as a response to the growing concern for purity among its customers. However, this version of Pepsi failed miserably due to the following reasons: Taste – Even though it claimed to be like Pepsi, it didn’t taste as sweet.
It was unique, but it didn’t taste quite like Pepsi. Because it is something that instills some severe nostalgia, Crystal Pepsi has made some limited-time comebacks in the past few years.
Life Savers Holes
These bite-sized Life Savers pieces hit the candy aisle in 1990. The candy’s name has to do with its shape that resembles that of a traditional ring-style life preserver that we know as a “lifesaver.” They came in a variety of flavors like minty Peppermint and island fruits, yet they were still markedly different from Tic-Tacs.
In 1991 they did face a recall after there were reports of kids and teens biting off the flip-top plastic cap.
Fruit String Thing
Remember these zany rope-like Fruit String Things? They were arranged like a maze, and unraveling them was a part of the fun. Fruit String Things are probably one of the healthier snacks on our list. As we know by now, fruit snacks come in all different shapes and sizes.
These fruity treats are sweetened with sugars, and they get their tough, chewy, bendy consistency from gelatin. These fruit leathers were actual bite-sized snacks that came as fruit roll-ups and fruit by the foot.
Though bone-in chicken isn’t usually what McDonald’s is known for (McNuggets is what most head to the chain for), in 1990, it launched Mighty Wings. The crispy chicken wings were sold up until 2003, and we still miss them.
Mighty Wings failed to stay on the menu principally because they were too spicy and too pricey. They returned briefly in the U.S. in 2013 with a newer breading, but customers didn’t get on board.
Throughout their lifetime, Whistle Pops have been produced by several companies over the years dating back to the mid-1970s. These lollipops not only gave kids a sugar buzz but were also designed with a stick that could make a whistling noise, so what could go wrong? Whistle Pops, these were popular candies in the ’80s and ’90s.
While these whistling lollipops are no longer around, Chupa Chups makes similar “Melody Pops.”
There are very few food experiences that come close to that of the sugar blast in your mouth that we know as Pop Rocks. When you eat Pop Rocks, the moisture and heat in your mouth will melt the candy, and the subsequent popping sounds are a result of the high-pressure CO2 bubbles being released into atmospheric pressure, now isn’t that cool! Though patented in 1961, Pop Rocks only hit the shelves in 1975, and they immediately became part of the spirit of that time.
Pop Rocks may have been discontinued in the ’80s, but they’ve made a comeback and are thankfully available today.
These Pizza Spins promised “the real flavor of pizza,” and they delivered! These crunchy, round Pizza snacks were only around for seven years from 1968 to 1975, but they managed to garner a devoted fan base. Of course, we could pretend we were steering wheels or wagon wheels, but it was weird that the pizza on the package didn’t seem to be covered with any cheese.
There’s even a group on Facebook devoted to bringing them back and discussing how other pizza-flavored snacks compare to the original.
Burger King Mac n’ Cheetos
We have to hand it to Burger King: On paper, deep-fried wads of macaroni and cheese doused in Cheeto dust probably sounded like a great idea. But there have been few times in limited-time offering fast food history when the gulf between “idea” and “finished product” has been so broad, and also disappointing.
On May 18, 2017, Burger King returned the Mac n’ Cheetos to its menu for a limited time.
The logic certainly seemed sound enough: Chicken McNuggets are nearly universally beloved, and the Filet o’ Fish is arguably one of the finest sandwiches that McDonald’s offers. So what could go wrong, using the magic McNugget machine to miniaturize Fish into poppable bites of seawater-scented deliciousness? McDonald introduced Fish McBites in three sizes in 2013, each conveniently packaged to fit into your car’s cup holder, so that consumers could finally live their unrealized dreams of “eating fish” and “driving cars” at the same time.
Most reviews at the time were positive, but Fish McBites just weren’t meant to be. McDonald’s pulled the item from menus shortly after their debut, citing poor sales and a lack of consumer interest.
It’s hard for us to imagine this in today’s world, but there was a time when these chalky sugar sticks that look like cigarettes were sold to children. For those who grew up in the ’70s, ’80s, and even the ’90s will likely remember these strange sugary snacks. The United States considered banning candy cigarettes, both in 1970 and 1991, but neither passed.
The chalky, hard candy cigs and the paper-wrapped bubble gum smokes that puff out that white powder stuff, are shockingly still made and sold despite having fallen out of favor.
Our sweet list continues with Pixy Stix, it came as n alternative to regular candy and was basically just mainly sugar. The allure of Pixy Stix was in its pure simplicity: all you had to do was pour the sweet and sour powder straight into your mouth.
They definitely were not the healthiest of snacks; Pixy Stix doesn’t contain protein, fat, vitamins, or minerals — only sugar carbohydrate and one small straw contain approximately 2.14 grams of sugar.
So why were these sweet candies called Nerds? Just like the colorful mascots that represent all varieties of Nerds candies, they were meant to signify weird characters. While Nerds are still available today, they were a child of the ’80s. These colorful small pebbles are essentially made of crystallized sugar, that is then coated with additional layers of sugar.
It’s difficult to say what was so appealing about pouring these little beads of sugar from the box into our mouths, but something about it is satisfying.
The ’90s were indeed a gummy golden era. Perhaps the strangest—but the most memorable—were these Fruit Gushers, a gummy jewel full of concentrated, fruity gooeyness that oozes out when you bite down. They are made from real fruit juice but also have sugar and lots of corn syrup.
Despite persistence rumors of their discontinuation, if you want to revisit your youth, you can still grab a box.
Philadelphia Strawberry Cheesecake Snack Bars
Nostalgia is usually triggered by a reminder of a happier time, and these snack bars definitely make us feel nostalgic. Basically, a single wrapped strawberry cheesecake in bar-form, Philadelphia Strawberry Cheesecake Snack Bars were beloved. Philadelphia discontinued their Cheesecake Snack Bars some time ago.
There’s even an online petition to bring them back, which is filled with comments from fans who remember not only how they taste, but how they made them feel.
Triple Power Push Pops
As novelty candies go, Triple Power Push Pops was one of the most memorable. They were invented in 1986, and they offered you a hit of sugary goodness in a flash, wherever you were. Most teens in the ’80s and ’90s had a Triple Power Push Pop stashed in their backpack, and possibly half-eaten. Thanks to its cylindrical container and slidable lollipop, the treat was perfect for storage.
The product has been missing from stores since the early 2000s, but you can still find the sweet treat on Amazon.