There’s nothing like a slice of nostalgia to take us back to our childhoods. And there’s usually plenty of that to be found where food is involved. After all, seeing the candy, cake and chips of our youth often provides some wonderful throwbacks to what may have been simpler times. If you’re looking to reminisce, then, take a trip down memory lane with these retro foods that are sadly long gone from your local grocery store.
40. Whistle Pops
Who didn’t love a blow on a Whistle Pop? The lollipop-instrument hybrid was first introduced way back in 1975 and remained popular right through to the ’90s. Sadly, though, it has since fallen into obscurity – no doubt to the delight of noise-weary parents everywhere.
39. Pepsi Blue
Pepsi Blue was launched in 2002 as a berry flavored “cola fusion” and was aimed squarely at the teenage market. In order to promote the product, the honchos at PepsiCo enlisted cultural icons of the time – including Britney Spears, Papa Roach and Sev. Unfortunately, Pepsi Blue failed to make a splash and it was discontinued in 2004.
Remember Swoops? Shaped like another snacking stalwart – the humble Pringle – these snacks were curved chocolate slices that were perfect for scooping up other delicious substances. Launched by The Hershey Company in 2006, popular editions included Almond Joy and Reese’s. But their success was short-lived, and the treat disappeared within a matter of years.
37. Froot Loops Cereal Straws
Froot Loops Cereal Straws were the stuff of breakfast dreams for a brief period between 2007 and 2009, when they went to the big sugary scrap heap in the sky. Yet while they were only around for a short time, the edible straws certainly made an impression. There’s even a Change.org petition called “Bring back Froot Loops Cereal Straws,” which has racked up almost 73,000 signatures at the time of writing.
36. Triple Power Push Pops
The Triple Power Push Pop offered a three-in-one flavor sensation. But it also worked on a practical level, too. That’s because the super-sized lollipop came in a plastic casing – meaning it could be transported at the bottom of ’90s kids’ school backpacks between licking sessions. Even with such technology, the candy struggled to make it in the new millennium – dying out some time in the 2000s.
35. Reese’s Bites
These peanut butter balls coated in chocolate were a cinema snack classic until they were withdrawn from sale in 2008. As the name suggests, Reese’s Bites were small – making it easy to get through an entire bag in one sitting. Sounds ideal, right? Well, the problem was that one pack contained twice the amount of calories as two Reese’s Cups.
For over 20 years Betty Crocker’s Dunkaroos were a firm favorite among hungry kids. In case you don’t remember, they took the form of Graham cookies paired with icing for dunking. The treats came in a number of flavor combinations until they were eventually taken off the shelves in 2012.
33. Mr. T cereal
It would probably be fair to say that Mr. T was a cultural icon of the 1980s. But the cereal made in his honor by Quaker Oats Company failed to get fans excited. Mr. T cereal was on sale for just one year before the sweet corn and oats breakfast food was assigned to the snack history books forever in 1984.
32. Girl Scout Lemon Coolers
These lemon-flavored sugar-coated cookies hit the market in the early 2000s. For some reason though, the candies disappeared from supermarket shelves for good in 2006. Girl Scout Lemon Coolers were marked as a low-fat cookie, but they still packed a tasty punch thanks to their tart citrus flavor. And don’t fret if you loved their taste back in the day. The internet is awash with replica cooler recipes if you want to recreate that refreshing taste.
31. Lime-flavored Skittles
Prepare for your mind to be blown, because while green Skittles are certainly still a thing, they’ve subtly changed over the decades. While the hue used to be lime flavor until 2013, they now taste distinctly of apple. The internet appears to be split over what flavor is best. But, for many, the original lime variety will always hold a special place in their hearts.
If you were a kid during the 1980s and ’90s you will surely remember the lunchbox staple that was the Squeezit. This range of wackily named juices – Grumpy Grape, anyone? – came in supple brightly colored plastic bottles, which required drinkers to squeeze its contents into their mouths. Sadly, they vanished around 2001 and have never been seen again.
29. Butterfinger BB’s
Butterfinger BB’s were a spin-off from the classic Nestlé candy bar and came in perfectly bite-sized balls. They were around for a solid 14 years from 1992 until 2006 when they were discontinued. Nestlé released then Butterfinger Bites three years later. But BB diehards tend to agree that they don’t come near to the retro alternative.
Chocodiles were launched in the 1980s as the chocolate covered cousin of the much-loved Twinkie. The product was then inexplicably cut in 1999. Yet it would seem that all was not lost. That’s because after 15 years in the wilderness, the snack made a return in 2014 when Hostess Brands relaunched it in fun-sized form.
27. Fruit-shaped Trix cereal
Trix cereal has been loved by families since it hit the market in 1955. Back then, it came in simple ball shapes, but in 1991 it was given a revamp with the launch of a fruit-shaped variety. For some reason though, the cereal later returned to its original sphere form in 2006 – no doubt to the eternal disappointment of Millennials up and down the land.
26. Giggles Cookies
Giggles Cookies launched in the ’80s, and the products were one of the original foods with a face. Remembered for their smiling expressions – which provided a glimpse of the tasty filling within – these sandwiched shortbread cookies contained either vanilla cream or fudge. Tasty though they may have been, the snack didn’t last the distance and was discontinued after a decade.
25. Cinnamon Tic Tacs
Tic Tacs were first manufactured in 1968 under the rather uninspiring name “Refreshing Mints.” And that’s not the only thing which has changed over the years. The mints have come in a variety of flavors including a much-loved cinnamon “winter warmer” edition, which was sadly withdrawn in 2009.
24. Creme Savers
Creme Savers were a range of hard candies that were launched by the Life Savers brand in 1988. They came in a variety of flavors, but it seems that the strawberry edition was a firm favorite. In recent years, though, the candies have seemingly disappeared from shelves – leaving some of you without your favorite, creamy treat.
23. Altoids Sours
Altoids Sours had a flavor sensation so unique that they had the ability to strip the inside of your mouth while managing to somehow stay completely morish. The memorable tins of deliciousness came in five flavors: apple, lime, mango, raspberry and tangerine. And even though they were discontinued in 2010, some of you remain passionate about the treats. Incredibly, some unopened tins sell for up to $100 on eBay.
Put simply, Kudos was a chocolate-drenched granola bar that somehow made it acceptable to enjoy candy at breakfast time. The snacks were marketed as healthy but came in confusingly indulgent flavors including peanut butter, chocolate chip and nutty fudge. Suddenly though, Kudos disappeared and the brand’s manufacturer Mars, Incorporated confirmed that the product had been discontinued in 2017.
21. Oatmeal Swirlers
Oatmeal Swirlers finally made breakfast time fun by combining oatmeal with sweet jelly, which could be stirred together to make a pattern. Swirlers came in a variety of flavors including apple-cinnamon, cherry and strawberry. The cereal was discontinued in the 1990s, but you can recreate the good times with a dollop of jelly on your oatmeal.
20. Triple Treat Ice Cream
Ice cream coated in chocolate isn’t really anything special these days. But add a layer of marshmallow to those two elements, and it all becomes a lot more exciting. And ’70s-era dessert Triple Treat delivered on its name through its enticing caramel and strawberry flavors.
19. Hershey’s Bar None
In 1987 The Hershey Company launched its latest candy: the Bar None. This was a medley of wafer, peanuts and chocolate that satiated many a sweet tooth. Then, in 1993 the confectionery giants tinkered with a winning recipe. Though after caramel was included in the mix – and the treat was split into two – the Bar None ultimately went the way of the dodo.
True to form, the commercials for Marathon emphasized the need to take things slow. After all, this solid bar of chocolate-coated caramel really wasn’t one you could sprint your way through eating – at least, if you valued your teeth. Alas, the Marathon only stuck around for eight years before disappearing entirely in 1981.
17. Jell-O Lemon Chiffon Pie Filling
If you had some ready-made pastry to hand, this instant pie filling was a real timesaver back in the late ’50s. All you had to do was mix in a little sugar and water to the product. Sounds tempting, right? Well, for the convenience, it was probably hard to beat. Unfortunately, though, Jell-O discontinued the lemon flavor in 1969.
16. Sugar Jets
Sometime around the start of the ’60s, Sugar Jets landed on the cereal aisle with backing from Betty Crocker and Rocky and Bullwinkle. And while the “sugar-frosted oat ‘n’ wheat puffs” went through several changes over the years – including swapping the ball shapes for jet aircraft miniatures and dropping “sugar” from the name – they ultimately vanished in the late ’70s.
15. Hires Root Beer
Once upon a time, you could grab a bottle of Hires at plenty of soda and beer outlets as well as some grocery stores and supermarkets. In 1989, though, the family brand was snapped up by Cadbury Schweppes, which had its own root beer line: A&W. And, somewhat inevitably, Hires was therefore gradually phased out altogether.
14. Quake and Quisp
In 1965 Quaker Oats launched what it called a “breakfast feud” between two brand-new cereals: Quake and Quisp. Even though the two products were ostensibly almost identical, the marketing campaign doubled down on the rivalry – with a pair of cartoon mascots each fronting their respective brand’s boxes. Then, seven years later the public voted Quisp the best, and Quake was subsequently withdrawn from sale.
13. Birds Eye Sodaburst Instant Ice Cream Soda
Picture 1950s America, and you’ll likely conjure up images of jukeboxes, diners and soda fountains. And Birds Eye briefly tried to capture the classic ice cream soda with its Sodaburst, which popped up on shelves in 1963. And although all you had to do was add water, the convenience apparently wasn’t worth the price.
12. Nabisco Ideal Cookie Bars
Who’d have thought that a simple chocolate-and-peanut bar would prove so popular? Well, it may have had something to do with the shredded coconut used in the recipe – at least, according to an ex-employee. For a time there was even a Facebook group with over 2,000 likes campaigning to bring Nabisco Ideal bars back.
11. Campbell’s Ramen Noodles
When Campbell’s entered the ramen noodle market in the ’90s, it offered a wider variety of flavors than its rivals. And the company’s ramen products also came with far less fat and salt packed in thanks to them being baked rather than fried. But those benefits came at a high price, and so by 2005 the noodle range had been discontinued.
10. Whip ’n Chill
A quick skim through Whip ’n Chill’s ingredients may offer a clue as to why the product is no longer around. After all, the mousse-like substance was made up of such unappetizing-seeming components as “sodium caseinate” and “propylene glycol monostearate.” Even the name sounds less like a food and more like an industrial process. But in the ’60s Whip ’n Chill was – briefly – all the rage.
9. Snackin’ Cake
For when regular cake mix was just too much hassle, there was Snackin’ Cake – in the 1970s, anyway. And the product took all the effort out of what was already a shortcut to dessert. After all, who wouldn’t want to whip up a quick gateau in a single pan using only a fork? There were even a bunch of different flavors to try – including banana walnut and chocolate chip.
8. Cherry Hump Candy Bar
Fruit and chocolate don’t always mix well, but the Cherry Hump appeared to be an exception to that rule. In fact, the chocolate-coated cherry bar was a huge hit for a big chunk of the 20th century until its manufacturer was bought out by the Brock Candy Company in 1971. Then, 16 years later the firm discontinued Cherry Humps for good.
7. Jell-O 1-2-3
If you are of a certain age, then chances are that you enjoyed the delights of Jell-O 1-2-3. After all, the treat stuck around for 27 years before being discontinued in 1996, so there was plenty of time in which to tuck in. If you’re unfamiliar with the product, though, the “1-2-3” referred to the three layers of the dessert: cream, mousse and Jell-O.
6. Doritos 3D’s
Imagine taking regular Doritos and pumping them full of air. Well, the result would be Doritos 3D’s, which landed in grocery stores in 1998 before vanishing five years later. Still, the chips apparently made so much of an impact that eBay sellers still import them from Mexico, where the savory snacks are sold to this day.
5. Keebler Magic Middle Cookies
Biting into a cookie only to find a heavenly chocolate center? Sign us up. Only you can’t, because Keebler Magic Middles are long gone. They were clearly loved, though, because there’s a Facebook page with nearly 3,000 likes petitioning to bring them back. There’s even a recipe out there so that you can replicate the cookies at home.
4. Life Savers Holes
If you’ve ever asked yourself where the center holes in Life Savers ended up, the answer was “to be sold separately.” Yes, these tubes of Life Savers leftovers – which made a distinctive clacking noise when shaken – were marketed as the holes missing from their parent candy. But even though the treat was apparently a hit with kids, it didn’t stick around for long.
3. Nestlé Wonder Balls
Nestlé’s Wonder Balls started life in the mid-’90s as Magic Balls – hollow chocolate spheres with tiny plastic toys inside. But worried parents who thought kids would swallow the toys soon prompted the candy to be removed from shelves. Nevertheless, the confection eventually returned in 2000 as Wonder Balls – this time with candy in the middle. Unfortunately, though, Wonder Balls would vanish in 2004 after rights to the product were purchased by the Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company.
2. OK Soda
“Everything is going to be OK,” assured the tagline for Coca-Cola’s OK Soda – an early ’90s product targeted at Generation X. Yet that blind optimism didn’t carry over to the sales of the fruit-flavored soft drink, which faltered in the initial testing phase. And as a result, OK never reached nationwide distribution in the U.S. and was shelved completely in 1995.
1. Mickey’s Parade Ice Pops
Back in the 1990s ice cream manufacturer Good Humor began selling ice pops with a twist. They were shaped like classic Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck. Not long after, though, the company lost the rights to the characters, and Mickey’s Parade was no more. But that said, the ice pops still have a cult following to this day.