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. Indeed, 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.
20. Triple Treat Ice Cream
Ice cream coated in chocolate isn’t really anything special these days. Add a layer of marshmallow to those two elements, however, 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 Hershey’s launched its latest candy: the Bar None – a medley of wafer, peanuts and chocolate that satiated many a sweet tooth. Then, in 1993 the confectionery giants tinkered with a winning recipe. And 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 their product’s name, 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. Quisp and Quake
In 1965 Quaker Oats launched what it called a “breakfast feud” between two brand-new cereals: Quake and Quisp. And 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 in its “Sodaburst,” which popped up on shelves in 1963. All you had to do was add water; the convenience apparently wasn’t worth the price, however.
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. There’s even a Facebook group with nearly 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, allowing you 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 over 2,300 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. And while worried parents who thought kids would swallow the toys then prompted the candy to be removed from shelves, 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. Apparently, however, 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 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.