We are living in a golden age of discontinued junk food returning to stores due to popular demand.
There are many fast food options today, but in the 1960s there weren’t many on-the-go options besides hamburgers. Burger King tried to attract customers not interested in red meat with the Yumbo, a ham and cheese sandwich. The simple sandwich with a silly name debuted in 1968, was never that popular, and was discontinued in 1974. It’s now back on the menu at Burger King, complete with a ‘70s-themed nostalgic ad campaign. The company claims that it’s one of their most requested axed items.
In 1995, General Mills debuted a “spinoff” of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, one its most popular breakfast cereals ever: French Toast Crunch. The pieces at first were styled to look like tiny pieces of eggy bread, but that was phased out in favor of ridged squares with cinnamon and sugar, in other words almost identical to Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The inability to tell them apart is probably why sales slumped…and General Mills took the cereal off the market in 2006. Almost immediately, online campaigns sprung up to “Bring Back French Toast Crunch.” In 2014, General Mills obliged. It hit stores in early 2015 (although it never went away…in Canada).
Introduced in 1996, Surge was Coca-Cola’s answer to Pepsi’s popular Mountain Dew: a sugar and caffeine laden citrus-flavored soda. (In fact, the internal company code name for Surge was MDK, or “Mountain Dew Killer.”) As Mountain Dew was advertised with images of people performing extreme sports, Coca-Cola did the same thing with Surge, positioning it as an “edgy alternative.” How edgy was it? It reportedly tasted a lot like Mello Yello, a previous Coke attempt to steal away customers from Mountain Dew. Sales never took off, and by 2003 Surge was gone. Guess what? An online campaign prompted Coca-Cola to revive Surge. The company sells it exclusively online as a niche product so as not to compete with Mountain Dew, which has had an increase in sales in the past decade.
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