It seems that certain foods and drinks have been around forever and always will be: Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Heinz Ketchup, McDonald’s burgers, Oscar Mayer sausages. But for every household staple, there is a veritable graveyard of those who, for a wide variety of reasons, simply didn’t make it and were relegated to the dustbin of history.
Even though millions of dollars are spent on research and development, production, testing and marketing, there is no guarantee that a new product will be successful. Sometimes it’s a brand extension that just doesn’t make sense. Sometimes the public is not sufficiently informed about what the product is. Sometimes it doesn’t work as expected or just doesn’t taste very good. Sometimes there is too much competition. Sometimes it just doesn’t sell and no one really knows why. Sometimes it comes at the end of a dying trend. (At this point, these are bacon-flavored foods the world really doesn’t need.)
If you were to travel back in time and take a trip to the grocery store or fast food chain, we bet you’ll find a lot more products that have been discontinued than you might think. Hundreds of products come and go every year, and companies spend a lot of money hoping to find one that really works. Some discontinued products, like Butterfinger BB’s and Jell-O Pudding Pops, continue to hold a special place in our hearts. But the vast majority of them quickly fade from memory. (These are 40 popular discontinued snack foods we really miss.)
To determine the biggest food and beverage flops in recent history, 24/7 Tempo reviewed listings of failing products on a variety of sites, including Reader’s Digest, The daily meal, Business Intern, Recipe, Delight, and Financial position.
Click here to see the biggest food and drink flops in recent history
Most of them never made a big splash, and some didn’t even make it out of the test markets. They were introduced, failed to sell, and were pulled from shelves, all with little fanfare. But some new products have been so hyped and failed so spectacularly that we can’t help but feel a little schadenfreude.