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What Food Products Have Changed?

Today's "Dilbert" teaches us that business makes "random [product] changes to create the illusion of added value". This morning I read that, then this afternoon I bought Nabisco Ginger Snaps, which I have been eating since childhood, and damned if Nabisco hasn't totally changed them---flavor, texture, appearance. What other products have been changed?

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  1. One product that immediately came to mind was the Twinkie. We were lucky as kids to get a real sponge cake as opposed to that rubbery stuff they have to eat nowadays. Has anybody tried a twinkie within the last ten years...? They're terrible!

    1. first thing i thought of was mcdonald's french fries. they used to cook them in lard and they were delicious. no more.

      all commercial baked goods now contain high fructose corn syrup, even products like bread that previously contained only modest amounts of sugar. canned soups, frozen pizzas, everything has it.

      soda is also made from hfcs and is much much sweeter.

      10 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        Actually, they were cooked in tallow (tallow is from beef, lard is from pork; very different flavor profiles) at one of the two stages. So far as I know, they still are in Canada.

        Interestingly, the switch from tallow *increased* the caloric load per unit by about 30%! The fries absorbed less fat under the older process.

        1. re: Karl S

          The problem with tallow is it makes the restaurant really unappealing to vegetarians (I mean, removing the veggie burger probably did that as well), but it does mean that there are now pretty much NO vegetarian options there.

          1. re: mrbunsrocks

            Well, they haven't used tallow for a while in the US. Which is why the fries now are only occasionally OK. McDonald's fries are no longer the gold standard of fast-food fries. I normally toss them unless I somehow luck into a very freshly and well made batch.

            1. re: mrbunsrocks

              I was a vegetarian for many years and I think that certain places are not meant to be veggie friendly. I never missed McDonalds. In any event, when I did try their veggie burger it was one of the worst versions I have ever had - which is why it was never a big seller and is gone. IMO McDonald's is the kind of place that is better off sticking with the old standbys. Most often than not there are other places nearby for a vegetarian to find something to eat.

              1. re: pescatarian

                The exception is McDos along a highway - often it is the only place one can eat.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  Nicely reasoned. I agree -- a place like McDonald's is not meant to be all things to all people. And a vegetarian would find pickings rather slim there.

              2. re: Karl S

                Yes, the french fries at McDonald's in Canada have beef fat and cottonseed oil.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  I just checked McDonalds.ca the fries themselves are made with "Potatoes, a blend of partially hydrogenated fats and oil (beef fat and cottonseed oil) may contain dextrose, sodium acid pryophosphate and cooked in 100% vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soyean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with THBQ, citric acid and dimethylpolysiloxane)" Yikes.


                  1. re: gourmethunter

                    This has changed in 3 years, no more beef fat

                    French Fries: Potatoes, canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, safflower oil, natural flavour (vegetable source),
                    dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain colour), citric acid (preservative), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming
                    agent) and cooked in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with THBQ, citric
                    acid and dimethypolysiloxane).

            2. The chocolate and fudge switch-a-roo that is happening to most name brand cookies. If my family needed a reason to not eat these, albeit convenient sweets, fake chocolate is definitely a good reason.

              1. HandiSnacks. My niece was eating one, and they're even worse these days! The cheese used to taste like American cheese, but now it just tastes awful.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kcchan

                  Oh good it isn't just me then!

                2. Maybe it's just me, but I think Girl Scout Cookies have gone from good to gross.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: mcel215

                    Absolutely, GS cookies are horrible.

                    1. re: mcel215

                      very ditto, double gross and so expensive, I think they're smaller, and the shortbread needs to be taken off the market

                      1. re: mcel215

                        I was participating a a cooking contest earlier in the week and it was a fund raiser for the GS. Requirements were to use GS cookies and chocolate. I made a chocolate hazelnut tart from Epicurious and substituted the GS Trefoils crushed into crumbs for the crust in place of graham cracker crumbs. The odor of the artificial vanilla in the Trefoils was really gross. Luckily the filling over rode the crust but from the moment of crushing them in the food porcessor to baking the crust it was almost unbearable.

                        1. re: Candy

                          As an Uncle who gets rubber-hosed into buying these "cookies" from a couple of nieces each and every year thank you all from me & my comfort-zone. :-)

                          1. re: Harp00n

                            buy from the nieces and then make your own at home. when the nieces are around, swap out the homemade ones. then everyones happy!

                        2. re: mcel215

                          I agree. Smaller cookies, higher prices. As a former Girl Scout, I'm disappointed that the quality has gone down. However, I still have to have my Samoas every year. My guilty pleasure.

                        3. We've been enjoying Snickers Bars all of our life. My husband often times stops for gas (oline) < [thought I should make that clear] and gets us both a bar. On one such occasion, I thought they'd changed. I wrote to Mars[m&m] and they assured me, no, they hadn't. Yes they have is our conculsion, they're not as good. Campbells Bean with Bacon soup, another of my favorites since I can remember. When they changed their can to read, new and improved, I wrote them saying, "Redo it like it used to be, because now it's new, but much worse." Remember when McDonalds secret sauce was really good? Remember when they changed it? Not so good. What happened to Jello pudding? Where are the old Van de Camps fish fillets? Gone and/or waaay smaller. Where are their date nut loaves also? And who's idea was it to take Hollywood candy bars off the market? They were my favorite. Thanks for letting me vent, I truly feel better.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: iL Divo

                            I was going to say the same thing about Snickers bars. They were my favorite candy bar for years and years. I recently bought one and couldn't understand why it tasted so bland. I decided that they are putting less peanuts in the top of the bar so the taste and crunchy texture is completely watered down. They're just not as good. Probably a good thing for my waistline.

                            1. re: southernitalian

                              Totally agree - Snickers are not the same.
                              If you want one they way they USED to be - to have to get 'em in the UK - the chocolate is thick and milky and the caramel actually tastes of caramel - and it's chock loaded with peanuts! (Apparently they used to be called "Marathon Bars" in the UK and have only semi-recently changed the name to Snickers)

                              1. re: NellyNel

                                I always wondered about that marketing meeting when someone said the name "Marathon" needs to go. "Snickers" is such pretty word.

                                1. re: Paulustrious

                                  It's more fun to say though, and has that hard consonant K sound that seems to be attractive in marketing (and jokes).

                          2. what happened to van de camps? i used to love their cookies, i think they were called dutch girl cookies.

                            1. Back in the 60y 's my Mother used to make lime merinque pie that everyone loved and then Jello discontinued it. Why I ask you?/?

                              1. Pepperidge Farm white bread. It's somehow sweeter with a sour aftertaste. It used to be great when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s and even just a few years ago. The last few times I've bought it, I've been disappointed. I thought it was just me, but two other people have said the same thing recently. It seems impossible to get a decent loaf of firm white bread at a grocery store anymore.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: dct

                                  Oh I was complaining over a month ago about the increased amount of sugar in commercially produced foods. You know it really is getting bad and people are not reading the lables and refusing to buy and it is ironic because there are parents who are really trying to keep control of their children's sugar intake and then buy PF bread and the like. I bought a can of Tomato Bisque last week out of nostalgia's sake. It was so sweet it was inedible. More sugar equals more sales. I am really reading lables anymore.

                                  1. re: Candy

                                    I thought I was the only person who has noticed that food is far too sweet. It seems that everything has some sort of sugar and usually HFCS in it.

                                    The flavors, quality and textures of food has dropped noticeably in the past 10 years, and I wonder when the mass backlash will begin. The organic /local food movement is a start, but I doubt if it is limited to Chowhounds who see that we have let our food stuffs become saturated with inferior ingredients, processes and chemical that do not belong.

                                    (Steps down from plastic milk crate and cowers in the corner for the backlash) Sorry :-(

                                    1. re: Kelli2006

                                      Kelli, let me borrow that milk crate to talk about the ubiquitous gums and other thickeners! shortcuts to product "texture" -- terrible for *pure* chow!
                                      Unfortunately, until the "people" who consume these products start complaining to the manufacturers, nothing will change. I always contact the manufacturer about poor flavors, textures, product quality. My husband laughs when I am looking on the label for the 800 number. "Are you going to call and complain?" YEP!

                                      PS to the Girl Scout cookie crowd (above): Agreed, those cookies are an insult to what Girl Scouts stand for! (I can talk, as I was a scout.)

                                2. Campbell's Tomato Bisque Soup. It seems sweeter than before.

                                  1. Fudgesicles. They taste like oil

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: cooknKate

                                      ugh this one makes me so sad. cuz they used to be AMAZING

                                    2. A can of tuna used to weigh 7 ounces.

                                      1. Everything that used to have real sugar in it... and everything that did NOT have vegetable gums. ie. yoghurt, cream, icecream... I've never understood why they want to put vegetable gum into perfectly good cream to ruin it. A little goes a very long way, but every time they reformulate (to shave another few cents off the cost of their ingredients) it seems to involve adding more gunk!
                                        I never realised how different yoghurt tasted now (except that every time I tried it I didn't like it) until I tasted the 'new' 'all-natural' Dannon yoghurt which only has the ingredients that yoghurt is supposed to have. It tastes like I remember it being when I was a kid, only of course it costs ten times as much!

                                        1. Fishsticks.

                                          They seem radically different from the kind you could get 25-30 years ago. Breading, fish texture, taste, everything. I'd kill (okay, just wound severely) to get the old kind back.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: broncosaurus

                                            Schwann's home delivery fish sticks tastes like childhood! Not made from minced fish.

                                          2. Seven -Up,,,tastes completely different, they must have tinkered with the formula!!

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Hue

                                              agree re 7-up --- it is, surprise, sweeter!

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                It says, "all natural ingredients"--then you read the ingredient list and there's HFCS. pleh.

                                                1. re: revsharkie

                                                  HFCS is all natural - it's made from corn! It's just not cane sugar. I'm not defending it, i'm just saying....

                                                  1. re: jenhen2

                                                    A product that is so manipulated does not fit my definition of "natural."

                                                2. re: alkapal

                                                  I used to love Diet Rite Raspberry soda and they (fools!) had to mess with perfection. It tastes completely different now. And undrinkable as far as I'm concerned.

                                              2. Coca-Cola is no longer the Real Thing. I hate HFCS.
                                                Only during Passover or in Latin America and overseas can you get good old American Coke made with cane sugar.
                                                I wish they'd sell Gourmet Coke. I'd pay extra for little 6 1/2 oz. returnable bottles just like the Coke man delivered to our back door in cases years ago.

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: MakingSense

                                                  Well, depending on what part of the country your in, imported Coke from Mexico is quite easy to get nowadays. I have bought 2 cases from Costco, and I have heard that Smart&Final also carries it. I'm in Las Vegas, and Mexican Coke is easy as anything to get here. REAL Coke is just wonderful, and i'm so glad to have it to drink, again! Best of luck to you, go out and try to find it near you!

                                                  1. re: Honeychan

                                                    I suggest you read the label before you buy the Mexican Coke. These days it often contains HFCS. Unfortunately.

                                                    1. re: val ann c

                                                      Not to worry, I read it. It's still the fantastic cane- sugar. I've heard rumors they are starting to make it with HFCS, but so far..The "real" thing is easy to find here in Las Vegas.

                                                      1. re: Honeychan

                                                        I had some Mexican Coke at a restaurant that did not have diet coke. I usually hate the super sweetness of regular. I was surprised how good the coke was! It reminded me of visiting my cousins in the caribbean and loving their coke and pepsi out there.

                                                        1. re: libgirl2

                                                          if you live near a mexican comunities small mexican stores carry mexican coke in glass bottle which is the only coke i drink since it has cane sugar

                                                          1. re: fabian3dg

                                                            not all mexican coke is made with cane sugar. i looked at some labels in our local latin store a couple of months ago, and the bottles say cane sugar or corn syrup.

                                                            btw, the herdez salsas were cheaper in the whole foods store across the street! (clarendon, arlington, virginia).

                                                  2. re: MakingSense

                                                    I go to a local supermarket (super fresh) and in the soda isle you can buy coke with the yellow top. It's kosher and uses sucrose as a sweetener, (good old sugar).


                                                    1. re: jchamberlain

                                                      Regular Coca-Cola is kosher. Coca-Cola that is kosher for Passover is the the variety made from cane sugar (because corn syrup, which is ordinarily kosher, is not kosher for Passover unless it is processed under rabbinical supervision to assure that no fermentation occurs), which is usually with a green cap IIRC, is issued in limited release before Passove in March or April each year, and is often wiped out by Passover. It's the only way most Americans can get old-fashioned Coca-Cola, and aficionados know to wait each year for its debut between Purim and Passover.

                                                  3. Everything does taste different and it's because it's made differently--Processed foods; factory/feedlot meat, poultry/farmed fish; fruits and veg hybridized for easy growth and shipping; HFCS, trans fats, all the additives that just weren't there years ago.

                                                    If we can discern changes in tastes, imagine what all that artificial chemical gunk is doing to our boidies...

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                                                      That's what's so important about trying to buy local. Farmers markets and local products whenever you can. Even that organic stuff that's out of season at a chain supermarket was bred for shipping capability. It has to be raised to ripen uniformly so that it can be harvested mechanically. Enough organic meat to supply that large chain has to be raised under different conditions than a small farm near your home.
                                                      As we support local sources, more of them will become available.

                                                      1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                                                        "imagine what all that artificial chemical gunk is doing to our boidies..."
                                                        exactly, SST. i think additives are why so many children have severe allergies now. they have also been blamed for the rise in autoimmune diseases, as well as attention deficit disorders.
                                                        I myself don't understand how people can eat food with additives- particularly the HCFS, all the time, if i do, i get exhausted and need to eat a huge amount of fruit as well as return to a healthy diet.

                                                      2. Dannon yogurt has totally changed since I first fell in love with yogurt as a kid. I hardly buy the stuff anymore because it seems mostly to be made of gelatin. I'm glad to know that they've come back with an "all natural" product. I'll look for it and give it a try. Has anyone noticed that Blue Bell Ice Cream recently is kind of funky? I'm suspecting they may have added vegetable oil to their ingredients - possibly due to the rise in dairy costs. I hope this change isn't permanent. It would be a very sad day to watch the demise of good old fashioned ice cream.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: mommyo

                                                          Dannon yogurt was the first thing I thought of too. It's now in smaller containers (I remember when it was in wax paper containers!), and they've made it sweeter and smoother, all to the detriment of the taste, in my opinion.

                                                          1. re: Kagey

                                                            I remember the wax paper containers! I liked the blueberry version but when my dad ate it, he would skim off the plain and then dump the blueberry gunk - much to my horror. He would always shake mine up before opening it to ensure a perfectly even distribution of the blueberries.

                                                          2. re: mommyo

                                                            look for the omnipresent guar gum, carageenan, or locust bean gum. true destroyers of all that is right and good in food!

                                                            1. re: mommyo

                                                              The all-natural one is still good... it sucks to be paying three times as much for the product you remember getting all the time once upon a time, but at least they're giving you the option now! Cheaper yoghurts have so much vegetable gum in them nowadays that they taste more like pudding cups - they're horrible!

                                                            2. carvel ice cream cakes.

                                                              they were best thing about birthdays & special occasions when i was a kid. when we were young, we got them personalized with our favorite fictional characters or superheroes - wonder woman was my all-time favorite. my family always put in a special advance order to have it made with extra fudge & extra chocolate crunchies inside the cake...AND we always bought extra cups of both on the side. [a couple of times we even ordered the cake made with all chocolate ice cream, because my brother had developed a habit of trying to throw away his vanilla & steal everyone else's chocolate. but i digress.]

                                                              i hadn't eaten one in at least a decade...the last time was probably in the mid-90's. but i ordered one for a friend's birthday last year as a special surprise when i found out he had grown up with them as well.

                                                              my first bite turned out to be my last. it was truly awful. the ice cream was mealy, with a bland flavor reminiscent of freezer burn. and the icing - which had always been one of my favorite parts - tasted remarkably like a blend of plastic and cardboard.

                                                              at first i wondered if perhaps my palate has just matured over the years...maybe it was always crap but i'm just more discerning now?


                                                              this guy [the "birthday boy"] will gladly eat practically anything, quality & nutritional value be damned. [if necessary, he'd be perfectly happy subsisting on frozen pigs in blankets, top ramen, & ben & jerry's.] and yes, he did finish the piece i cut for him. he even finished off mine after i took that one regrettable bite. but then he did something completely out of character, something i've NEVER seen him do... he left the rest of the cake behind, and never came back to get it.

                                                              that thing sat in my freezer, untouched, for DAYS. i finally tossed it after about a week...and he eventually confessed that even HE had thought it was pretty crappy, but had eaten it for nostalgia's sake.

                                                              what a sad, sad waste.

                                                              i eventually managed to finish off the cups of extra crunchies & fudge, but even those weren't very good.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                I've heard the very same thing from friends who grew up on Carvel ice cream, and cakes. Fudgie The Whale, to be exact. I have only had a mixed-swirl ice-cream at the airport, so I have no kid-nostalgia to back up if it was good, or not. It was only OKAY, not the awe-inspiring deliciousness that others have talked the brand up to be. 2 co-workers have ranted to me on how horrible they think Carvel is nowadays.

                                                                1. re: Honeychan

                                                                  the cake i ordered WAS a fudgie the whale! it doesn't get more "carvel" than that, and my friend said it was the one design he always wanted & had never gotten.

                                                                  good to know it's not just me, but so depressing to realize that yet another childhood joy has been adulterated to the point of destruction.

                                                                  and yes, the deterioration in quality applies to their regular ice cream as well. my mom's favorite was a scoop of cherry vanilla - she always loved that they used tons of fresh cherries. once a few years ago when i was visiting, i drove past the location we always went to, so i thought i'd stop in & get her some as a surprise. the crap they're now passing off as cherry vanilla didn't have a single cherry in it....just some suspiciously artificial-looking pink streaks running through the ice cream. i didn't bother buying it for her - i was afraid it would just taint her joyul memories.

                                                              2. I bought some Oreos a couple weeks ago and they were just awful. I don't know what they've done to them, but they were just wrong. We decided we'd just as soon eat the sandwich cookies we get at Duckwall's that cost a buck for a HUGE package.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: revsharkie

                                                                  I'm with you on the Oreo's; I'm pretty sure when they changed to be Trans fat Free, the flavor changed. There a little healthier now, but no so good. So it's easier to avoid them all together.

                                                                  1. re: marciab

                                                                    Which adds to the healthiness :-)

                                                                    1. re: marciab

                                                                      Try the TJ Jo Jo cookies if you need an Oreo fix, they are pretty good.

                                                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                                                        I think I heard a few years back that Nabisco was switching from lard as the basis for that "creamy center" to vegetable oil. I shudder to think that making a change from lard to vegetable shortening could have changed the taste for the worse.

                                                                  2. Surprisingly, the first thing that popped into my mind wasn't a processed food item.

                                                                    What I thought of was Red Delicious apples. I distinctly remember them in the 1960s as actually pretty good - nice "snap" when you bit into it, a bit of tart and sweet together, and never, ever EVER a "mealy" apple. Now? Available in the supermarkets year round, shipped from who-knows-where, they are tasteless, bland overly-waxed red nothings.

                                                                    I'll stick with locally grown, tart and sweet apples, thankyouverymuch. The Honeycrisp I just finished was very nice. :-)

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      I'm with you on the red delicious apples; they are awful, and the used to be pretty good. However, I think apples in general are better than in the '70s when all we could get in the grocery were red & yellow delicious and Rome beauties.

                                                                      I've decided that the only way to get good tomatoes is to get them right from a person's garden. Even the farmstand tomatoes I got last summer, were not fabulous like I remember. Mainly, they weren't quite ripe.

                                                                      And, what happened to the taste in green beans? I haven't had good green beans in years.

                                                                      And shrimp! It was only a few years ago you could get shrimpy tasting shrimp. I haven't had good shrimp in ages.

                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                        >>And shrimp! It was only a few years ago you could get shrimpy tasting shrimp. I haven't had good shrimp in ages.<<

                                                                        Try mexican shrimp. It's the highest quality and best tasting shrimp on the market.


                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        Oh absolutely. I don't even eat apples any more except "in season" from one of our local orchards. I HATE a mealy apple. Makes me gag.

                                                                      3. windmill cookies. lack the good almonds and deep gingerbread (?) flavor of old.

                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          I thought I was the only person who loved these cookies and noticed the change in flavor. It seems that they are using less or a lower grade cinnamon and ginger in them.

                                                                          Are the chocolate-coated oatmeal cookies a new recipe, or did I not see them in the past?

                                                                          1. re: Kelli2006

                                                                            kelli, are you asking alkapal about the choco-coated oatmeal cookes? because i don't understand your reference to those.

                                                                            about windmills, i think you are spot on!

                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                              Yes, I was asking alkpal about the new oatmeal cookies by the same Dutch company that made the windmill cookies.

                                                                              I did a search and learned that Archway made a similar cookie. I wasn't aware of that.

                                                                              1. re: Kelli2006

                                                                                i grew up eating those archway cookies. oatmeal, windmill, i probably tried all of them over the years....but my favorite were always the dutch cocoa because i'm a chocoholic.

                                                                                i had one of the cocoa cookies several years ago, and they have definitely changed...not nearly as good as i remembered.

                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                  mmmm...Archway lemon icebox cookies were the best!

                                                                                2. re: Kelli2006

                                                                                  not familiar with those. but i know there are different windmill manufacturers. i wonder how the windmill concept was begun (maybe a dutch cookie style from old world immigrants that then got popular and commercialized? now, onto my research mission!

                                                                            2. re: alkapal

                                                                              Oh, I used to LOVE those cookies! Sad to hear they aren't what they used to be.

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                There's a Dutch brand of Spekulaas (windmill cookies), Hellema, that is very tasty, albeit a bit spendy.

                                                                                1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                  coney with everything, Spekulaas? is it orignially a Dutch cookie? is it shaped (traditionally) like a windmill? i know i have seen that recipe in my cookie books.

                                                                                  There is another cookie commerically made by Pepperidge Farms
                                                                                  called the Bordeaux. I love that cookie, and recommend it to you windmill lovers. I am trying to figure out its traditional name and get the recipe in one of my cookbooks. anyone?

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    Spekulaas is the Dutch name for the windmills. It is also known as Spekulatius. We see the windmill version, but according to the German version of Wikipedia, in Europe they are often baked as Christmas themed molds.

                                                                                    1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                      I remember as a real dutchie, Speculaas used to come in all different shapes, even people shapes! and there was an option, with or without almonds... I always have my mom bring some when she comes to visit me!

                                                                                      1. re: chefschickie

                                                                                        I remember the almond ones! They were my faves.

                                                                            3. Sometime in the mid-80s the recipe for Campbell's Vegetarian Vegetable ("the alphabet soup") changed. I remember being really upset. I grew up eating it, and it is not the same at all.

                                                                              1. I think ginger ale is the main thing that I have noticed. I used to love the ginger bite and it has totally gone missing.

                                                                                I did have a twinkie a couple years ago and had to spit it out. I did remember wondering if it was me or the product that had changed. Now I believe that it is both, the product has changed for the worse and I have changed for the better!

                                                                                Have you noticed that it is very difficult to purchase many products in the grocery store with no soy? I am trying to avoid soy and have been reading labels for the past couple years. 95% of the breads contain soy - most mayos and salad dressings - it is everywhere

                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                1. re: NE_Elaine

                                                                                  If you're ever in the UK, try Jamaican ginger "beer" - you can find it in health food stores and a lot of corner stores - it's definitely got that gingery kick. It tastes like those Asian ginger candies in liquid form.

                                                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                                                    You can also easily find Jamaican ginger beer in Canada. Like ginger ale, it is not brewed, nor alcoholic. (Though a durned good mixer)...

                                                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                                                      Really? I probably just haven't looked, because I actually like Canada Dry, and it makes me feel patriotic. :-)

                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                        They sell Jamaican Gingerbeer at Publix!, right here in the sunny south!

                                                                                    2. re: NE_Elaine

                                                                                      Blenheim's ginger ale from SC, and a Jamaican ginger ale still have that famous kick in them. They have a little sweetness, but they also burn all the way down.

                                                                                      Does anyone remember a stronger ginger beer that was made by Vernor's?

                                                                                      1. re: Kelli2006

                                                                                        i do remember vernor's! it was gingery -- with a bite, if memory serves me! and loads of nice bubbles! i can't recall seeing it around here (N. Virginia) lately.

                                                                                        This sales site says it is aged in oak barrels (sold in bottles):

                                                                                        But cans are on amazon -- for a price, indeed!
                                                                                        now i have to go to the grocery and look for vernor's. all these things to get at the grocery! vernor's, yucateca hot sauce, Bordeaux cookies....(i just read that listing...i probably should get more alka-seltzer, too) :-)

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                          The windmill and chocolate iced oatmeal cookies I was talking about are made by Voortman.

                                                                                          I can get Vernors in bottles and cans in Ohio, but the recipe has definitely changed. It is much sweeter( contains HFCS :-( ) and less contains ginger flavor.

                                                                                      2. re: NE_Elaine

                                                                                        I'm sure you'll never see this now, but try Red Rock Ginger Ale if you can find some...ginger happiness in bottle

                                                                                        1. re: NE_Elaine

                                                                                          Seriously agree with the soy. Every time I drive past a field of soybeans I give it the finger.

                                                                                          I'm allergic to soy, so my rage is a little different though. It is everywhere. Even magazines are printed in soy ink. I'm over it. I get really angry when an other wise decent looking food product is 'ruined' by soy.

                                                                                        2. jfood grew up in the 60's and he can not think of anything that has not change in flavor. to the younger generation, alas, you missed it when there were better tastes and less chemicals, less regulations and less law suits.

                                                                                          28 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                            I would love to understand how it is that lawsuits have caused food to be adulterated by chemicals, even just one example of a real life lawsuit. As for me, I completely agree with the poster below that Reese's Peanut Butter cups taste so much worse than when I was growing up! I can't even eat them anymore because they taste so gross. By jfood's logic, this must have been because of a lawsuit or some government regulation that forced them to dilute the chocolate with wax. And all along I had assumed the company made the decision in order to increase profitability. Silly me!

                                                                                            1. re: mollyomormon

                                                                                              jfoods point was that in the 60's there were "better tastes and less chemicals, less regulations and less law suits".sorry for any confusion.

                                                                                              jfood is interested if someone could name any product, please, that tastes as good as it did in the 60's.

                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                would love to help you out there, j...but some of us hadn't been born yet.

                                                                                                sorry, i just couldn't resist! ;)

                                                                                                but i will say that no packaged or purchased product from the 70's tastes as good as it did back then. not a single one :(

                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                    sorry, they were much more buttery in the 60's. chopped liver was heaven on a ritz

                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                      I just read this and find this thread bump-worthy.

                                                                                                      jfood, I'll see your Ritz cracker (I still think they're just as good) and raise you a Fig Newton cookie. They're still what they were -- and the same size, too!

                                                                                                      jfood, do you now prefer Town House crackers to Ritz for your chopped liver? We do. But I hereby insist that Ritz crackers have remained the same. Everything else we used to put chopped liver on -- Old London melba toasts, Triscuits, even Grossinger's Rye Bread... it's all changed.

                                                                                                      1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                        Call...Fig Newtons are smaller in size as well.

                                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                                          Do you have proof?

                                                                                                          I just don't believe it.

                                                                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                                                                        I agree. I am so upset. They used to be very buttery and did not fall apart while dipping them.They HAVE changed ..and for the worse.

                                                                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                      I think the main thing that's better now is the availability of ingredients. I grew in Utah in the 80's and we didn't have access to so many things that are readily available now and I'm sure were ubiquitous in other areas then: pasta in shapes other than lasagna noodles or spaghetti, bagels, good cheese, latin food, asian food.

                                                                                                    3. re: jfood

                                                                                                      I'm amazed at the amount of processed foods people ate in the 60s! I really doubt there were significantly fewer chemicals used back then, I'd need to see some empirical proof, not just boomer nostaligia. My dad, who grew up in the country then moved to the city, says produce tastes better now, more like when he was a country boy. Maybe it's the whole organic/locally grown thing.

                                                                                                      1. re: writergirl

                                                                                                        A few changes since then are the use of hydrogenated oils to replace lard, coconut oil, and butter... and the proliferation of hfcs in place of natural sweeteners. And sometimes even when items didn't contain sugars. Also the food chemistry companies convince our taste buds we're eating a tasty 'food product' when it's natural state wouldn't seem appetizing. And GMOs. I could go on but I'm deporessing myself.

                                                                                                        1. re: dishchrista

                                                                                                          Good point about the GMOs. But I think hydrogenated oils became popular in the 60s (margarine anyone?) MSG was called "Accent" and people used it at home! (which would so not happen in most homes today.) I think the 60s were the decade that processed foods really took off. I guess I just don't buy it that all those processed foods that people are waxing nostalgically about weren't chock full o' chemicals.

                                                                                                          1. re: writergirl

                                                                                                            Not everyone used them. My mum thought "Accent" was poison - and a cop-out for lazy cooks - and we had no such thing in the home. I'm sure she wasn't alone.

                                                                                                            1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                              Oh, I totally agree, I wouldn't say most people used it. But from what I can tell, it was much more popular in the 60s than today. (I wasn't around in the 60s.) I think the pendulum is starting to swing away from chemicals (thank goodness!)

                                                                                                        2. re: writergirl

                                                                                                          What dishchrista said. Also, while I wasn't around back then, I suspect that MSG was much less prevalent in those days. It was certainly used far less in the 80s when I was growing up. Now it's in everything, masquerading as hydrolyzed proteins, autolyzed yeast, and modified starches. Hell, it's even in potatoes as they're using MSG based pesticides (read up on AuxiGro if you're curious) now. It's virtually impossible to buy food without it; even quite a few "organic" foods contain supposedly organically produced MSG.

                                                                                                        3. re: jfood

                                                                                                          production costs rise, as do the cost of ingredients, and with so much competition in the marketplace, companies find cost-friendly alternatives to both lessen production costs and extend shelf life. that's why all the chemicals and additives.

                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                            I can think of 2: Ritz crackers and Hellman's mayonnaise.

                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                              jfood will give you hellman's but not ritz. they were way more buttery way backin the stone age.

                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                I wonder if they actually had real butter in them back then; very few baked things do these days. (It's not just an "old codger" issue, either: My kids (early 20's) complain that many of their once-favorite foods don't taste the same as they used to.

                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                  I must again support that ...! Totally different now. Not decadent..so why bother.

                                                                                                                2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                  Unless there was a manufacturing error, my most recent purchases of Ritz crackers betray a major change: the edges are no longer fully rounded but are more angled and compressed, and the mouthfeel has changed. I am assuming they shifted their shortening formula. Don't know how permanent the change will be, but they were meh enough not to buy for a long time, and I love Ritz crackers.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                    probably a result of the trans-fat purge.

                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                      Yes. Though they have been zero-transfat in previous versions, one thing we should have learned by now is that the shortening formulations continue to evolve. For a while there, for example, Ritz crackers were noticeably more friable; I suspect the new degraded formulation was intended to deal with that problem but like many solutions begets problems of its own. I expect this to continue.

                                                                                                                      I don't think McDonald's french fries have recovered (hell, I say bring back the tallow please, when they had 1/3 fewer calories per unit of weight than they did when they switched to all vegetable oil - another consequence of our wars against "bad" foods, but I digress), and they are living on the long half life of their reputation. Not that most people notice.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                        AGREED. Since the trans-fat elimination, McDonald's french fries have been lacking. They're better than they were immediately after trans fats were removed, but they still have a long way to go.

                                                                                                                3. re: jfood

                                                                                                                  the stuff that gets cooked at home :)

                                                                                                              2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                i agree with jfood that food tasted better before all the additives and preservatives. not only are there more food allergies nowadays, there is also a higher number of kids with autism, which i feel is directly related to all the chemicals in food and water. you never heard of autism 30 years ago, except in very limited instances.

                                                                                                              3. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups- yeah...I'll probably be eating a bunch of 'em in the coming weeks as Halloween approaches but all I'll be tasting is nostalgia. They used to be my all time favorite candy, and now the chocolate is waxy, the filling is dry and flavorless, and the magic is gone.

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: TongoRad

                                                                                                                  They were my fave as a kid too. Do you know I once found a sugar worm in the bottom of a cup. So gross... but it didn't curb my childhood addiction. To this day, though, if I have one I always check the bottom!

                                                                                                                  1. re: TongoRad

                                                                                                                    I agree with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers, but would have to add Nestle Crunch Bars to the list. I used to love those things... but now? Yech. Every few years I forget and try one again. Might as well chew on a candle. Also 100 Grand bars. Weren't they called $100,000 bars at one time? I guess they got nasty when they changed the name.

                                                                                                                    Also, Klondike ice cream bars. I grew up in Pittsburgh and always enjoyed the originals from Isaly's. They were almost too big to finish, but of course I persevered. Now they're so small and just don't taste like anything. So sad.

                                                                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                      they'll always be $100,000 bars to me...but they taste like sawdust now.

                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                        *sigh* Isaly's Whitehouse Cherry Ice Cream

                                                                                                                  2. I opened a can of Campbells Tomato and Rice soup last week for the first time in 30 years or more. It was sweeter, thinner and less tasty than I remembered it, I was so disappointed.

                                                                                                                    1. Graham crackers...what the heck happened to the original texture and flavor? Ugh. I don't ever buy them any more. Also, I noticed recently that the Social Tea cookies are different too. Tastes like cardboard.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: uman

                                                                                                                        I've started buying organic graham crackers. Much better, IMO.

                                                                                                                      2. I think the most obvious food item that has drastically changed is the supermarket tomato. When I was a kid growing up in the South in the 50s, you could buy real tomatoes (in season) in the Piggly Wiggly. As we all know, that is a thing of the past. Years ago I read an article in the New Yorker (probably by John McPhee) about the Fla. tomato industry. The writer visited an agricultural research lab that was developing a tomato that could be picked by mechanical picker. The "food" scientist took a tomato, tossed it to the ceiling & let it hit the floor. It didn't go splat! The writer relayed this information to a friend who was an automotive engineer in Detroit. The engineer ran the calculations & determined that the tomato withstood an impact greater than the federal standards for automobile bumpers. Amazing!

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: rfneid

                                                                                                                          Piggly Wiggly in South Carolina (a separate franchise of the company) sells locally grown tomatoes in the summertime so the quality is a little better than some of the other supermarket tomatoes at that time of year, from what I've noticed... They are trying to soruce more locally grown produce.

                                                                                                                        2. UGH! McDonald's french fries! Now that they don't use hydrogenated oils the fries aren't as tasty. I rarely eat there... but everyone knows their fries were tops among the fast food joints. Now they are just mediocre. Hmmpf.

                                                                                                                          1. Within the last five years or so, Breyer's "Natural" (black box) ice cream line. The ingredients used to be cream, milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, IIRC. I used to love the stuff and ate it all the time. Then one day I bought a box and was revolted... it tasted almost as bad as those garbage brands like Chapman's. I checked the ingredients and sure enough they decided to cheap out and changed the recipe, adding a lot of fillers and chemicals like vegetable gums and carageenan. Nothing natural about it now, in my opinion, and I won't touch the stuff anymore. Back to Haagen Dazs for me.

                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: vorpal

                                                                                                                              uggghhh...i was so disappointed (and angry). i bought breyer's thinking it was still the 'all natural' they used to make (which i loved)...and thought it smelled a bit funny. turns out they are now adding hydrogenated palm oil! among other things....yuck!!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: cheeser

                                                                                                                                Ick... it gets worse and worse as time goes on! I'm amazed that they're trying to get away with this. Did they really think that no one would notice? I don't know anyone that buys Breyer All Natural anymore, and you can't find it any more at most of the grocery stores I go to (it used to be the most popular brand amongst everyone I knew).

                                                                                                                                Crash and burn, Breyer. I have no regrets having switched to Haagen Dazs and am very happy with their consistently good ice cream and lack of sneaky tactics.

                                                                                                                                1. re: vorpal

                                                                                                                                  Schraffts (sp?) vanilla ice cream was the best! Now that that is gone..we are stuck with the very eggy Haagen-Dazs. Better the Breyers..I agree.

                                                                                                                              2. re: vorpal

                                                                                                                                Aren't carrageen, vegetable gums, and palm oil "natural products?" They are all derived from plants.
                                                                                                                                They have a role in commercial products so that they can be shipped, maintain quality in stores, and stay OK in your home freezer/fridge or pantry until you consume them.
                                                                                                                                The alternative is to make everything yourself and consume it within a day or so.
                                                                                                                                Of course, for those who like Haagen Dazs, that's an option, but there's no problem with other "all natural" brands.

                                                                                                                                1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                                                                  Breyers' old "all-natural" formulation was just cream, milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla, IIRC, and there were no problems with it. Everyone I know loved it and bought it regularly. I would have a container in my freezer for a couple weeks at a time and it did not go off or lose much in the way of texture. Their new "recipe" is thick with plant gums and milk ingredients and what not and lacks both the taste and the texture of the old... it's no different from Chapman's or any other low-quality ice cream now, to be honest, except in price.

                                                                                                                                  Saying that something that is derived from plants equates to an all natural product is misleading; the chemical processes to derive the products may not particularly be natural, or even if they are, the end result may not be found in nature. Examples include MSG, many pharmaceuticals, etc.

                                                                                                                                  I think that the term "all natural" is poorly defined, so perhaps Breyer's new ice cream is considered by some to be all natural; however, it was misleading of them to change their recipe after getting lots of people hooked on the excellent quality of the original product - especially when it's quite clear that the new recipe is probably much cheaper to produce and the price has still stayed very high. (I didn't mind paying $8+ for the original recipe. I can buy essentially the same ice cream in a Chapman's container now for $3.)

                                                                                                                                  Anyways, I'm glad to take my business elsewhere. Breyer can keep their milk ingredients and thickeners.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: vorpal

                                                                                                                                    Breyer's is now a mid-range brand in our market, which doesn't have Chapman's. Breyer's is always on sale, so I guess they made a decision to compete in that arena, rather than remain a premium brand.
                                                                                                                                    They still have a few flavors that are tops but most are ordinary - good enough for kids or if folks are going to dump chocolate syrup all over it anyway.
                                                                                                                                    The current iteration of Breyer's keeps far better than it used to, but that doesn't necessarily improve it.

                                                                                                                                    You are right about the confusing nature of the term "natural" however. Even cyanide is natural.
                                                                                                                                    Processing has nothing to do with it, as even tofu, TVP, agave nectar, and brandy are processed in some way. People will accept "processing" if they accept the product itself.
                                                                                                                                    But whatever is done to it still does not negate that it is a product that is found in nature, not artificially created in a test tube.
                                                                                                                                    It's marketing. Lots of terms are used that way, most recently in "greenwashing" products to appeal to the environmentally conscious.

                                                                                                                                2. re: vorpal

                                                                                                                                  Breyers used to be a rare ice cream treat in the ABD household. Since I didn't buy ice cream often I would go with the "good stuff." When they started addling the fillers and extenders I could taste the difference...and stopped buying it. They obviously didn't need that stuff before, and the price didn't go down (only the size of the carton did) so I voted with my wallet.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                    Hear, hear. My sentiments exactly. Breyers should be ashamed of themselves.

                                                                                                                                3. I've noticed that a lot of the snack foods have changed considerably over the past 20+ years. As someone else mentioned, the Twinkie just doesn't taste the same these days. Tastycake products have made a change for the worse too. Their cakes/cupcakes used to be more moist. Even the icing tastes dry in way. One of my favorites, their blueberry pie, now contains very few blueberries and a lot more thick, disgustingly sweet blueberry-flavored filling.

                                                                                                                                  1. Sweetcorn. It is far too sweet nowadays, and "peaches and crime" pretty much cornering the market.

                                                                                                                                    1. reading all of these posts I see I'm not the only one that likes certain foods but avoids the readily available versions at the supermraket due to the additives. what this means is that i eat almost nothing with additives, really only food that i eat out(who knows what's in resto food).
                                                                                                                                      Do the food companies realize they've lost a lot of customers by cheaping out? Is it really worth th emarginal cost reductions? Are we a nation divided not by red and blue states, but by organic/local vs. shelf-stable/HCFS?
                                                                                                                                      As others have mentioned, the net effect for me is that I end up eating very healthily - never a sandwich with cold cuts b/c of what's in that bread.(id on't like cold cuts on the organic ciabatta i buy) never an entemann's cake, ice cream, orange juice, soda, canned soup, cookies, "chocolate" bars like snickers, hershey's, etc. because they're too sweet. just thing how much healthier you are by excluding these t hings from your diet. :)

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                        I'm the same as you. Due to a serious health condition, I have to avoid a fair number of additives, and because of that, I choose to avoid them all whenever possible.

                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately, I suspect that we're in a small enough minority that the large food companies don't care very much. Either that, or they make forays into "organic food" by offering food that barely qualifies as such and has organic versions of the additives that we try to avoid in the first place, like vegetable gums, hydrolyzed proteins, etc. I've seen this way too often in the "organic" section of major grocery stores up here in Canada.

                                                                                                                                        Thankfully, I've found grocery stores (few and far between, though) that offer REAL food with real ingredients instead of a convoluted mess of cheap chemicals that taste substandard, may well be responsible for a number of health issues, and really have no point in being in our food except to cheapen production costs to make stockholders even richer than they already are. Furthermore, these specialized grocery stores are reminiscent of the grocery stores of the 80s where you actually received customer service. Today I went to two food stores here in Toronto: Dominion, a big chain, where the lines where exasperatingly long and the cashier didn't even acknowledge my existence until she stated the total; and Summerhill Market, where I was able to buy all natural tortiere, pot pies, desserts, breads, etc. and not only were there floor workers that took me to the products I couldn't find, but they had baggers that offered to help me bring my purchases to my car!

                                                                                                                                      2. I [thought I] picked up some Vita herring in wine yesterday [didn't read the label as I've eaten this brand before] and it tasted off, disgusting actually. Upon inspection the ingredient list reads: herring, water, hfcs, onions, salt, vinegar, spices, wine... What the heck? Who wants herring drenched in corn syrup? They also altered the label. It doesn't say herring in wine anymore, it's "sliced lunch herring." The price has not changed.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: dishchrista

                                                                                                                                          i haven't bought it in years, but that makes me so sad. i used to love that stuff. it totally freaked out my very goyish southern presbyterian roommate in college the first time i put a jar of it in the fridge :)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: dishchrista

                                                                                                                                            Oh, that is a pity. Once again, one must take the time to read labels while shopping, and take glasses or a magnifying glass if over 40, for the fine print. I think we might have some kosher herring here in Montréal that is still actually in wine. It is a good food if real, albeit of course rather high in sodium. It does have a lot of nutritional virtues to make up for that...

                                                                                                                                            I know you'll think I'm yet another statist Canadian, but I think that crap should be banned, or at least bear a health warning, like cigarettes.

                                                                                                                                          2. Cottage cheese. The small curd version used to be pleasantly soured from the culturing process and have nice, firm curds. You could scoop it into an attractive mound on your plate. Now, every brand I've tried is watery and so bland as to have no taste at all. I'd so like to have the old kind back...sigh....

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: rexsreine

                                                                                                                                              Try organic cottage cheese. I usually get Horizon or Alta Dena Organics -- it has a firmer texture and a better flavor. After a couple of years of eating the organic variety, I bought some Knudsen cottage cheese recently in a pinch, and it was disgusting. I had to throw it out.

                                                                                                                                            2. Nesquik is much saltier than I remember it as a kid

                                                                                                                                              also Kelloggs Bran Flakes used to be flakier and thinner and crispier somehow, now they are heavier and bigger.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                One company I am really angry at is Schneider's, here in Ontario. Their Oktoberfest sausage used to be an excellent bratwurst-style sausage, which I had often. Then, one day, chicken showed up as one of the ingredients. Yuk!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: ekammin

                                                                                                                                                  They used to make both an all-pork version and an all-turkey version (marked as such) for people who don't want to eat pork for whatever reason. Guess they have sort of mashed the two together now. They were unusually good for a "corporate" sausage.

                                                                                                                                              2. No one has mentioned sweet pickles. Or bread and butter pickles, a personal favorite. I won't buy them anymore, because of the HFCS which I think make them taste awful.

                                                                                                                                                And pancake syrup, which I used buy fairly cheaply, but now buy maple syrup which is not fairly cheap. Tastes good though. Although I do wonder how so much maple syrup gets to my market's shelves.

                                                                                                                                                1. Here's one that surprised me: I recently bought a carton of Welch's grape juice. Hadn't had it since I was a kid in the 70s. Back then, I remember it being really tart, but this time it was cloyingly sweet. Has my sense of taste changed, or is it the juice? Would love to hear other opinions!

                                                                                                                                                  1. Snackpack!
                                                                                                                                                    Snackpack hasn't tasted the same since they started usung the plastic cups instead of the cans.
                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure they were probably gross -but they had a certain taste which I loved!
                                                                                                                                                    (Kind of like Cool and Creamy - if anyone remembers that!!)

                                                                                                                                                    Also, my brother was thrilled to find "Space Food Sticks" available on a web-site - he sent one to me - and unfortunately it tasted NOTHING like they used to.

                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure I'll think of many more...

                                                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                      oh my gosh, i remember space food sticks! wow! i can't recall any specific flavors, though. maybe a quasi-peanut butter type flavor? it's the texture i can still feel -- like a mealy tootsie roll.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                        My whole family loved them...especially the peanut butter flavor, but there was also chocolate and maybe vanilla.
                                                                                                                                                        Oh according to this old ad - the third flavor was caramel!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                          nelly nel, you'd really be into the swing of things to eat the space stick with a glass of tang! ;-)).

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                          Lordy - we used to eat these things by the boxful! And yes - mealy tootsie roll is exactly what they felt like. The idea of a chocolate Space Food Stick and Orange Tang has my stomach turning right now, tho. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                            oh yeah, you're right, linda. does "gurgle" ring a bell?

                                                                                                                                                            i guess the only real appeal of the space food sticks was their schtick (get it, "schtick"? -- oh, how i amuse myself ;-).

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                              You should take it on the road, alka. And don't forget the space sticks. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                              Do they still make Tang?
                                                                                                                                                              I vaguely remember mixing Knox into Tang ! Bleh!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                Scarily, they do - now "new and improved" with "Fruitrition". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tang_%28... And I guess there are 7 new flavors recently introduced:

                                                                                                                                                                "In 2008, Tang introduced seven new flavors. These include: Horchata, Jamaica, Pineapple, Lime, Strawberry, Mango and a reformulated Orange. These new flavors were made available in the Southwest US."

                                                                                                                                                        3. I grew up drinking Ovaltine back in the 50's. I was craving that flavor, bought a can of it, and it tasted complely different! Way too sweet, and not nearly malty enough. Is it me, or has the formula changed? Has anybody else had this experience?

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CookieWeasel

                                                                                                                                                            The "old" ovaltine is still available at the Vermont Country Store catalog and online.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                                                              Does anyone remember backi in the very early 50s..( '51)getting Nedicks orange juice or coconut milk in a cone like container.?

                                                                                                                                                          2. NECCO Sweetheart candies. - They just changed them and they are awful. I have been buying them for 25 years and look forward to every January when they go on sale but this year they changed the texture and flavor of them. My guess is they are trying to compete with the Willy Wonka candy line that has infiltrated their valentines market and taken a sizable share away from Necco. All I can say is what ever 20 something post graduate marketing rep. they hired that came up with this albatross of an idea should be drawn and quartered for messing with an icon.

                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nickatnite

                                                                                                                                                              They've changed the Necco hearts? Oh ugh - from their website:

                                                                                                                                                              New Sayings & Colors
                                                                                                                                                              For the first time in 145 years, Sweethearts® discarded all its previous phrases and asked the American public to tell us how they express their love. The 2010 Sweethearts® are featured in bright and bolder new colors.

                                                                                                                                                              New Flavors & Texture
                                                                                                                                                              All new flavors for 2010 Sweethearts® include Strawberry, Green Apple, Lemon, Grape, Orange and Blue Raspberry. The new Sweethearts® have been re-formulated to be softer and more fun to eat.

                                                                                                                                                              SOFTER? They're not *supposed* to be soft! And what god-awful flavors! Sorry NECCO, you just lost my purchase.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                >>>>>Sweethearts® discarded all its previous phrases and asked the American public to tell us how they express their love.<<<<<

                                                                                                                                                                oh geesh, i can *imagine* the new phrases?

                                                                                                                                                                "hook up?"
                                                                                                                                                                "'lo ho!"
                                                                                                                                                                "gimme some"
                                                                                                                                                                "wassup b*tch?"
                                                                                                                                                                "who's your daddy?"
                                                                                                                                                                "that your gun?"

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                  ROFL! OK, spit warning needed there, alka!

                                                                                                                                                                  I guess the top 3 vote getters were:

                                                                                                                                                                  Text Me
                                                                                                                                                                  Tweet Me
                                                                                                                                                                  Love Bug

                                                                                                                                                            2. Well, the Nestlé Chunky bar sure has changed. The original was one big "chunk" of milk chocolate with raisins, cashews, and Brazil nuts. First the Brazil nuts went, then the cashews were replaced by less expensive peanuts. The final blow was segmenting the one big "chunk" into four connected sections.
                                                                                                                                                              Haven't had one in ages...wouldn't dream of it now.

                                                                                                                                                              1. None of the brands of canned tomato juice taste the same as they used to. I recall tomato juice that was almost as complex in flavor as V-8 juice. Not any more.

                                                                                                                                                                Oreo cookies were ruined when they started over-sweetening the chocolate cookie part.

                                                                                                                                                                Archway cookies don't have the spicy zip they used to. And the texture is way off, now.

                                                                                                                                                                Creamsicle (and, as mentioned above, fudge-sicle) frozen confections are nothing at all like they were even 15 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                B&M baked beans are an insipid, watered-down version of the robust, thick original. Campbell's "pork and beans," however, are just as insipid as they always were. The only thing is that I remember when there were two -- not just one -- 1" square pieces of actual pork belly in the can. This was about 1968. Nowadays I use the Campbell's to make a franks and beans recipe that's a retro-comfort food. I think the little smudge of grease pooling at the top of the can's sauce is what they now put in, instead of the chunks of fatty pork of long ago.

                                                                                                                                                                jfood and I agree that Hellmann's mayonnaise has not changed. But we disagree on Ritz crackers. When I was very young, my mother gave my brother and I Ritz crackers spread with Hellmann's mayonnaise; so I'm an expert on both subjects.

                                                                                                                                                                I tried some Fresca soda for the first time in years and it was different. Remember Tab? Boy was that refreshing when it was made with good old saccharine.

                                                                                                                                                                Redpack once made the finest tomato ketchup ever. Not for 20 years, though. I recall buying a bottle that long ago and it'd changed -- they "tweaked" it so it would be sweet and oniony like Heinz.

                                                                                                                                                                Entenmann's baked goods are no longer worth buying they've become so corrupted.

                                                                                                                                                                1. lifesavers
                                                                                                                                                                  tootsie rolls
                                                                                                                                                                  the aforementioned reese's peanut butter cups (I won't eat them now)


                                                                                                                                                                  I will try the organic cottage cheese someone mentioned

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                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                    The last time I bought peanut butter cups (for Halloween) I had one and I agree with laliz; they used to be so good, and now they are so bad.

                                                                                                                                                                    7up. We used to drink diet 7up, but quit when it got too sweet for our taste. I used to drink regular 7up as a kid. I don't know if I would recognize it now.

                                                                                                                                                                    Bumblebee chunk light tuna. It is now awful, along with Starkist and Chicken of the sea.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. two nights ago I was in Chicago, hungry and ,I ran across the street as there was a McDuggies there so I headed in. not knowing what to order, I got the usual boring FF with Fries. Something about that fillet of fish was disgusting and very very fishy tasting. I had seen on tv last year something about McDuggies changing the type of fish they used and after eating it the other night, I can say that'll be the last time I order that. guess I'll stick to Big Mac instead.

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                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                      Totally agree with the fries no longer being the gold standard at Micky D's. But the Big Mac still seems to taste the same. And on a whim, just the other day I bought the Mac Snack Wrap (with a chopped big mac burger + condiments wrapped in a tortilla) and was actually impressed - it really did taste like a big mac, and was actually a lot easier to eat while driving!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Goldfish don't taste like cheese anymore.

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                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: randyjl

                                                                                                                                                                        no, they don't taste like cheese anymore, but are sui generis in the flavor department (what IS it?). i used to love them (to a fault); but now, they just give me heartburn. (it's heartburn that i still will accept for nacho cheese doritos!).

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Just remembered another one : Campbell's chicken noodle soup. Don't know what they've done to it, but it's practically inedible now.

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                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                          So true! I used to eat several cans a week. I can't eat a single one now.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                            IIRC, they moved to using way less salt in their products.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Just opened a new box of After Eight Mints. Box size seems the same, the little paper sleeve for each mint seems the same size...but the Mints themselves are smaller. They used to nearly fill the envelope and were close to the top of the opening. Now you need to reach in to remove one. Just from comparing the sleeve to the mint, I figure there's about a 33% size reduction on the Mints.

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                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                              I guess a better question would be: what food products haven't changed. I doubt there is one that is the same as it once was.

                                                                                                                                                                              The ice cream 'container' is to me the most egregious, since they are hosing their customer with less product, not just ounces but the product is mostly air, while they charge the same, which turns out to be more.

                                                                                                                                                                              Too bad there is nothing the consumer to whom such things matter can do about it, short of making their own products.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Ben & Jerry's ice cream is another one that used to be "pure." That changed when they SOLD OUT to Unilever (who also owns Breyers). They used to make it with sugar (now "liquid sugar" and water) and no extenders (now guar gum and carrageenan). I haven't bought it since. At least Häagen-Dazs is still unadulterated...for now. It's also marginally cheaper than B & J.

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                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                                Are you sure you are using 'extenders' in the right sense? How can an ingredient that is after salt (gum) be an extender.

                                                                                                                                                                                Comparing two small containers (in my freezer) of HD and BJ, the BJ has higher fat per serving (same weight), even though it has these 'extenders'. What is being stretched?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                                  I lived for Ben and Jerry's fabulous raspberry ice cream in 1982 in upstate New York.
                                                                                                                                                                                  It tasted like cream and fruit, because that's what it was made of.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Now it's mostly sugar goo. Greasy kid's stuff, and probably three times as cheap to make.

                                                                                                                                                                                  We (the old farts) vote with our wallets - I buy a wonderful local ice cream now.
                                                                                                                                                                                  But what about the next generation? We have a whole bunch of kids coming up that literally don't know what they're missing - how will they know what to reject, what to look for, if they don't know that food can be better?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                                    That's because they made the package smaller. Its no longer a pint.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Fresh corn. All I get now is so sweet that it seems I should be eating it for dessert. So I don't buy it anymore. Frozen and canned was good for awhile but now that seems to sweet as well. Sarah Lee Coffee Cakes have gotten smaller and sweeter than when we use to have them for special breakfasts and are no longer a pleasure. And whomever mentioned B&M baked beans, I agree with that too, and the brown bread seems more raiseny and very sweet, not a good match.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I recently had a Reece's Peanutbutter Cup.....NOT THE SAME :(
                                                                                                                                                                                      They used to be sooo good...
                                                                                                                                                                                      Now they are just sickly sweet...blleh

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I think V8 has changed. Didn't it used to go "glug glug glug" out of the container... rather than the even pouring that it does now?

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                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BoutrosBoutros

                                                                                                                                                                                          What kind of container? Almost any liquid will glug when poured from a can - unless you punch an vent hole. Even bottles will glug if the mouth is too narrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I haven't read the entire thread so sorry if this has been mentioned. Helmanns mayo is way thinner than it used to be. Chewy Chips Ahoy changed their recipe and it's gross. All the Franco American products changed once Campbell's took over. They're very bland and the sauce is thinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with Dannon yogurt, and Oreos. Both used to be much better.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. went shopping for chocolate chips to bake with the other day and most of the bags were labeled "morsels", either semi-sweet or milk. they don't even pretend they are chocolate anymore. blergh.