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Do discontinued foods ever come back?

I started wondering about this after reading the threads on the Kellogg's Danish Go Rounds and the folks that have written to Kellogg's asking to bring them back. I'm talking about foods that were completely discontinued and then brought back by popular demand, not something like Mother's Cookies, where the company went out of business for a while and the products were brought back by another company. And let's also exclude "limited time only" or seasonal items. There's a couple tv shows that managed to come back thanks to petitioning by fans, but I wonder how often it works with food items. Taco flavored Doritos are the only one I can think of.

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  1. Yes but usually as "limited edition" and the like.

    Thomas brought back cranberry English muffins which I could get as a kid but now they are only at the holidays.

    Didn't Quisp make a come back, at least one to the states, based on fan demand?

    I think some big candy stores like a dylans in NYC and some place in NH has managed to get things like sky bars and $10,000 bars. The VT Country store has foods (and shampoos like body on tap and gee your hair smells terrific) that you haven't seen in years.

    I say your best bet is to get some cute kid, ideally one with a puppy or illness and post a video on FB and you tube begging for the company to bring back what you want. Then cross your fingers and hope it goes viral, lol!

    11 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      I've also bought the Sky Bar and other old favorite candy bars (and gum brands) from the Cracker Barrel stores.

      1. re: foodieX2

        I've seen Quisp at Fresh Market in recent years, as well as some 'heritage candies' like Charleston Chews at Cost Plus/World Market.

        1. re: beachmouse

          Quisp is still around in limited markets (resellers have it at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Quaker-Quisp-Ce...).

          1. re: ferret

            They have it in my local grocery store, in a special display. Not tempted though.

        2. re: foodieX2

          Beat me to it - I was thinking VT Country Store. They have the nostalgia market covered. Candy, old-time snacks, cookies, perfume, clothing, and more. I live not far from there and may need to make a trip after all this time.

          Skybars and those black licorice pipes...

          1. re: foodieX2

            DH and I just did a search this AM while drinking our coffee. It was ABSOLUTELY necessary that we find out the name of our favorite candy bar from the 1980's that is no longer made...we were searching by shape and wrapper color...(When you get to a certain age, you just use whatever ya got, know what I mean?) It was a Marathon Bar...

            1. re: Kitchen Witch45

              I remember them, Marathon bar first released in 1973, discontinued in 1981...

              1. re: Kitchen Witch45

                I've read elsewhere that Curly Wurly bars are very similar to the Marathon bars. Have you ever tried them? I know I've seen them at Cost Plus World Market.

                1. re: gmm

                  I read the same thing about the Curly Wurly bars, and I think they are made by Cadbury so the chocolate shouldn't be too terrible. I remember by the time they discontinued the Marathon bar the chocolate was pretty low quality even to my teenage palate.

                  gmm, Where are Cost Plus World Markets located?

                    1. re: Kitchen Witch45

                      Curly Wurly bars are made by Cadbury and they are wonderful. The ones I can buy are made in Britain, and so the chocolate is very good. If the ones available to you are made in the US it may not be as good.

                      I have no idea about the Marathon comparison - I've never had one.

              2. Does Classic Coke to New Coke back to Classic Coke count?

                1. Wispa bars made by Cadburys were discontinued in the UK and then brought back by "public demand".
                  I'm always a bit cynical about how food companies play this and what the PR angle is.
                  Some years ago Heinz announced that they were going to scrap salad cream in the UK as it was too expensive to make anymore. After an outcry they relented but increased the price by quite a lot. So it was a win win for Heinz.

                  1. Not a food, but a spirit. And I know you said no special releases, but... Tanqueray Malacca gin (their 1839 recipe) which was released from 1997 to 2001 when it was discontinued. Just a few weeks ago a special release of a 9,000 case one time batch, came on the market. (Although I think if it sells well it may be released again.) This came back almost solely because of bartenders who work in fine cocktail bars requested it.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: JMF

                      And a month or two ago, Maker's Mark decided against lowering the alcohol content of their whiskey after public outcry.

                      1. re: JMF

                        Also not a food, but I remember a beverage called a "White Mountain Cooler" from the 1980's. At the time I thought it was, "The Nectar of the Gods." I don't know when they quit making it, I loved the original and the orange one sucked, but I do remember that it had citrus bits floating around in the bottom of the bottles... (Gee, I hope that was what was floating around in the bottom of the bottle...)

                      2. Liederkranz cheese may be an interesting story to you. Of course it was a variation of the European Limburger, but this was made in upstate NY by Bordens and had major fans since the late 1800s. Then the factory burnt down and the mold spores in the factory with it. This same cheesemaker invented Velveeta, among other things, but processed cheeses weren't a major thing at the time.

                        There was a copyright of sorts and somehow it ended up in New Zealand. I had a friend that used to piteously recount how that cheese was his Holy Grail of all cheeses, or possibly all foods in the world, and then lo and behold one day a few years ago I saw it advertised in the local grocery store. It had been gone for 25 years, but someone in Wisconsin was now manufacturing it. I kept buying it for him until he was almost tired of it, eating and sharing, and then he got sick and passed away. Now I don't see it around again anymore, glad it worked out the way it did.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: coll

                          That's a great story, I bet your friend was so excited when you found it. Looks like you can still order it from Amazon if you're feeling nostalgic.

                          1. re: gmm

                            Thanks, I knew it was a small boutique cheesemaker in Wisconsin that started making it again. Glad to know they're still in business. The store where I bought it was sort of shocked when they saw me buying three or four at a time, every week or so; I always had the other customers question me too. Either they remembered it or were merely curious. I felt like the Ambassador of Liederkranz!

                            They kept bringing it in for me from their other stores until they depleted their entire supply, they're really nice that way. I was hoping to start a new fad, but after about six months it was no longer on the shelves. My friend too is no longer with us, but my husband also remembered the cheese from his younger days, everyone had some kind of ritual like it had to be served on rye with onion and he too was a big fan, maybe I'll surprise him sometime soon!

                        2. DH still pining for his Hydrox cookies -- how many years has it been -- nothing else will do -- poor guy...

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Sarah

                            Oh, Lord, I remember the Hydrox cookies. They didn't last too long here in NY either.

                            1. re: breadchick

                              Didn't last too long? Invented in 1908. Oreos were a knock off of them. Discontinued for a while around 2003, but then brought back as a limited edition in 2008 for the 100th anniversary. I don't know how widely they are available now, but crushed Hydrox are still made for ice cream mix ins.

                              I'm curious if the Trader Joe cookies are actually Hydrox. They taste very similar to them. Less sweet than oreos, and deeper chocolate flavor.

                              1. re: JMF

                                That's what I though, I'm in NY and Hydrox seemed to be around my whole life until recently (and I'm no spring chicken!)

                            2. re: Sarah

                              I missed the limited edition return of Hydrox -- I think it was pretty brief. Not available any more, and according to the Kellogg's rep I met at a trade show last year, not likely to come back in any edition. Apparently the limited edition only happened because a top exec at Kellogg was a big fan of Hydrox. When they took over Keebler (the prior producer of Droxies, the Hydrox successor), that limited edition return was sort of a pet project of his, and was not successful.

                              That said, the Trader Joe's version is by far the closest I've seen -- especially the filling. Oreos taste nothing like Hydrox used to, and they never have.

                              Thinking back to the early/mid/seventies, Sunshine was tinkering with the Hydrox formula, and they had already suffered a decline in quality. At their worst though, they were still way better than Oreos.

                              1. re: Steve Green

                                I haven't been to Trader Joe's in quite a while (the parking there is awful), but I'll make a trip tomorrow to check out their almost-Hydrox. Thanks!

                                1. re: pine time

                                  We went to TJ's today and DH's advice: "Save yourself the trip (and parking woe) -- go to Safeway's and get their Tuxedos."

                            3. As of a few years ago, at any rate, you could get Whip n' Chill
                              online in commercial-sized packets.

                              I believe that the hard tack crackers, whose name I cannot now recall, were discontinued but brought back after New England's chowder-makers protested. They are like a larger, thicker saltine.

                              1. Well, it appears that Twinkies and Ding-Dongs are getting ready for their comeback. The company that bought Hostess is said to be getting ready to hire production workers. Not that I really care that much - I can think of lots of disappeared things I'd rather see come back - but there will surely be plenty of rejoicing in some quarters.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  I hunted down a couple packs of Twinkies for my father, just before they disappeared. I had one bite of one and remembered why I hadn't eaten one in over 10 years. I'd be much happier to see Ho Hos and Sno Balls return.

                                  1. re: gmm

                                    My baked-snack nostalgia is a tad more arcane these days: packaged fruitcake slices and 4" pecan pies, both 15¢ apiece. Had to save up for those! There were also lightly iced fried pies at about the same price. All long gone, except (in some areas) the pecan pies, but those are not 15¢ anymore!