Special Report

The Biggest Food and Drink Flops in Recent History

It seems as if certain foods and drinks have been around forever, and always will be: Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Heinz Ketchup, McDonald’s hamburgers, Oscar Mayer wieners. But for every household staple, there’s a veritable graveyard out there of ones that, for a wide variety of reasons, simply didn’t make the cut and have been relegated to the waste bin of history.  

Even if millions of dollars are spent on research and development, production, testing, and marketing, there’s no guarantee that a new product is going to succeed. Sometimes it’s a brand extension that just doesn’t make sense. Sometimes the public isn’t sufficiently educated as to what the product is. Sometimes it doesn’t work as intended, or simply doesn’t taste very good. Sometimes there’s just too much competition. Sometimes, it simply doesn’t sell and nobody really knows why. Sometimes it arrives at the tail end of a dying trend. (To that point, these are bacon-flavored foods the world really doesn’t need.) 

If you were to travel back in time and take a trip to the grocery store or fast-food chain, we bet you’d find a lot more products that have been discontinued than you’d expect. Hundreds of products come and go every year, and companies spend a lot of money hoping for one that really catches on. Some discontinued products, like Butterfinger BB’s and Jell-O Pudding Pops, continue to hold a special place in our hearts. But the vast majority of them quickly fade from memory. (These are 40 popular discontinued snack foods we really miss.

To determine the biggest food and drink flops in recent history, 24/7 Tempo reviewed lists of failed products on a variety of sites, including Reader’s Digest, The Daily Meal, Business Insider, The Recipe, Delish, and Financial Post.

Click here to see the biggest food and drink flops in recent history

Most of them never made much of a splash, and some didn’t even make it out of test markets. They were introduced, failed to sell, and were pulled from shelves, all with little fanfare. But some new products were so hyped, and failed so spectacularly that we can’t help but feel a little bit of schadenfreude.  

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