Food products are constantly being innovated, developed, rebranded and re-invented in an attempt to keep up with ever-changing demands and taste-buds of consumers. But change isn’t always a good thing.
In 2000, for example, Heinz decided to play with the colors of its ketchup. This EZ Squirt condiment was available in green, purple, blue and a “mystery color.” Although initially a hit, selling in excess of 25 million bottles, consumers soon realized how unappetizing fries look smothered in purple goo, and it was discontinued in 2006. Click on for 19 more food fails that should never have been served up…
19. Pepsi A.M.
Pepsi holds a 30 percent share of the fizzy drinks market. Not most people’s idea of a breakfast beverage, the drinks manufacturer attempted to change that in the late 1980s with Pepsi A.M, which contained double the caffeine of its daytime counterpart. Within a year, however, it went flat and was discontinued.
18. Gerber Singles
Gerber is best known for producing baby food. In 1974, it attempted to expand its market by producing food for singles and college students. Unsurprisingly, it turned out that people weren’t crying out for pureed vegetables and mushed meat in a jar, and the Gerber Singles venture was an unmitigated failure.
17. WOW Chips
WOW is the name of a low-fat, low-calorie potato chip produced by Lays in 1998. WOW chips certainly wowed consumers, earning the company around $350 million in its first year. But that’s not all they did to consumers, thanks to the chips containing the fat substitute olestra, which can cause unwanted bathroom breaks and stomach cramps.
16. Thirsty Dog Bottled Water
For anyone who had a craving for beef or fish-flavored water in 1994, Thirsty Dog Bottled Water for pets was approved by the FDA for human consumption. Since dogs and cats have a natural propensity to lick their own butts and drink from puddles, they weren’t too fussed about bottled water.
The Canadian Beverage Corporation broke the mold in flavored water in 1997 by adding edible, fruit-flavored gelatin balls to its Orbitz bottled water. Looking uncannily like a lava lamp and apparently tasting like cough syrup, the bizarre hybrid disappeared from shop shelves before its first birthday.
14. Coors Rocky Mountain Sparkling Water
Coors is a name synonymous with beer; a beer brewed using Rocky Mountain spring water since way back in 1873. Consumers were left confused by this Coors-branded Rocky Mountain Sparkling Water which was trying to tap into the 1990s bottled-water boom. Its too-iconic logo raised doubts over driving home after a couple of bottles.
13. Funky Fries
Funky Fries were funky in the wrong way. You want blue fries for your blue ketchup? Ore-Ida gave that to the world in 2002. Despite millions being spent on marketing, within a year they were only to be found in “bizarre food” lists all over the internet.
12. Cosmopolitan Yogurt
Enjoy a Cosmopolitan yogurt for lunch while reading the magazine, perhaps? Or was it inspired by a fad diet? Maybe it could be incorporated into a beauty routine or as part of a spiced-up sex life? Whatever the train of thought in 1999, it had derailed within 18 months.
11. Colgate Kitchen Entrees
Some names are so synonymous with the products they make that any attempt to break into another market just seems plain odd. Like when Colgate tried to enter the ready-meal market in 1982 with its Colgate Kitchen Entrees. A stir-fry that freshens your breath for up to 12 hours? No thanks.
10. Coffee Jell-O
It’s not unusual for cafe patrons to order coffee with their desserts in restaurants. So why not kill two birds with one stone and have some Coffee Jell-O? Because if anyone wants coffee they will order a cup of it, that’s why not. Launched in 1918, it was consigned to history shortly afterwards.
9. Vanilla Ice Cream Monster Munch
“Could you pass me the ice cream-flavored potato chips?” said no-one ever. In the U.K, a limited run of Vanilla Ice Cream Monster Munch was launched in 2004. As were a few lunches, no doubt, when the traditional savory flavoring was replaced with sugar in this snack.
8. Tesco Lasagne Sandwiches
Sandwiches are a pretty versatile food stuff. Sweet, savory, grilled, single, double or triple deckers. But at no point in history did anyone ever ask for a lasagne-filled sandwich. Italians were so offended that they publicly distanced themselves from U.K. supermarket Tesco’s “cheap imitations” in 2010.
7. Watermelon Oreo
Proof, if nothing else, that you should never mess with perfection, i.e. the Oreo. Nabisco’s attempt at experimenting with flavors and colors resulted in a green and pink watermelon creme in a vanilla sandwich – the Watermelon Oreo. It was only sold as a limited edition, thankfully.
6. Stallone High Protein Pudding
Celebrity endorsements are no guarantee of success. Somewhere in the middle of lawsuits and dreadful headline puns, Sylvester Stallone put his name to this High Protein Pudding. Launched in 2005, it was intended as a mousse-like alternative to protein bars and shakes – just let Stallone’s pudding “slide down your throat,” urged the marketing material. Um… how about no?
5. I Hate…
Parents will do anything to get their kids to eat vegetables. So in the 1970s American Kitchen decided to deep-fry everything – peas, carrots, corn, spinach and broccoli – to look like French fries. Kids noticed and the likes of I Hate Peas, I Hate Spinach and I Hate Carrots soon ended up in the great garbage pail of food fail.
4. Campbells Souper Combo
Everyone loves a sandwich with their soup. So in the early 1980s, Campbells tapped into that market with the Souper Combo available in a range of flavors. Turns out it was actually quicker and more straightforward to heat a can of soup and make your own sandwich.
3. Life Savers Soft Drinks
A soft drink that tastes like candy. Sounds awesome, right? Early taste tests in the 1980s were looking good. But then everyone remembered how annoying hyperactive kids can be after they’ve consumed too much sugar, and it was discontinued before the end of the decade.
2. Pepsi Pink
Pepsi often plays with its flavors to the delight – or disgust – of its customers. Remember clear Crystal Pepsi and Blue Hawaii? Now imagine a Pepsi Pink that tastes like a strawberry shake. As vomit-inducing as it sounds, Pepsi Japan made it. The rest of the world just wasn’t ready.
1. Tomato Snickers
Saving the best – or worst – for last, we offer you Snickers. In a can. In tomato sauce. Lost for words on this one. A can of tomato sauce containing a Snickers bar. Tomato Snickers. However you say it, it holds zero appeal. It’s available to buy in Russia. Russia can keep it.