When Joni Mitchell penned the line “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone” in “Big Yellow Taxi,” she was talking in part about our natural ecosystem. But in the age of Generation Y, nostalgia takes a different form: junk food. There are entire sites devoted to wistfully remembering the snack foods that filled the youth of today’s college students and young adults, and though they’re all, well, pretty bad for you, it’s hard not to feel a sugary pang of remorse when you see the wrappings and labels that have been lost to time. High cholesterol never tasted so sweet.
Keebler Magic Middles
Do you know what’d make that plain old buttery cookie a lot better? If you injected it with the goodness of chocolate. Is there anything those elves can’t do?
Hershey’s Bar None
The Bar None originally featured chocolate and peanuts but was retooled a few years after its debut to include caramel. It was discontinued a few years later. If only there were some other candy bar out there to fill the void.
At least half the Ghostbusters mythology came from the cartoons, toys, and peripheral products like this long-gone Hi-C flavor. Maybe they’ll bring it back for Ghostbusters 3.
One of the few candy bars to go the peanut butter route, this tasty treat is still mourned by a surprising number of fans.
Introduced in 1995, PepsiCo’s Josta was at least a decade ahead of the energy drink craze, and the extra-caffeinated soda soon fell by the wayside. Trivia: an attempt to market the drink in Brazil totally backfired because Josta looks like “bosta,” a Portuguese translation for “shit,” which pretty clearly does not inspire feelings of thirst and happiness.
Diet Coke with Lemon
If you want to get your hands on one of these, you’ll have to go to Canada, South Africa, and scattered European and Asian locations, since the drink was discontinued in the U.S. in 2005 after only four years of sale.
Packing a braided eight inches of chocolate and caramel, the aptly named Marathon bar was a snack that dwarfed pretty much everything else on the shelf. (For the truly brave, or perhaps just diabetic denialists, it was also offered in a 15-inch version.) The bar was sold from 1973 to 1981. Some people use Cadbury’s Curly Wurly as a replacement, but since these aren’t available in the U.S., most people have just had to let go.
Sure, the vanilla cream version remains king. But it’d be nice to have this fruity option back, if only for a while.
Why is it peanut butter snacks have a harder time finding success? With the exception of Reese’s peanut butter cups (those sweet, glorious cups), most peanut butter treats vanish after a few years. PB Max was no exception. Shame.
Not related to the lemon-lime soda, Seven-Up Bars were chocolate bars made up of seven segments, each with a different filling. One of the most popular treats that’s no longer in existence.
It’s admittedly a little weird to take the thin taste of Gatorade and translate it into a gum, but the short-lived snack inspired severe devotion from its fans, who have been crying out ever since it was discontinued a few years ago.
Pepsi Holiday Spice
Just tasty enough to be interesting but just abrasive enough to only make sense around the holidays, Holiday Spice Pepsi enjoyed a brief run in the 2004 and 2006 holiday seasons. People who loved it took to it like no other, and though a similar “Christmas Pepsi” was marketed in 2007 and 2008, the original is long gone.
This early-1990s favorite was marketed with typically cheesy flair, as evidenced by the roller blades and generic rock. But the discontinued candy bar was a great one, and a nice break from the straight-chocolate mix for which Hershey’s became famous.
Ice Cream Cones Cereal
Making about as much sense as Cookie Crisp, Ice Cream Cones was a breakfast cereal made up of tiny ice cream cones and sugary blobs meant to represent chocolate ice cream. The health content was so low you probably don’t want to think about it for long, but it was sure was tasty.
Surge was one of those sodas marketed to kids who liked to think of themselves as extreme when the toughest thing they did in a given day was plug the blood code into their Sega Genesis copy of Mortal Kombat. Still, for adults of a certain age, this blast of 1990s nostalgia will always be a happy one.
Taco Bell’s Frito Burrito
Basically a Frito Chili Pie in wrap form, the Frito Burrito was the best (or least terrible, depending on your viewpoint) thing Taco Bell has ever served, likely because they weren’t responsible for making the key ingredient. Sadly, the Frito Burrito is no more, leaving drunks and wayward video gamers to make do with questionable quesadillas.
These M&Ms were great, but unfortunately, they had to compete with the candy’s already impressive line of regular and peanut offerings.
French Toast Crunch
This awesome cereal originally featured pieces that looked like little pieces of bread, but a redesign brought them closer in line with the basic Cinnamon Toast Crunch look, after which they were discontinued in the United States. Canadians can still get some, though.
Pepsi is destined to be an also-ran in the soda wars, but they’ve at least got their own niche (super-sweet stuff) carved out. Pepsi Blue was their attempt at going fruity, and though it was a fun drink, it only lasted a couple of years after its 2002 launch. Keep trying, fellas.
Cap’n Crunch’s “Oops, All Berries”
You have to hand it to the folks at Quaker Oats for trying a version of Cap’n Crunch that dropped the corn and oat pieces and didn’t even pretend to be part of a balanced breakfast. This stuff was like mainlining sugar right into your spine. No wonder it died a quick death, though a retooled version is being offered in a handful of locations. At least you can buy the regular stuff and pick out all the berries, right?