/ Food & Drink

Has one of your favourite food products been discontinued?

discontinued products

Ever had a favourite food or drink that you enjoy regularly, only for it to disappear from the shelves? It’s not uncommon for companies to discontinue products with no explanation – which ones do you miss?

Some products aren’t built to last, but while our older tech will always get replaced by the latest and greatest innovations, it’s a little different for other product areas. In the case of food and drink, our personal favourites can sometimes disappear completely – often suddenly and without explanation.

Vanishing act

From ever since I can remember, my family has sat down for a roast dinner every Sunday. I’ve always looked forward to dessert most and every week, without fail, I would have a Heinz Strawberry Jam Sponge Pudding all to myself (yep, the whole lot… with ice cream). It also came in Chocolate, Spotted Dick and Treacle variations.

Then one week, it suddenly vanished. We couldn’t find it on the shelves anywhere, but remained confident that it’d return – maybe everywhere was just out of stock?

As months went by I gradually let go, but after last week’s roast dinner, I decided I needed confirmation that the puddings were gone forever, so I tweeted Heinz to find out.

Gone, but not forgotten

The confirmation from Heinz cut me like a knife through… sponge. But it got me reminiscing about some of my other old favourites that had suddenly disappeared without a trace.

Pepsi Lemon Twist – gone. Citrus Clear Lucozade – gone. Both childhood favourites of mine that I’d pick up on the way home from school on a regular basis.

When I mentioned I was writing a Convo on the subject of discontinued products at Which? HQ, many of my colleagues had one dearly departed food or drink product. Discontinued chocolate, such as Fox’s Echo bars, Mars Delight, Flake Snow and Cadbury’s Dream (the white chocolate Dairy Milk), were all brought up frequently.

Rob in our Digital team was still in mourning for Worcester Sauce Twiglets, but I think he’s on his own there.

Coincidentally, the most frequently mentioned discontinued product from the Which? staff I asked is another belonging to Heinz. Its Baked Beans Pizza with Cheese was a firm dinnertime favourite for many here, until it disappeared just like its sponge puddings.

Which discontinued products do you miss?

This is a subject we’ve covered here on Which? Conversation before, when the infamous Christmas favourite, the Toffee Deluxe, was ditched from the Quality Street selection. Many of you joined the conversation then to lament the end of Wrigley’s chewing gum, Nestlé Texan bar, Cadbury Milk Tray lime chocolate and many others.

Do you have a childhood favourite food or drink product that you can no longer get hold of, or perhaps one that has disappeared more recently? Whether it’s food, drink or something else, let us know about it in the comments below.

Peggy Tebbs says:
29 April 2018

My picky eater pussycat is traumatised by changes in Sainsbury’s own brand and M/S own brand cat food.

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Make it catch mice. Then it might appreciate processed food more. 🙂

OK Sauce. I tried everywhere to get some and found my last two bottles in a health food store in Inverness some years ago (I live near Southampton!). I went to Norwich, to the Colman’s store and they admitted that it was no longer in production.
Batchelor’s Thick Lincoln Pea soup. A regular treat, when I was on school holidays (I am now 69).
Choc-O-Lait biscuits, with Barker & Dobson Chocolate.
Miller’s “Cornish” pasties. They couldn’t call them this anymore as they were made in Dorset. Factory closed some years ago.

I also miss OK Sauce, as well as Brand’s No.1 sauce. Both were superior to the modern brown sauces.

And what became of Energen Rolls?

Barbara Prescott says:
7 May 2018

Starbucks Via Decaf Italian Roast (instant micro ground coffee) in single sachets has been withdrawn. Staff have been given no explanation as to why. When I tried contacting customer services I was initially fobbed off with “try your local store” and then eventually told they had done customer feedback prior to discontinuing. They continue to produce non decaf sachets.

Wendy McLeish says:
27 May 2018

My husband was devastated when Starbucks stopped selling their whole bean French Roast coffee in the UK. He has been drinking it for decades. No other coffee does it for him, he has tried all the dark roasts over the couple of years since it was discontinued, and tried blending various different makes. We found it isn’t available in the EU either. He got some sent from the USA at enormous cost, and we brought several bags home when we went over to Canada on holiday. Annoying that it is still available there but not over here.

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Barmouth biscuits

Agreed. They were delicious.

Cadbury’s Bourneville Old Jamaica! They brought it back again a few years ago but have since discontinued it again. I live in hope I will see it on the shelves again!

Bill Winters says:
30 June 2018

Mackintosh’s Golden Cup was a great favourite of mine as a child. Sadly missed

My hubby mourns the disappearance of Royal Scot biscuits.

My children miss ‘Fizzle Sticks’ which they eagerly bought with their 20p ‘Saturday sweeties’ money in the mid 80’s. If we’re honest, we as their Mum and Dad do, too – they were scrumptious!

Instant Whip and Barmouth biscuits

Dispite hating coffee I love coffee creams. They are no longer in Roses, Quality St and most other’s. I also miss Heinz chocolate pudding, Bachelors Thick Lincoln pea soup, Frys 5 centre’s.

Coffee creams were a family favourite years ago when we had a box of MilkTray. Only two to fight over though. I don’t know what these are like so not advertising, but you might find them locally. https://www.thorntons.co.uk/chocolate-boxes/coffee-creams-chocolate-box-63929.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4cS79eTY3AIV4bvtCh1jFAKTEAQYASABEgIbmvD_BwE

Susan B says:
12 August 2018

I miss the Cadburys Bar Six in its orange wrapper (chocolate with wafer & hazelnut filling, as I recall). I remember eating them in the 1970s but think they have been discontinued for a long time!

Darryl says:
14 August 2018

Terry’s Spartan chocolates.

I miss Heinz Vegetable Salad, Chocolate covered cracknell bar, Black Magic’s chocolate montellimar nougat, BlackMagic’s Chocolate covered cherry kirsch.

“Hedgehog” flavoured crisps.

Here’s a bit about them, Steve: https://www.doyouremember.co.uk/memory/hedgehog-flavoured-crisps

No hedgehogs were harmed in publicity stunt that landed up in court, or so we are told.

I remember seeing haggis flavoured crisps but it did not say whether they were made from the three-legged haggis.

It is interesting that there was outrage that actual hedgehogs might have been used in the recipe but no one bats an eyelid when it is made known that pig fat is used as an ingredient.

Silly flavours abound for people’s amusement. My kids (well, they behave like them) bought beanboozled jelly beans where identical colours were paired in two flavours, so you did not know which flavour you had picked. Highlights were dead fish/fruit smoothie; stinky socks/tutti frutti; canned dog food/chocolate pudding and vomit/peach. Generally used in a game, like a non-fatal version of Russian Roulette.

Michael Marshall says:
30 September 2018

Heinz and Crosse & Blackwell London Grill. Used to love it

diana says:
3 October 2018

Where as the shops own brand of Liver salts gone. we used to get it from Asda,wilkinsons, morrisons and sainsburys now they sell only the Andrews brand.

I would not have thought of Liver Salts as a favourite food product, Diana, but maybe I have been missing something.

Perhaps falling demand has made it uneconomic for the supermarkets to source own-label Liver Salts and offer them for sale across their stores within the ‘use by’ dates. All the supermarkets review their own-label products to see whether or not they remain profitable at the lower prices they have to sell at in order to compete with established brands. Some products just do not justify the investment in procurement from other manufacturers and finding space within the category to support a separate line.

Another possibility is that the manufacturers of the own-label products for a number of different retailers could no longer run separate production streams with different packaging, labelling, product information, and distribution at an economic and competitive price. All these things take up management resources and with the big retailers apparently struggling in a crowded market some things have to go.

Yes, you’ve just reminded me, Terry’s Spartan Chocolates, all hard centres. We don’t get enough chocolates, of any make, with hard centres now. Also, Callard & Bowser Nougat in long blue boxes – the cherries in them were to die for. Since Cadbury was taken over I no longer buy their boxes of chocolates. Did they do any customer research before they started messing about with their chocolates, boxed or otherwise? And I’ve given up on Quality Street. It’s sold all over the world, so they won’t miss this customer. Incidentally, I searched 3 shops before I found bars of soap yesterday. They’ll soon be a thing of the past too.

Certainly Fairy, Sunlight and Lifebuoy seem to have fallen from favour but Imperial Leather, Palmolive, Pears’ and Wright’s are hanging on plus a few others. Boots might be a good place to look.

Dove is available, but not one of my favourite food products.

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My mother used to have a thing in which you put the little bits of soap that were no longer big enough to use, clamp them in and squeeze hard. Out would come a block of soap looking like marble with which she would scrub my father’s detachable collars.

I apologise, Malcolm, for straying outside the bounds of food and drink.

I agree with Rosalind Holman about missing Heinz Vegetable Salad. I also miss Knorr Swedish Cauliflower and Broccoli packet soup and Heinz Ideal brown sauce. Happy days.

Miriam says:
17 December 2018

Toffo – you could get the ordinary toffee flavour ones and also a tube of mixed flavours strawberry etc.
And Spangles. Really like those but what was with the buff coloured one in every pack?

Peek Freans shortcake biscuits. Ousted by supermarkets own brand. Not the same at all.
Kunzel cakes, long gone but never forgotten.
Callard and Bowser butterscotch. Rectangular blocks, too big for a mouth but a flavour to die for