In the world of processed foods, there is perhaps no horror greater than learning your favorite snack has a new recipe. Maybe the price of X went up, so the company is using Y instead. Maybe there was a contract dispute. Maybe the company’s switching to a cheaper product just to line their hungry pockets. To loyal fans, it really doesn’t matter.
1. New Coke
You really can’t talk about epic recipe failures without mentioning New Coke. In 1985, Coca-Cola rolled out the new formulation of its flagship beverage, and ever since, it’s served as a warning of the dangers of reformulating a well loved product. Even though the majority of drinkers actually preferred the new flavor, a vocal minority rebelled and pushed Coca-Cola to drop the line.
2. Ben & Jerry’s “Coffee Health Bar Crunch” (now “Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch”)
Full disclosure: “Coffee Heath Bar Crunch” used to be this writer’s favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor. It had a tasty coffee base with just enough big hunks of Heath Bar to make eating a pint feel like a treasure hunt. Unfortunately, after Ben & Jerry’s dropped Heath as a supplier because of a dispute over GMOs, now it’s more like navigating a minefield. The new “Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch” tastes like it’s made with candles. Yuck. On top of that, it also has more calories and fat. (For what it’s worth, I’m not the only one who misses the OG.)
3. It’s-It Ice Cream
We’re guessing most of you don’t know what an It’s-It is — and that’s a shame. The San Francisco Bay Area company has been making these treats since 1928, and they’re a regional favorite. What is an It’s-It? It’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies (no raisins) and drenched in dark chocolate. We’re not quite sure exactly when the recipe changed, but longtime San Franciscans tell us of a time when the ice-cream and the cookies were higher quality. All the same, they’re without question still worth shkoffing.
4. Cadbury Creme Eggs
The most recent recipe formulation to make headlines was Cadbury’s change to their iconic creme eggs, replacing their traditional, widely beloved dairy milk in UK markets with a different, lower-quality chocolate. While we haven’t tasted the two versions next to each other, folks on the interwebs seem to agree that the newer version is decidedly worse. Luckily, U.S. and Canadian markets weren’t affected.
OK, so while this isn’t a reformulation or recipe change by a single company, we feel it’s controversial enough to include here. Let’s get this straight: While a lot of companies make “sriracha” sauce, for most of us there’s really only one, that made by Huy Fong Foods. With all due respect to competitors, if it doesn’t have a green cap and a rooster on the front, you can keep it. How else are we going to justify the cock jokes?
— Ben Adlin