When it comes to food and drink, many of us have favorite commercial products with tastes we just can’t seem to replicate at home. Yet, sometimes, the recipes are updated with the promise of ‘improved taste’ or fewer calories—with disastrous results. Here, we’ve collected 20 previously delicious products that have changed their recipes for the worse.
These moist sponge cakes with a creamy filling are an iconic all-American snack, but, according to The New York Times, changes in production and ingredients have led to complaints about the texture and taste, while additional flavors like banana and chocolate haven’t always been well received.
While the recipe may not have officially changed, the company that produces these classic black cookies sandwiched together with a sweet, creamy filling has been accused of altering the cookie-to-cream ratio. Econlife says, “A slew of Oreo lovers report that Mondelez is cutting back on the creme.”
The same company that makes Oreos also produces this nougat-filled triangular chocolate bar, and apparently, they’re cutting back on quantities here, too. BBC News reports that a change to a wider, lighter version in 2016 was highly criticized. Buyers complained of an overall reduction in quality and weight and an unwelcome change to the bar’s beloved appearance.
McDonald’s French Fries
Cheapism says that McDonald’s fries have changed flavor due to health concerns regarding the beef tallow used to fry them, as opposed to cheaper (and less delicious!) vegetable oil. This and other changes in preparation methods have led to customers complaining about a lack of flavor and crispiness, even if their blood cholesterol levels are healthier!
Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate
The British confectioner Cadbury has previously changed the recipe of their iconic, purple-wrapped dairy milk chocolate. Once renowned for its smooth, creamy flavor, they added more cocoa, altering both the taste and texture. While some embraced the more chocolatey taste, many loyal fans hankered for the original recipe.
Even the Coca-Cola Company itself calls its 1985 recipe change and rebranding “the most memorable marketing blunder ever.” The original formula perfectly balanced sweetness and acidity, whereas “New Coke” was not well received. Although the company brought back the original recipe, the damage was done, and some argue it’s never been the same since.
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
The ultimate easy comfort food, Kraft’s mac ‘n’ cheese was cherished for its creamy sauce and consistent flavor. When the company altered several ingredients and removed some artificial flavorings, customers weren’t happy, complaining that the taste and texture weren’t the same (Mashed).
These iconically-shaped potato chips packaged in tubes are famous for their uniform shape, taste, and size. But Newshub claims that recent changes in manufacturing (including a shift from the U.S. to Malaysia) have completely changed the size, shape, texture, and packaging of the juice, angering fans the world over.
The clue is in the name—Nutella is a chocolate spread based on (you guessed it) nuts, or more precisely, hazelnuts. Beloved for its creamy texture and intense, nutty flavor, fans have recently noticed a change—the amount of expensive hazelnuts has been reduced and replaced with cheaper sugar and oil, presumably to improve profits.
Tropicana Orange Juice
Described as coming “straight from the orange,” Tropicana’s premium orange juice was long regarded as the best long-life juice available, having a fresh and natural taste. But, according to Forbes, a controversial packaging redesign and changes to production have led to customers demanding the original flavor profile.
Often appreciated for its smooth, creamy texture and classic flavors, Jell-O pudding has recently experienced ingredient changes, altering the taste and texture slightly. Die-hard fans who enjoy the dessert’s childish simplicity and nostalgia complain that the new recipe just doesn’t feel the same.
Kellogg’s Corn Pops
Predominantly aimed at children, Kellogg’s Corn Pops is a well-known, corn-based sweet breakfast cereal with a satisfying crunch. When Kellogg’s changed the recipe slightly, leading to a shift in texture and flavor, fans were disappointed, and sales declined compared to the more beloved original.
Today.com states the manufacturers of these unique-shaped chocolate candies removed the milk solids from their recipe, forcing the FDA to relabel them as ‘cocoa-based candies’ rather than a milk chocolate product. This cost-cutting procedure provoked criticism—consumers felt they were buying an inferior (less creamy) product for the same price.
Campbell’s Tomato Soup
The original tomato soup made by Campbell’s had a classic, comforting flavor of rich tomatoes and cream, but that changed when the recipe was altered. Fans say altering the ingredients and quantities used in production has ruined the nostalgic taste and previously more satisfying consistency.
A legal ruling in Ireland found that Subway’s soft sandwich bread contained too much sugar to be classified as bread, so the recipe was changed. Although the new bread contains less sugar and is therefore healthier, fans of the original Subway taste complained about a loss of flavor compared to the old, sugar-laden recipe.
KFC’s Original Recipe Chicken
Amusingly, given the name, southern-fried chicken giant KFC has recently been accused of changing its so-called ‘Original Recipe’ coating on its chicken pieces. Many consumers claim the recipe isn’t the same; they can taste differences in the levels of herbs and spices and the overall crispiness.
These candy bars are a combination of crunchy, whole peanuts, nougat, and caramel smothered in milk chocolate. But the high-calorie treat has been criticized for perceived changes in the recipe, resulting in a sweeter, less crunchy offering that is also smaller in size than the original bars.
Most international brands, like Starbucks, gain popularity because they offer products that are reliably consistent in taste worldwide. Unfortunately, changes in the hot drink company’s source of coffee beans and brewing methods have resulted in consumers campaigning about changes in the taste and quality of their coffee.
Peanut Butter M&M’s
What’s better than sugar-coated chocolate? Sugar-coated chocolate with added peanut butter! Previously adored by many, M&M’s Peanut Butter candies have recently attracted negative reviews due to changes in the thickness of peanut butter inside the confectionaries, altering both the taste and texture.
Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies have long been adored for their authentic, homemade taste and high-quality chocolate chips (compared to other alternatives). Yet changes to the recipe have altered the overall taste and texture, leaving many people disappointed.
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