7 Discontinued Canned Foods That We’ll Probably Never See Again

These canned foods didn’t have much of a shelf life.
80's Ads: Chef Boyardee Pac Man ABC's 123's Zooroni 1985
80's Ads: Chef Boyardee Pac Man ABC's 123's Zooroni 1985 / PhakeNam

Love it or hate it, many of the things Americans love to eat and drink come in cans. Brands like Campbell’s, StarKist, and Eagle Foods grace pantries all over the country and have withstood the test of time. Others haven’t been so lucky. 

When it comes to discontinued foods, the list of failed experiments and outright bombs is long. Some of these canned picks enjoyed brief periods of relative success, but many hit their expiration dates long ago, and no one is really clamoring for them to make a comeback.

Chef Boyardee Roller Coasters

It’s easy to see why a can advertising “Roller Coasters” would have been a big hit with the little ones. The pasta, released in the mid-’70s, came in shapes meant to mimic the wavy curves of the amusement park ride. Despite the colorful packaging, quirky name, and mini-meatballs, the ride just wasn’t a big enough attraction and Chef Boyardee discontinued it in the late ’80s.

Chef Boyardee Zooroni

Much like Roller Coasters, the old-school fans of vintage Chef Boyardee pasta would probably consider Zooroni one of the classics. The pasta was shaped like zoo animals (including elephants, camels, and giraffes) and had the same tomato base as the company’s other products. Though it was discontinued around 1982, kids from this era would have even seen TV commercials for it, along with Pac-Man and Smurf pasta.

Altoids Sours

Altoids Sours in Citrus against abstract background.
You can find TikTok tutorials on how to make them at home. / Quality Foods / bgblue, Digital Vision Vectors Collection, Getty Images (background)

Altoids Sours came out in 2004 and were available in five fruity flavors: apple, raspberry, mango, citrus, and tangerine. As the name implies, they were quite a departure from the usual chalky white mints found in those adorable Altoids tins. They were only on the market for six short years before Mars, the parent company, discontinued them “due to low national demand,” a brand rep told Bustle in 2015. Still, there was a big public outcry: There was a Change.org petition to bring them back, and sealed tins still regularly sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

Jolt Cola

Jolt Cola against an abstract background.
"All the sugar and twice the caffeine" wasn't exactly a great thing. / Walmart; bgblue, Digital Vision Vectors Collection, Getty Images (background)

Teenagers from the ‘80s and ‘90s will undoubtedly remember getting “jolted” off this sickly-sweet energy soda sold at convenience stores everywhere back in the day. Jolt Cola first came on the scene in 1985 and was only recently discontinued in 2019. According to the nutrition label, it contained 50 grams of real sugar per can. Marketed as “America’s first carbonated energy drink,” it was basically the OG that paved the way for Red Bull and Monster Energy.

Pringle’s Top Ramen Chicken-Flavored Chips

Pringles Top-Ramen Chicken Flavor chips on abstract background.
Pro tip: They tasted even better in actual ramen. / Pringles / bgblue, Digital Vision Vectors Collection, Getty Images (background)

Over the years, Procter & Gamble has created an astonishing number of flavors for their famously stacked Pringles chips—more than 166 in total. Some of the top sellers include Pizza, Honey Mustard, and Philly Cheesesteak. This one, which was based on Nissin’s famous ramen noodle soup, was a big hit. Fans of the flavor (most likely college kids) insisted it tasted just like the real thing, minus the hassle of boiling water. In 2018, the flavor was temporarily re-released and sold at dollar stores nationwide. But these days, you’d be hard-pressed to find them. 

Pumpkin Spice SPAM

Discontinued canned food: Pumpkin Spice SPAM on blue abstract background.
Some might say it was an acquired taste. / Amazon / bgblue, Digital Vision Vectors Collection, Getty Images (background)

Yes, you read it right. Someone had the bright idea to combine savory pork and ham meat with the fall flavors of nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. They also suggested dicing it up and adding it to waffles or eggs for brunch. According to a few curious taste testers at Food & Wine, the concoction could almost pass for bearable with maple syrup drizzled over it. SPAM lovers may recall this limited-edition release fondly, but it’s probably for the best that its season has passed.

Lifesavers Soda

Life Savers soda in the Fruit Punch flavor.
It was basically a liquid version of the candy. / Mars / bgblue, Digital Vision Vectors Collection, Getty Images (background)

Life Savers soda is another bygone beverage that makes the list. This short-lived “liquid candy” was introduced in the mid-1990s by Mars, the makers of the classic ring-shaped treats. The drink was available in five flavors: pineapple, orange, grape, fruit punch, and lime. Though the beverage line was meant to compete with Snapple and Fruitopia, consumer sales just didn’t take off, so it was quickly discontinued, and the candy brand returned to what it does best. 

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