Ever wonder why McDonald’s McRib sandwich left the regular menu, then came back a few years later, only to disappear, then return to only certain parts of the country at certain times of the year? The McRib is just one of the many types of food brought back by popular demand.
Thanks to the power of the internet and popularity of social media, people of like-mindedness can get together and share their commonly held beliefs. Like in 2015, when an online campaign erupted to bring back Crystal Pepsi and the clear soda from the 1990s pulled together tens of thousands of people to sign a petition on Change.org. Additionally, Twitter and Facebook pages were dedicated to the soft drink’s return.
Food nostalgia is a funny entity especially combined with the internet. People want to remain close to the products that remind them of certain periods of their life. It’s why Fruit Brute and Chocodiles hit the shelves again after their respective companies stopped making them. Other times, people just like a particular food that they can’t get anywhere else.
Here are the best discontinued snacks that came back. Some returned for a limited time only, while others plan to stay with us forever.
Crispy M&M's hit the shelves in 1998 as a limited-edition item. Mars Chocolate pulled the malted treat in 2005 much to the chagrin of Crispy M&M fans everywhere. After Facebook groups were started, petitions were signed, and calls to the company were dialed, Mars decided to permanently bring the treat back to consumers in 2015.
Burger King began offering their chicken fries, which are essentially chicken nuggets shaped like French fries, in 2005. The item was discontinued in 2012 but then social media and the internet got involved. The fast food chain brought the customer favorite back in 2014 after Burger King saw one tweet every 40 seconds about the discontinued menu item.
The company also responded to a Change.org petition, various Twitter pages, and several Facebook pages that were set up to help bring the product back to stores. Burger King plans to keep the modified fries as a regular menu item.
General Mills brought French Toast Crunch to the market in 1995. The company discontinued the product in the United States (they kept selling it in Canada under the name Croque Pain Doré) in 2006. However, consumers who hungered for the taste of the sweet cinnamon and maple toast-shaped cereal squares took to Facebook and started the Bring Back French Toast Crunch movement. In 2014, General Mills brought back French Toast Crunch because they wanted to capitalize on the nostalgia of consumers who ate the cereal as kids in the 1990s.
Twinkies were invented way back in 1930 and have been an American snack staple for decades. However, in 2012 Hostess Brands (the makers of Twinkies and other snacks like Ding Dongs and Ho Hos) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Twinkies supply started to dwindle. Consumers scrambled and began snatching them up at a record pace in fear that the cream-filled snack cake would disappear forever.
A private equity firm named Apollo Group Management and Metropoulos & Co. saved the day when it purchased the snack side of Hostess for over $400 million. Much to the delight of Twinkies fans everywhere, the snack cakes were once again returned to the shelves for general consumption nationwide.