5 Packaged Food Fails: Who Thought These Were Good Ideas?
Screenshot from a commercial for Life Savers Holes
caffeinated beef jerky. And yet, very little of what's on the shelf today compares with some of the monstrous fails perpetrated on us in the past, most of them by some of America's most beloved brand names. Thankfully all of these products have gone the way of the dodo bird. But we thought it would be worth taking a look into the past at the hilariously bad ideas people making more money than you do came up with over the years. Turn the page for five of the worst packaged foods of all time.
5. Life Savers Holes
Perhaps looking to capitalize on the (somewhat unfathomable) popularity of doughnut holes, Life Savers decided to roll out Life Savers holes -- little nubs of candy meant to be the offcast centers of the Life Saver. There is a rumor out there that the inventor of Life Savers made them the shape they are because his daughter choked on a candy, hoping the hole in a Life Saver would keep the same from happening to other children. It's not true, but Life Savers holes did seem kind of strangely perfect for choking on. Whether it was because of this or just because the whole thing was totally dumb, they didn't last.
4. Orbitz Water
Made by Clearly Canadian, Orbitz was introduced as a "texturally enhanced alternative beverage." In other words, it had weird little goo balls floating in it. It was like a drinkable lava lamp. One of the flavors (pineapple banana cherry coconut) had blue liquid and colored balls, the others were clear. There was even a chocolate flavor. So you'd drink it and then wind up with a mouth full of jelly balls you had to chew. So yeah. It didn't last very long.
3. Crystal Pepsi/Pepsi Blue/Pepsi A.M.
While Coke gets all the guffaws, with New Coke being called one of the greatest marketing disasters of all time, in fairness Pepsi has launched a whole lot of really awful products over the years. Crystal Pepsi was a 1992 experiment in clear soda that only lasted a couple of years. Thinking maybe a different color might work better, Pepsi Blue was launched in 2002, and also didn't last. But probably the worst idea was Pepsi A.M., a breakfast cola with 28% more caffeine than regular Pepsi. It didn't even last a year on the market. Though if you come across one of these products in a back corner of your grandpa's bomb shelter, rejoice! They go for a lot of money on ebay these days.
2. Heinz EZ Squirt Ketchup
In 2000, Heinz launched the EZ Squirt line of ketchups, aimed towards children. Somehow, they thought it would be a great idea to make them garish colors, bringing the world green, purple and blue glop in which to soak your fries. Four colors, Blastin' Green, Funky Purple, Stellar Blue and something called Mystery Color, were released. Amazingly, it stuck around for six years, eventually being discontinued in 2006.
1. Gerber Singles
You know how brand new college kids and young people leaving home for the first time can seem a little like newborn babies, not able to clean or feed themselves properly? Well that's what Gerber banked on in 1974, when it launched Gerber Singles, a line of baby food for grown ups with flavors like beef burgundy, creamed beef and blueberry delight. Somehow the idea of eating food out of a jar from a company known for making baby food didn't go over so well with the 20-something set. Ramen producers and Kraft have been breathing a sigh of relief ever since.
Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
Get the Squid Ink'd Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly food newsletter, which features top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips and a link to our print review.