1. McDonald’s McDLT
McDonald’s McDLT. Back when it debuted in 1985. To keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool, McDonald’s had created a special, partitioned Styrofoam container for the McDLT. And the hippie movement of the late ’80s drove McDonald’s to get rid of their Styrofoam packaging. Without that, the McDLT couldn’t deliver on its temperature promises, and, in 1990, it was discontinued.
2. Dairy Queen’s Breeze
In 1990, Dairy Queen began offering frozen yogurt as a lower-calorie alternative to its soft serve ice cream. According to a company representative, Dairy Queen’s regular soft serve has 35 calories per ounce and is 95% fat free, whereas the frozen yogurt was 25 calories per ounce. However, in 2001, the company phased out the frozen yogurt option in all its stores citing a lack of demand, the low sales of which made it difficult to keep the product fresh.
Side Note: My mother only allowed us to eat Breezes growing up! The whole family was bummed when they were discontinued.
3. Taco Bell’s Beefy Crunch Burrito
The Beefy crunch burrito includes seasoned taco meat, sour cream, and hot Fritos.
Not all taco fans are miffed by the Beefy Crunch’s departure. Many fans commented there has been many items removed from the menu, only to make their way back for a limited time.
Taco Bell did not release why the crunchy burrito will be removed or when, but instead promised many more items in the future.
3 Million Fans Bring it BACK!
Taco Bell will bring back its limited-time Beefy Crunch Burrito, which is spiked with Flamin’ Hot Fritos corn chips, in May, the chain revealed Monday.
The brand previewed the Beefy Crunch’s return in a Facebook post and Tweet on April 1 that simply showed a photo of the product alongside a bag of Fritos chips with the text, “Back this May. No joke.”
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/beefycrunchmovement
This Leaves me Wondering…What is This Burrito (and Bowl) Then, and When Did it Come Out?!
Or is this a part of the same promotion? It looks different (older) to me.
4. McDonald’s Big N’ Tasty
Introduced in 2001, the Big N’ Tasty burger, topped with lettuce and tomato, was seen as the clown’s direct response to Burger King’s Whopper. But now that Mickey D’s is going full steam ahead with its Angus Third Pounders, the sammie that the company website touts as “The Standard-Bearer of Burgers” has been downgraded to the point of being obsolete.
5. Burger King’s Tacos
The style in which they were made has been compared to Jack-in-the-Box. Nummy and deep-fried. Unfortunately, these suckers were discontinued in 2003.
6. Taco Bell’s BLT Soft Taco
The BLT Taco is a limited run taco. Like the name suggests, this taco had bacon, lettuce and tomato, along with club sauce and cheddar cheese.
Taco Bell that innovative mexican fast food icon found a new way to clog your heart with their cheap and greasy brand of mexican. The BLT Soft taco was the start of the Sizzlin’ Bacon Menu. I tried it once and it wasn’t half bad. They added two other bacon filled delacies, the Bacon Cheeseburger Burrito and the Chicken Club Burrito. So once again variety reigns supreme. They of course didn’t last and once again we were right back to the original boring Taco Bell menu.
7. Pizza Hut’s Bigfoot Pizza
Pizza Hut’s Bigfoot pizza was a square, two-foot by one-foot gigantic pie of awesomeness. The pizza was tremendously successful for the first year or two, then popularity dropped and Pizza Hut discontinued the product. The pie was named “Bigfoot” due to it’s enormous size.
8. Burger King’s Chicken Fries
BK Chicken Fries were a fried chicken product sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Burger King. According to Burger King marketing, it was one of their larger, adult oriented products made with higher quality ingredients than their “standard” menu items. Additionally, the product further targeted the snacking and convenience food markets.
Chicken Fries were part of a series of products designed to expand Burger King’s menu with both more sophisticated, adult oriented fare and present a larger, meatier product that appealed to 24–36 adult males. Along with the TenderGrill, TenderCrisp and Angus sandwiches, these products were intended to bring in a larger, more affluent adult audience who will be willing to spend more on the better quality products. They were discontinued in 2012.
9. KFC’s Double Down (Discontinued Where I Live, BUT I’m Not 100% Sure if It’s Gone Everywhere)!
KFC announced the Double Down in an April Fools’ Day press release, and launched the item in the United States on April 12, 2010. It has been promoted via billboards and a TV commercial that says it has “so much 100 percent premium chicken, we didn’t have room for a bun.”
Double Down History via Huffington Post
Back in April of 2010, the media was fast to descend on KFC’s Double Down following the sandwich’s debut in U.S. stores. Gleeful attacks on the bunless offering, which features two deep-fried chicken patties, bacon, two types of melted cheese and a “secret” sauce, included a takedown from The New York Times’ Sam Sifton, who dismissed it as “stunt food” and a “new low” in the category at that. Despite the bad reviews, or perhaps buoyed by them, people bought the sandwich in droves. A month later, KFC had sold 10 million Double Downs and decided to extend the limited-time product’s run indefinitely.
But reports of its initial success were downplayed by analysts, and the Double Down slowly slipped from the domestic spotlight. (A KFC spokesman would not confirm if it is still available in U.S. stores.) Yet in the last two years, the sandwich has popped up in one foreign market after the next, transforming the one-time April Fool’s gag into a runaway fast food success worldwide.
The unlikely hit is the direct result of parent company Yum! Brands’ successful strategy of transplanting concepts — often outrageous ones — across international markets. In addition to KFC, Yum! Brands’ global portfolio includes Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, which all offer some products with shock-based appeal.
“We want our markets to be super innovative and disruptive,” said Christophe Poirier, the chief marketing officer for KFC International, in an interview with The Huffington Post. “When you are are not disruptive … you don’t reinvent the game.”
Poirier, who speaks in heavily French-accented English, has worked in several KFC markets in various capacities since 2005 and claims insider knowledge of product development across Yum! Brands. He’s also overseen a number of outside-the-box products that have enjoyed considerable success. When a product fares well in one market, Poirier says, it’s likely to do well in others.
Following the U.S. launch, KFC introduced the Double Down to other markets, beginning with Canada. It was later rolled out to stores in the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea.
“It was clearly U.S.-centric — we did not have any intention to send it overseas,” Poirier recalled. “But, we got the buzz on the web. In fact, there was so much pressure … the venues were begging to get the Double Down.”
As evidence of the Double Down’s success in these markets, Poirier noted the frenzy that erupted upon the sandwich’s introduction to Japan. Its arrival was advertised almost exclusively on Facebook and Twitter, and at the start the Double Down was only available at a single store. On the day of its debut, fans queued in long lines and slept on the sidewalk outside in hopes of snagging a taste.
“It was like the iPhone,” Poirier recalled. A week later, the Double Down was released across Japan. “As you can imagine, people would be crazy … it was probably the biggest event I have ever seen in terms of product,” Poirier said.
The Double Down’s success worldwide is a testament to the product’s earning power, Poirier said, and its example gives the company some assurance in experimenting with wackier products.
Take, for instance, another Yum! Brands offering: the Crown Crust pizza from Pizza Hut Middle East. The pie’s main feature is its stuffed crust, which in the past has been filled with hamburgers, chicken fingers and meatballs and cream cheese. It’s proved wildly popular, particularly in the social media sphere, and according to Poirier, translated into “amazing” sales.
Poirier was tight-lipped about whether the Crown Crust would enjoy an international push similar to the Double Down. But actions speak louder than words — last week, Pizza Hut Canada announced that it’s offering a version of the pie with meatballs and cheese “gems” for a limited time.
Other new Yum! Brands products have enjoyed rollouts across world markets, too. Pizza Hut’s Dippin’ Strips were a bestseller in France before they debuted stateside in 2012, and a grilled chicken sandwich called the KFC Brazer was launched in France before heading to Germany, the U.K., Latin America and soon, the Middle East.
There’s also KFC’s Filet Bites, which debuted in Germany three years ago, before being introduced to the U.S. in the summer of 2012. Pizza Hut’s Big Slider, first called iPan in India in 2011, became available in the U.S. over Super Bowl weekend. Aside from small tweaks to make an offering more palatable to a local population, these products are mostly the same from country to country.
“The funny thing is that in the world, we have more in common than we are different,” Poirier says of the company’s strategy. Yum! Brands capitalizes on global tastes during its biannual, two-week retreat in Dallas, where chief marketing officers can taste every Yum! Brand product that has enjoyed success somewhere in the world and decide if it should be introduced in their own markets.
So what’s Yum! Brands’ next international hit? Poirier wouldn’t say. He did concede, however, that he’s always “looking for wacky items. We are looking for food that people will die for it.”
Perhaps it’s Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos tacos, which since their introduction in 2012 have become the chain’s most popular product ever. Given the public’s rabid reaction to the original Doritos Locos, and most recently, the Cool Ranch variety, we imagine the product is a prime candidate.
10. Wendy’s SuperBar
The SuperBar was an unholy bastard of random food that you would not normally associate with Wendy’s. It was predominately a salad bar, with your standard salad bar fixings. But in addition to the salad station, which they called the ‘Garden Spot’, there was also a Pasta Station (creatively called ‘Pasta Pasta’) and a Mexican Station (‘Mexican Fiesta’). ‘Pasta Pasta’ was stocked with both rotini and spagetti pastas, and both a tomato and alfredo sauce, and you could load up on the garlic bread sticks. ‘Mexican Fiesta’ was a taco bar with refried beans, rice, and taco meat (which was basically just the overcooked hamburger meat they didn’t use in the chili), and you could choose between crunchy tacos, or they had one of those little tortilla warmer things filled up for making soft tacos. But the best part was by far the little dessert part, which was kinda shoved at the end of the ‘Garden Spot’, they always had two troughs full of chocolate and vanilla pudding.
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