11 Foods Disappearing From Grocery Store Shelves
Unlike many other food experiences, the grocery store is, for the most part, reliable. Every now and then a new ingredient for a recipe might be tricky to find, but for the most part, the staples are always in the same spot. Except sometimes they're not. Whether it's because they've been discontinued, they've been found to be problematic or there's a national or regional shortage, sometimes food items just begin to disappear and it's a race to get the last of them.
Here are just some of the most recent foods and beverages that have been disappearing from grocery store shelves, and for more grocery related news, here are 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story included Amy's Kitchen frozen foods and information about how they slowed and/or suspended production on some of their products at the beginning of the pandemic. However, as of May, the company has begun phasing many products back into production. Amy’s is not being discontinued or making plans to stop distribution.
Just like bell-bottoms and feathered hair, all trendy things from the 1970s reach an end at some point, and while Tab lasted longer than most, it's time in the sun has also reached a conclusion. Coca-Cola announced on Oct. 16 that it will be discontinuing the caramel-colored soft drink after nearly 60 years of it being on store shelves.
While it reigned supreme throughout the 1960s and 1870s, Tab became second-fiddle once Coca-Cola released Diet Coke in the early 1980s, although it always maintained a strong cult following.
Along with Tab, here are 15 Discontinued Sodas You'll Never See Again.
Do you feel the chill in the air outside? You know what that means—soup season is on. But for fans of Progresso, it might be harder to come by your favorite soup. Because the food seems to be the perfect remedy for feeling sick, it makes sense that during the COVID-19 pandemic people began to stock up on canned soup, and Progresso has been having a tough time catching up with the demand. The lack of soup on the shelves allows customers to flex their own skills in the kitchen, though, and try to make their favorite recipe themselves. It's one of the 9 Discontinued Canned Foods You'll Never See Again.
Local craft beer
Even alcohol, the one thing that many adults could rely on during the pandemic, wasn't safe from the business closures brought on by COVID-19. Craft breweries are one of the many local businesses that were hit hard during the pandemic. According to Statista, more than 60% of breweries slowed their production during the pandemic, and approximately 28% stopped production entirely. If you have a favorite local brewery that is still providing its products to your grocery store, it's time to make sure to support that business.
Hurry, someone call a doctor, or maybe just a Dr. Pepper provider because stores have been seeing a shortage of the beloved soft drink as just the latest product to undergo a COVID-19 shortage. The Dr. Pepper brand acknowledged the recent shortage in a Tweet, informing consumers that they're aware of the shortage and it applies to every flavor of the soda. The company added that it is working to get its product back on grocery store shelves. Plus, did you hear Coca-Cola Is Discontinuing This Diet Soda After 60 Years?
Was there anything people loved more in the early days of quarantine than baking bread? If you took one look at Instagram it seemed as if everyone you knew had turned into a semi-professional baker overnight. But with all of that baking comes consequences—in many grocery stores, there's been a big shortage of the most essential baking ingredient, flour. The King Arthur brand of flour even saw its sales increase more than 2,000% earlier this year. You're not reading that wrong—2,000%. Companies have worked hard to get their products back into stores so Instagram stories can once again be populated with more and more bread pictures.
Throughout the 1990s, there was no better way to celebrate coming home from school than cracking open a container of Dunkaroos and dunking a circular cookie in either chocolate or vanilla icing. The snack, beloved by 90's kids throughout the country and made by Betty Crocker, broke hearts when it was discontinued in the United States in 2012.
Dunkaroos were gearing for a nostalgia-filled comeback this summer, and while they are available in some locations, they're still few and far between on most grocery shelves. Speaking of, here are 10 of Your Favorite Childhood Foods That Quietly Disappeared.
Go to any grocery store and chances are the frozen pizza section will look like a deserted wasteland. While the easily-cooked frozen circle has always been a beloved dinner staple for many, grocery shoppers went above and beyond while stocking up during the pandemic, leaving many stores with a shortage of frozen pizzas.
Understandably, when people began to panic shop, pizza—one of the most popular comfort foods—was one of the first items to go. American shoppers purchased 92% more frozen pizza during March 2020 than in previous years, but if your favorite pie is off the shelves, don't fret too much. Just because there is a high demand does not mean it's gone for good.
Costco sheet cake
Upon entering a Costco it's easy to come under the impression that the warehouse chain has everything because, well, from coffins to autographed jerseys to a ton of food, they really do have a lot to choose from. But earlier this year the store announced that one of its most beloved items was no longer going to be available—the Costco sheet cake. The cakes could feed up to 40 people and retailed for just $18, making dessert a total discount.
When people began social distancing the store came to the realization that group gatherings, in which a lot of people would be consuming a sheet cake, weren't going to happen for the time being. Costco instead decided to focus on selling its 10-inch round cakes, which for some customers just weren't the same.
Customers are also missing these 19 Things Costco Discontinued Forever.
While Trader Joe's primarily sells its own brand products at its hundreds of locations, the beauty of the grocery chain is that it features its own versions of popular food items—including its own take on Oreo cookies, Joe-Joe's. The sandwich cookies come in a variety of flavors, including seasonal offerings like pumpkin and candy cane, and until 2019, they also offered a matcha flavor, which disappointed customers when they could no longer find it on the store's shelves.
According to one Reddit user, Trader Joe's confirmed that Matcha Joe Joe's had been discontinued as of 2019, although they added that it has been recommended to submit an inquiry on the Trader Joe's asking to bring them back for those that can't go on without the tea-flavored cookies. TJ's customers are also missing these 15 Beloved Trader Joe's Foods Fans Want Back.
Aunt Jemima products
For 130 years, the Aunt Jemima brand has been a breakfast staple for American families, but a lot has changed for the better in the past 13 decades, including taking steps toward racial equality. From its origins, Aunt Jemima was based on the "Mammy" stereotype of a Black woman who is devoted to serving white families. After the killing of George Floyd in May, Quaker Oats announced that it would be retiring the name and image of Aunt Jemima, with the image being retired first at some point later this year.
Similarly, Uncle Ben's products and Mrs. Butterworth's products are undergoing changes because of their association with racial stereotypes.
Ocean Spray cranberry juice
Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice has been missing from a lot of grocery store shelves, but unlike other items on this list, it's not leaving grocery stores because of COVID-19 shortages, or because of racial stereotyping in its marketing. It's gone for a much more wholesome reason.
Earlier this year, TikToker Nathan Apodaca posted a video of himself riding a longboard down the road, blasting "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac and drinking Ocean Spray's cranberry juice straight from the container. Although simple in its execution, the video has gone immensely viral, with celebrities and other TikTokers recreating the video, including Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks posting their own versions.
The juice has been sold out of several stores because of its popularity thanks to the short video. Due to the success that the extremely viral video brought Ocean Spray, the company also decided to give back to the man who made it possible, gifting Apodaca a new cranberry-colored truck, filled with his favorite juice.
Along with items on the shelves, grocery stores are seeing a lot of major shifts, like these 6 Recent Changes at the Grocery Store You Need to Know About.