20 Most Outrageous Foods of 2021
2021 had its ups and downs. Vaccines rolled out across the world, then the Delta and Omicron variants took root. The United States crushed it at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games, taking in 113 medals overall, then the entire world felt the crush of a global supply chain logjam. And on it went, up and down.
And in the food world, things got pretty weird too. We saw potato crisps inspired by a fictitious video game bird, some interesting Oreos, and cereal mashups that the world probably didn't need. And, as usual, we can always count on fast-food chains for dreaming up some wild eats that got everyone talking. To commemorate these off-the-wall products, we gathered together the most outrageous food creations of 2021. Enjoy and cheers to 2022! Plus, check out The Best & Worst New Sodas of 2021—Ranked!
Pringles Wavy MOA Burger Crisps
If you're not quite sure what a MOA Burger is supposed to taste like, no problem, no one else was either. That's because it's a burger made from Moa bird meat, and the Moa bird is from the fictional universe of the Halo video game franchise. In this universe, in Pringles chip form the Moa burger apparently tastes spicy and has ginger notes. Some people love these chips, we're not saying they're bad, we're just saying it's wild that a chip flavor was inspired by a made-up bird from a video game.
Froot Loops Cereal Straws
Why eat your cereal out of a bowl using a spoon when your cereal could instead be an edible straw through which you suck the milk? That seems to be the question Kellogg's was asking when they released Froot Loops Cereal Straws.
Lady Gaga Limited Edition OREOs
Like Lady Gaga's music? Enjoy Oreo cookies? See any reason why the two should meet? Evidently, someone did, and an odd sponsorship deal was born. That said, one customer spoke for many when she wrote an Amazon review reading in part: "I love Oreos, and I love Lady Gaga. How could I not buy them?"
Reese's Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups work as an elegantly simple candy because they bring together chocolate and peanut butter and that's it. But evidently that decades-old recipe for success wasn't good enough for 2021, so Reese's released this peanut butter only take on the classic cups. Is there such a thing as too much peanut butter? You be the judge.
Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies Cereal
"The iconic indulgence you remember loving as a kid is now a crispy, chocolatey breakfast cereal for the whole family to enjoy together." So reads the lead of the product copy for this surprising cereal that appeared in 2021. Probably little surprise that the first ingredient is sugar.
To some extent, the limited run of so-called 'Mashups' cereals that Kellogg's released in 2021 makes perfect sense. Many of us blend cereals together in the bowl, so why not blend them in the box, as with the Frosted Flakes + Froot Loops Mashup. On the other hand, isn't it best to leave the cereal mixing to the consumer, Kellogg's?
Jeni's Everything Bagel Ice Cream
The most outrageous thing about the fact that Jeni's released an ice cream called "Everything Bagel" isn't that they concocted a dessert made with "cream cheese ice cream with everything bagel gravel." It's the fact that the stuff grew so popular it sold out.
Kraft Candy Macaroni & Cheese
Yes, you're reading and seeing this right: earlier this year, Kraft released a so-called "Candy Macaroni & Cheese" product. It was pink, it was mac and cheese flavored with candy bits, it was a promotion run around Valentine's Day, and according to Insider, it was not good.
The Spufull Puff
Granted, state fairs are known for their odd foods, but things got a bit wild at this year's Minnesota State Fair. The Spufull Puff, a food debuted there, consists of mashed sweet potatoes mixed with cream cheese stuffed in dough then deep-fried and served with syrup.
Wendy's Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger
Eating this cheeseburger, added by Wendy's this year, is a good way to shave years off your life if you indulge often enough. It packs in a staggering 1,120 calories, well over half of which come from fat.
Papa Johns Triple Bacon Pizza
This new pizza from newly rebranded pizza chain Papa Johns (new look, no apostrophe, and scandalous departure of the founder in the rearview) isn't the healthiest option on the menu. One slice–and honestly, who eats just one?–has 15 grams of fat, six of which are saturated, and 740 milligrams of sodium, and that for just 280 calories, via Calorie King.
Pepsi x Peeps
In case you missed it, in the spring of 2021 Pepsi released a cola even sweeter than its standard Pepsi Cola. This was Pepsi X Peeps, and yes, it was a soda with a flavor inspired by the classic Peeps marshmallow candies.
Quizno's Bison Reuben
On the face of it, a fast-food menu option made using bison meat seems strange and unexpected. But when you think about it this is a huge success story. Bison were nearly extinct well over a hundred years ago, and now they are back in such numbers that we can make a fast-food sandwich out of their meat. Bison is a very healthy protein, it's leaner than beef, had more Omega-3s, and is packed with vitamin B12 and zinc, so this is definitely worth a try.
In a bizarrely circular way, this odd mashup makes sense. You already put your Eggo waffles in the toaster, and you already put Pop-Tarts in the toaster. So why not just jam the two together and flavor your Pop-Tarts like maple-frosted Eggo waffles?
Sonic Bacon Jam Cheeseburger
For a few months back in the first half of 2021, you could stop by a Sonic and get a cheeseburger topped with bacon jam. Not pieces of bacon, no, but an actual spreadable, gooey substance made with pureed bacon, sugar, and onions, via QSR Magazine.
Coca-Cola with Coffee
The outrageous thing about the new Coca-Cola with Coffee product line isn't that the company tried almost the exact same thing about 15 years ago, it's that for whatever reason(s), this time it seems like the products will succeed, whereas last time they flopped.
Jack in the Box's Roost Fries, released in 2021, is a platter of french fries topped with a pile of chicken tenders, topped with melted cheese, and then drenched in cheese sauce and their signature Roost Sauce. Estimates put this dish at well over 700 calories, so you better share this with a bunch of hungry friends.
Released around Halloween of 2021–complete with a Grim Reaper on the packaging–the schtick behind this new release from Skittles was that a few of the Skittles candies found in each packet were so sour they would make you – that's right–shriek.
Released to compete with menu items offered by rival Taco Bell, the Del Taco Crunchtada Tostada might be most outrageous for the fact that it costs only $1. Yet for that dollar, you get about 330 calories, making this new menu item an amazing deal, if not a healthy one.
IHOP's Winter Wonderland Pancakes
Probably best not to ring in the holidays with this new holiday offering from IHOP. The Winter Wonderland Pancakes are a stack of pancakes drenched in an oddly blue syrup, topped with marshmallows, then dusted with sugar. So, in other words, it's pancakes topped off with three kinds of sugar.
Will these wild foods stand the test of time? We'll see.
Check out some discontinued snacks, foods, and drinks that we miss: