A recent study finds that some food brands, beloved by generations, are increasingly out of favor with U.S. consumers who are opting for fresher and healthier food choices.
Imagine this nightmare scenario: You go to the cupboard for your favorite comfort food; Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, say, or Campbell’s soup. Fresh out, you go to the grocery store to satisfy your craving only to discover that these iconic food brands have been discontinued.
Impossible, you think? Inconceivable that we could live in a world without McDonald’s French fries or Coca-Cola? A recent research report cautions otherwise.
CNBC recently reported on a study by Rabobank that finds that some food brands, beloved by generations, are increasingly out of favor with U.S. consumers who are opting for fresher and healthier food choices. Someday, there could be no more Eggo to leggo.
“Unless bold action is taken,” writes Nicholas Fereday, Rabobank senior global consumer analyst, “they run the risk of following Baby Boomers—once their core consumer—into retirement.”
Think it can’t happen here? It already has. Granted, we are talking way down on the food chain here, but consider these popular snacks from the 50s, 60s and 70s that have been discontinued: Screaming Yellow Zonkers; Planter’s Cheese Balls; Jello Pudding Pops (insert your own Bill Cosby joke here), Munch ‘ems; and Kellogg’s Puffa Puffa Rice cereal.
And don’t forget to consider candy bars that have gone extinct: Seven-Up, Bar None, PB Max, Wonka Bar, and Powerhouse.
This week, New York’s Board of Health announced it is considering whether to require
restaurants to caution consumers about the salt content of their foods. This from the state that introduced the ban on large sodas.
In recent years, McDonald’s, still the reining fast food chain, has been feeling the heat from fast casual competitors such as Chipotle, who are catering to more health conscious Millennials.
What can food and beverage companies do to save some of their signature products? Forbes recently reported that Kraft has pledged to remove all synthetic coloring and preservatives from its Mac and Cheese by the beginning of next year.
The Rabobank report advises companies to step up acquisition of niche brands. Hormel, for example, recently bought Applegate Farms for $775 million.
But comfort food (and drink) lovers of the world, all is not lost. The Rabobank report states that not every brand is in trouble. Lunchables, Oreos, Twinkies, Domino’s Pizza and Popeye’s “remain irreverently relevant and laugh in the face of today’s health and wellness trends.”
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.