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Big Brand Boo-Boos: 5 Consumer Products That Didn’t Take Off

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Everyone makes mistakes. It’s important to remember that even the biggest of brands can also have “oops” moments, and failure often can lead to success. We took a trip down memory lane to remember some of the products that just didn’t make the cut when introduced to the marketplace in the last few decades. From brands reaching outside of their target market to “what were they thinking” moments, these 5 products are sure to bring back some fond memories of products that are now laid to rest.


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Orbitz Drink

Any self-respecting Canadian should remember this creation, brought to you by the makers of Clearly Canadian (which coincidentally has also shut its doors for business). Undoubtedly you had a chance to try this drink at least once – but after that first experience, it’s doubtful you bought this chunky sensation again. With flavours like Vanilla Orange and Blueberry Melon Strawberry, it’s really no wonder that this product didn’t take off.


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Crystal Pepsi

In an effort to appear pure and clean, Pepsi launched a crystal-clear, caffeine-free version of their product in 1992. According to Wikipedia, the product was launched in hopes of being a “clear alternative” to regular colas, and managed to perform well in its first year. Sales quickly fell, and the line was discontinued shortly after. We happened to stumble upon a video of someone ingesting Crystal Pepsi – but be forewarned, it isn’t for the faint of heart.



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McDonald’s Pizza

Ok, this one was really a stretch. For those who can remember, back in the 90′s McDonald’s introduced their very own pizza- but it came with many drawbacks. First off, wait times for ordering a personal pie were 20 minutes and up, making the experience completely different from traditional fast food. Secondly, it just tasted bad (like, REALLY bad) – we remember it well. Another interesting tidbit we found during our research? McDonald’s also tried to introduce lasagna and spaghetti: another move that didn’t seem very authentic to the brand.



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Doritos 3D

We searched high and low to find out why these were discontinued, but weren’t able to find a real explanation – so we’ll elaborate on our personal experience. This particular line introduced by the snack food giant smelled horrible and tasted funky. Upon opening up the bag, you immediately knew this wasn’t going to be the same caliber of chip you’d expect from your favourite junk food brand. That said, we do have a message for its creators: if you’re listening Frito-Lay, can you please bring back “Collisions”? Particularly, the hot wing and blue cheese variety? Thanks in advance.



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Colgate Dinners

We’re scratching our heads as to why this ever would have made it past R&D phase, but we hear that the reasoning was quite simple: makers thought that people would want to eat Colgate meals and then brush up with the brand’s top product directly after. Admittedly, we never got to experience this 1982 invention – but it comes as no surprise that it didn’t exactly make waves in the consumer food department.

All of these examples really bring home how important it is to remain authentic to your brand. It’s fine to diversify, but first make sure there is a defined need for your new product(s) – and that they fit with your brand’s identity. People connect to your brand and make purchase decisions based on the associations your product brings. We can’t fault these companies for wanting to try something new and different, but perhaps they could’ve avoided some of these embarrassments with a little more thought and research.

Are there any extinct products you can remember from days gone by? Share them in the comments!

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