30 Foods and Drinks That Used To Be Good Before The Recipe Was Changed

recipe changed

One of the worst things about getting older that no one ever really talks about is that the way certain foods taste starts to change. Sometimes it’s your tastebuds maturing, and sometimes it’s because things just seemed to taste better when you were a kid. For instance, if you weren’t allowed to have a lot of sugar as a kid, any sugar-filled snack probably tasted amazing (and maybe not so much anymore). Or, if you didn’t eat processed foods growing up, you may have loved a good can of Spaghetti-O’s at a friend’s house… and now, you may have outgrown that.

But sometimes it’s not about your personal preferences or your tastebuds. Sometimes companies change up the recipes of even the most popular foods and snacks, meaning the change in taste isn’t just in your head — it’s legit, and it’s something other people are complaining about as well. A lot of the time, big brands and companies change recipes either to make snack foods healthier (or at least seem healthier), because of different food regulations, or to save money. Whatever the reason, it stinks to look forward to eating an old favorite, only to realize it’s completely different.

Here are just a few foods that used to be good before the recipe was changed, brought to you by an excellent Reddit thread on the subject:

1. Meatball Subs From Subway

Close up of Meatballs with Basil.

It’s not exactly shocking for a fast food place to switch up their recipes for certain items, but that doesn’t make it any better. User Arch27 said, “I lived on a steady diet of meatball subs at Subway in the late 1990s. They changed it completely by ~2001. It’s unrecognizable.” And he wasn’t the only one who felt that way about the meatball sub. User Channelten added, “That is the reason I stopped going to Subway back in the day. It was my go to. Then after not going for awhile I went back, got a meatball sub, and couldn’t even finish it.”

2. Cadbury Chocolate In The United Kingdom

If you live in the U.K., you many have noticed that much of the chocolate has changed in the last few years.

User do_you_smoke_paul said the food that used to be good was, “Half the chocolate in the U.K., since Cadbury’s got bought by Kraft.” He added, “They’ve changed it to the super sugary American choc which is far inferior in my opinion. I much preferred the high butter content they used to have.” This is actually very true. In 2015, Cadbury made some changes to their chocolate recipe and their company. Since then, loyal fans have been up in arms about the noticeable difference.

3. Chips Ahoy

Chips Ahoy

Chips Ahoy used to be the gold standard for store-bought chocolate chip cookies, but many now agree that they just aren’t the same. User Plankyz said, “I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older now. I remembered as a kid they used to taste so good and cookie-like. Now it just tastes like a rock of sugar with chocolate in it.” There’s even an entire separate Reddit thread devoted to complaining about the change in these cookies.

4. Ritz Crackers

Round salted cracker cookies in wooden bowl putting on linen and wooden background.

Remember how buttery, yet crunchy, Ritz Crackers used to be?

If you have them now, you might notice that they seem to fall apart a lot faster. User DarthContinent said, “For some inexplicable reason, maybe around five years ago, the crackers went from being nice and firm and dippable to nowadays easily crumbling to bits with even the lightest dip. The flavor too is noticeably less buttery than it once was, maybe they went on the cheap with whatever oil or shortening they use.”

User stratosplay chimed in to confirm, saying, “This is a byproduct of lowering the moisture count in the crackers. It makes the shelf-life longer, but they crumble easier. Source: I was a Cracker Baker.”

5. Tim Horton’s Menu

Tim Horton’s fans came out in droves to the thread to all say the same thing: The items there just aren’t the same anymore. User DangerousPuhson said, “All Canadians ought to agree when I say: Everything at Tim Horton’s.” User Ofvlad added, “Yeah the coffee is terrible & now all the pastries are clearly not freshly made anymore.”

This isn’t just a conversation on a Reddit thread. According to The Guardian, in 2018, the company went from 13th place to 67th place in a study that looked at Canada’s most reputable companies. They also noted that the downfall could have something to do with the fact that Restaurant Brands International took over the company.

6. Turkey Hill Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Sometimes it’s just one product that changes instead of an entire brand.

For example, user sponge-worthy- said that the food they noticed the most change in was, “Turkey Hill Peanut butter ice cream. The best ice cream in the world until they started putting in less peanut butter chunks…thinking we wouldn’t notice. Oh…we noticed!” You can definitely tell when a brand starts skimping on something, especially if you’re a diehard fan.

7. Campbell’s Clam Chowder

If you used to love Campbell’s Clam Chowder, maybe you’ll agree on this popular opinion. User ScoobyDont06 said, “It used to be thick and have plenty of clams, a decade or so ago they changed it to be watery and have more potatoes.” Also, this isn’t the only soup Campbell’s has changed up. In 2015, they made a big change to their famous Chicken Noodle Soup, changing the ingredients and the way they make the broth.

8. Macaroni And Cheese From Boston Market

Many of the Reddit users in the thread felt that the mac and cheese from Boston Market was different.

User optimisticdaringme said, “Boston Market mac and cheese used to be awesome, but I think they changed their recipe for the cheese sauce a few years ago and it hasn’t been the same.” User flowergirl926 added, “I just had some the other day for the first time in about a year and it was definitely different. Different noodles and the cheese was… thinner?”

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why Boston Market hasn’t been doing as well. According to Mashed, the once-popular brand has been in major decline. It’s gotten smaller by about 60 percent since the ’90s. There are lots of reasons for this, but surely, the mac and cheese change has to contribute!

9. Pringles

Everyone seems to agree that Pringles aren’t the snack they once were.

User millenniumxl-200 said, “I don’t know what changed, but they don’t taste nearly the same.” User VoteRonaldRayGun explained, “They opened up new manufacturing in Malaysia, so Australia stopped getting the U.S.-made Pringles. The new ones no longer contain MSG and they changed to palm oil. Now they taste disgusting and to rub salt into the wound they made the containers/serving size smaller.”

In fact, in 2016, Buzzfeed wrote a whole article about how Pringles are different… and not as good as they used to be.

10. McDonald’s Apple Pie

One of the only dessert recipes McDonald’s has kept as a constant since practically the beginning of the fast food chain is the apple pie… but it’s also changed, and everyone has noticed.

User Ksrain199 said, “McDonalds’ apple pie. Taste good but just not the same.” That’s because they drastically changed the recipe. It started back in the ’90s, when they changed the cooking method from deep-fried to baked to be healthier. Then, in 2018, they changed the recipe to be healthier yet again, using different apples, adding a cinnamon flavor, and switching up the crust.

11. Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese

Who didn’t love Kraft Mac & Cheese when they were a kid?

It’s nearly impossible to ignore the fact that it’s not as good anymore. User soundecember said, “When I was a kid, there used to be so much macaroni in the box and the cheese was so thick it would take it so long to melt. Now they changed to a different pasta that takes so long to cook and still isn’t soft and the cheese isn’t the same at all.”

Is it true? Yup. User goldbricker83 explained, “A mom blogger called ‘food babe’ made a big stink about the food dyes they were using in Kraft Mac and Cheese in 2016 and it went viral. So Kraft changed it completely and people say it tastes the same, but it totally doesn’t. That’s right, parents concerned about their kids’ nutrition decided to ruin classic cheap junk food instead of just feeding their kids better food.”

12. Gardetto’s Original Snack Mix

Gardetto’s Original Snack Mix was once a wonderful mix of crackers and pretzels.

But now, as user OHIO_MAN_ says, “WHERE ARE THE SESAME BREADSTICKS?” User steralite added, “As someone who used to eat a ton of Gardettos but stopped for whatever reason 5-6 years ago, I am disheartened to learn they’ve removed these. What’s the point? The 100% rye bags are gross too because it’s too much of a good thing.” It’s true, those sesame breadsticks really did make a big difference.

13. Butterfingers


A lot of users also agreed that Butterfinger candy bars are no longer as irresistible as they once were.

User zzmmrmn said, “Finished my lunch at work and felt like having a Butterfinger. Go to get one and notice the packaging has a different shade of yellow and then I see the ‘new recipe’ banner on it… Almost didn’t buy it because I just knew they couldn’t improve over the perfection it was. Made the terrible decision to get it anyways and boy did it make me sad. It tasted incredibly off. Hate it.”

Butterfingers did make a big change to their recipe in 2018, after they were bought by Ferrero. They said they mainly changed the chocolate shell coating.

14. French Fries From McDonald’s

McDonald’s is known for having some of the best fast food French fries out there, but they aren’t without their criticism. User slytherinqueen186 said she thinks they aren’t as good as they used to be, writing, “I remember when they tasted like potatoes and were so delicious. Now they’re so processed, they taste terrible and I can’t even digest them.”

They definitely did change the recipe. In 1990, they stopped cooking their fries in beef tallow (basically beef fat), and started cooking them in vegetable oil. This definitely switched up the taste and, according to Eat This Not That, might not even actually be healthier for you.

15. Quaker Instant Oatmeal

User 1YearWonder said they’ve noticed a negative difference in Quaker Instant Oatmeal, explaining, “I’ve been eating that stuff since I was a kid, and one day the packaging all changed to emphasize how healthy it is for you… lo and behold, it’s now a tasteless gruel no matter how you make it. I didn’t get the instant oatmeal because it was amazingly healthy for me, I got it because it was quick, easy, filling, and tasty. If I wanted plain, mushy, oatmeal I’d have just gotten quick oats and made my own.” Now, after two decades of brand loyalty, 1YearWonder has decided to switch to a cheaper brand because there is “no point in paying for the brand name now.” That’s how you know it’s serious.

16. Watermelon

How can they change the recipe for fruit that grows out of the ground?

Well, they can’t, really, but they can change the way it’s grown and the chemicals added to it — and that can definitely affect the taste. User sunshinenrain said, “It’s not really a recipe, but now all grocery store watermelons are genetically modified to be seedless and flavorless. I want real watermelon back and easily accessible without having to grow my own or hunt down a roadside farm stand.”

Many other people agree that taking the seeds out sacrifices flavor. NPR even wrote a whole story about it.

17. Skittles

skittles dips

A lot of users felt passionately that Skittles were ruined when one flavor was changed.

User all4hurricanes summed it up, saying, “Whomever decided sour apple was a better flavor than lime for green skittles needs to be fired.” Apparently, people really, really loved the lime Skittles, and hate the new green apple ones. Turns out that having the same color just isn’t enough.

18. Hostess Twinkies


Twinkies used to be a symbol of deliciously unhealthy food, but now it’s just… unhealthy.

User almightywhacko said, “‘Good’ is relative, but Hostess changed the recipe for Twinkies after that stunt where they ‘discontinued’ them for a couple of months. Now they are smaller, more oily, and less flavorful.” According to Today, they definitely came back slightly different, and not in a good way.

19. Snapple

The day Snapple started putting their drinks in bottles was a sad day for the world, according to user Teamsavageboi.

Many people echoed this sentiment on Reddit and, honestly, it really was an end of an era of ice tea. Nothing beat the feeling of lipping out of a glass that just felt more elevated than plastic.

Thankfully this cost cut didn’t take away the fun fact that appears under every cap, which was the ice breaker you relied on throughout adolescence.

20. Sour Patch Kids

Nothing can compete with the original line up of Sour Patch Kids, Lime (green), Lemon (yellow), Orange (Orange), and Raspberry (red).

While many would dub the addition of blue raspberry as their favorite, others call the new, special flavors (like Sour Patch Kids Tropical and Sour Patch Xploderz) disgusting.

The user, not_mrsrobinson, also feels the recipe has changed, claiming the candies are all “thick and hard where the old ones were really nice and soft and chewy.”

She also noted, “Lemon was my favorite flavor before because it actually tasted like real lemons. But now it tastes like unbearable artificial lemon flavor.”

21. Taco Bell’s Grilled Stuft Burrito

The new recipe for Taco Bell’s Grilled Stuft Burrito is a real disappointment, so much so, Reddit users are sharing ways to replicates the original recipe.

“GSB minus guacamole, minus sour cream, minus avocado ranch add spicy ranch. It actually works and I do it this way now,” the user llcucf80 noted. Hopefully, now you feel less alone craving the Baja sauce and Mexican seasoned rice!

22. Tomatoes

Don’t think you’re crazy if you think tomatoes taste differently.

According to The Guardian, an international team of scientists has been working to crack down this conundrum. In their research, they analyzed “100 tomato varieties and sequencing the genomes of nearly 400 varieties.”

“The flavour got lost because people didn’t know what the molecular and genetic bases were, so they couldn’t apply them,” Antonio Granell, a research professor at the Spanish National Research Council explained to the outlet. “It was because they focused on quantity, productivity and resistance. What we’ve discovered is that they basically lost these volatile compounds that we’ve identified in this study.”

The user Kratsas, believes it’s an even bigger problem, “They engineered them to last longer and lost the flavor.

23. Olive Garden breadsticks

Nobody ever said Olive Garden is the pinnacle of fine dining, but the one thing you could count on was the breadsticks.

This isn’t completely breaking news, in 2014 The New Yorker wrote a piece revealing the company’s investors thought “the breadsticks taste similar to hot dog buns.”

Unfortunately this wasn’t the only commentary. They also had words about the chicken-topped vegetable lasagna, which appears to “makes no sense: “if you wanted meat on your lasagna, you would order the meat lasagna.”

User freaknotthink calls out the breadsticks for being “way too salty!”

While livelikethelotus says, “They are never soft when I go.”

24. Twix

What changed exactly about the Twix bar? The consistency? The wafer? The amount of caramel?

Whatever it is, the effect is just not quite the same. It tastes, dare we say, cheaper.

A spokesperson for the bar confirmed your taste buds have accurately found a change, intended to have a “more satisfying crunch in its biscuit, alongside the chewy, creamy caramel; a recipe which is loved by consumers around the world.”

Um, ShayMonMe, definitely isn’t happy about this.

“Twix. More often than not the cookie part is stale and just crumbles in your mouth unpleasantly rather than being light and crispy like previously,” the user wrote. “Also, the caramel is thicker and harder than before.”

25. Oreo

While the brand maintains they haven’t changed the recipe, a writer for the New York Post dug up some dirt of the cookies, which supposedly taste “flavorless.”

“It’s easy to chalk up some of these complaints to outrage over outsourcing of American jobs, but I wasn’t convinced that was the case for all of them — and knew it wasn’t the case for my friends,” she said after learning some Oreos are, now, made in Mexico.

User trugbee95 passionately wrote, “That cream used to be like cocaine, now it’s like watered down, sugar cream of a dehydrated coconut. Come the f*ck on Oreo makers. Don’t ruin this f*cking classic.

26. Pop-Tarts

We remember our first Pop-Tart like it was yesterday. It changed the breakfast game entirely.

While they use to give us nostalgic feels from our childhood, one day it just stopped.

And while we don’t know exactly why, Reddit users have noticed and have some words about it.

“Kellogg’s seemed to have changed their recipe for Pop-Tarts sometime within the last 10 or so years because the thick pastries they used to have are no more. Now when you open up your bag you’re met with two flaky pastries that are broken in to no less than 3 pieces each, and a handful of crumbs gathered at the bottom,” rozzy shared.

27. Yoplait

Yes, the flavor really has changed drastically. By cutting the sugar by 25 percent, they accidentally reduced the taste entirely.

One user, who ate the yogurt for 15 years clapped back at their decision writing, “They decided to reduce the sugar by 25% and ruined the taste and the texture. Lots of people complained but they just said they did it because “it was the right thing to do” and to not expect it to be changed back.”

“It was all done because of social pressure. Some things make sense, but wanting to eat sugary yogurt should not be something the internet has a say in. Diet yogurt or reduced sugar yogurt already exists,” the same user added.

28. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Some people claim Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups use to be even better.

While this is hard to believe, because they are fantastic, some have sharper pallets than others.

HotSmockingCovfefe remembers the better days saying, “When I was a kid, Reese’s peanut butter cups were much better. The PB had a much richer taste and the texture was more like that of actual nut butter, not a PB-flavored filling that just dissolves in your mouth. The cups were slightly larger as well.”

29. Hammond’s Vanilla Caramels

When you eat something everyday, you notice the change.

This is the case for one user, who noticed the change in her daily treat, Hammond’s Vanilla Caramels, instantly.

Every day during work I used to go to my local grocery store to pick up a hot lunch. They started stocking these suckers at the checkout counter, so I tried them once and they quickly became my daily dessert,” Stargazer5781 shared.

“Then one day they tasted different. I looked all over for info about the recipe having been changed, but the only evidence was my tongue. What was once the smoothest, most delicious caramel candy I’d ever had became generic, the same sort you can get in a bag of Kraft caramels, but for twice the price. I stopped buying them, and I must not have been the only one to notice, because a few months later the store stopped carrying them altogether,” the user continued of the tragic tale.

30. Coke

It would be a lie to say this change in taste doesn’t hurt.

Anytime a classic flavor gets an updated recipe, it is rarely for the better.

This change isn’t necessarily bad news, because they’re aiming to shrink containers as part of an effort to reduce caloric intake in its products. I mean, at least it’s not what happened with the “New Coke,” which is just way too sugary, if you ask Ustaznar.

“It tastes like a Pepsi Zero knock off to me now. The old Coke Zero was so much better,” slider728 writes on Reddit.

Coke, however, has sustained past new flavors before, whether or not that is comforting.

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