From Raspberry Rally cookies to Sierra Mist, here are 8 food and drinks we lost in 2023
New York (CNN) — You might’ve indulged in some of the final bites and slurps of your favorite food and drinks without even realizing it.
2023 marked the end of McDonald’s baked goods (thankfully, we have new treats at CosMc’s to anticipate), the final batch of a historic craft beer and a Girl Scouts cookie that was one year old, among other fan-favorite foods that are now in the garbage heap of history.
Restaurants and food manufacturers are constantly evaluating what’s selling and what’s not, so it’s not a surprise that these items are disappearing. But it doesn’t make their losses any easier for fans.
Here are some culinary creations that left us this year.
Aha seltzer water
Coca-Cola’s attempt to make a La Croix competitor fizzled out less than three years after its debut. Aha, a lineup of flavored seltzer waters (some with a splash of caffeine) rolled out in 2020 amid the pandemic and never gained traction with consumers.
Coke announced in October that the water will no longer be on store shelves beginning next year with the brand focusing on its more popular Topo Chico lineup. However, for those who need their fix, Aha will still be sold in Canada.
Anchor Steam beer
Anchor Brewing, which had been America’s oldest craft brewer with 127 years in business, closed down in July and marked the end of its flagship Anchor Steam and other beloved beers.
The San Francisco-based company blamed its closure on a “combination of challenging economic factors and declining sales since 2016,” a press release said. Some fans also blame mismanagement under Sapporo, the Japanese beer company that bought it in 2017, for its demise.
It was another blow for the craft brewing industry, which in particular, has been struggling for a variety of reasons including changing consumer habits, rising costs and lingering supply-chain challenges.
Dunkaccino, which was one Dunkin’s most recognizable drinks, was quietly eliminated in March from the chain’s menus ending a more than two-decade run for the drink that mixed together coffee and hot chocolate.
“As we focus on innovation and finding new ways to delight guests, we continually evolve our menu in an effort to deliver a fast, frictionless experience,” a company spokesperson told CNN. “The Dunkaccino is retired for now, but there’s always the chance for its return in the future.”
Dunkin’ also nixed coconut milk from its menu, which also meant the end for its Coconut Refreshers.
McDonald’s McCafé sweets
McDonald’s discontinued its selection of McCafé baked goods — consisting of an apple fritter, blueberry muffin and cinnamon roll — in July, marking the end of a three-year run for the sweet treats.
In a statement, McDonald’s said it’s “always listening to our fans and adjusting our menu based on what they crave,” signaling that perhaps the items weren’t selling as strongly as they once did.
It was a rough start of the year for Italian grandmothers: Ronzoni announced it was axing the pastina, a tiny star-shaped pasta, from its lineup in January.
“We hear you and greatly appreciate your love for Ronzoni Pastina,” the company said in January on Instagram. “After extensive efforts, we regretfully announce that Ronzoni pastina is being discontinued. This wasn’t a decision that we wanted to make.”
Ronzoni attributed the decision to a “long-term supplier” that announced it would no longer be able to make pastina.
Raspberry Rally cookies
The Girl Scouts discontinued Raspberry Rally, a popular cookie that sparked a frenzy online, just a year after its debut.
“While Raspberry Rally was extremely popular last year, we are taking a pause this season to prioritize supplying our classic varieties,” the Girl Scouts of the USA said in a statement in October.
The Girl Scouts introduced the Rallies last year as a “sister” cookie to the iconic Thin Mints, a crisp mint-flavored cookie encased in chocolate, but in the Raspberry Rally, the cookie was replaced with a bright pink berry-flavored one. It was dipped in the same chocolate coating as its sibling.
Demand created an online shopping spree with some chapters reporting they sold out of the $5 boxes in less than a day. Resellers offered the Rallies on eBay for as much as $30 per box.
In January, PepsiCo nixed Sierra Mist, the lemon-lime flavored-soda that’s been around for 24 years, in favor of a newer drink to compete against rival Sprite.
Its replacement is Starry, a new lemon-lime soda that gives “people a choice in an area that’s been dominated by one brand for years.” Starry has a “higher citrus flavors that are true to fruit and more aromatic” compared to Sierra Mist.
Sierra Mist launched in 1999 to much fanfare, however, it never made much of a dent in Sprite’s dominance. Sales data from Beverage Digest given to CNN shows that Sierra Mist’s share of the soda market barely exceeded a tenth of 1% and has been on the decline for at least the past five years. Sprite, meanwhile, has grown its share of the soda market over the same time period to nearly 8%.
Wendy’s grilled chicken sandwich
One of Wendy’s healthiest options — the grilled chicken sandwich — was kicked out of the coop. In March, the chain overhauled its poultry offerings with a new grilled chicken ranch wrap to its menu in place of the traditional sandwich.
Of course, other chains like Chick-fil-A, Whataburger and even Panera still sell grilled chicken sandwiches for those needing their cutlet fix.