What makes a product a hit or a miss? The unique nature of the concept perhaps, or that the product is better than all of its competitors. Or maybe it’s an ingenious marketing campaign that resonates with the general public, and most often the company behind it the will help to predetermine the success of the product. However, in these cases, the grand success of the parent companies wasn’t enough to save the products. Even the biggest and brightest come up short sometimes.
When McDonald’s decided to design a burger that would appeal to a more sophisticated, adult palate in the late '90s they came up with the Arch Deluxe. The concept is intriguing, but it was clear to consumers from the get-go that the company was simply rebranding their existing Big Mac sandwich without increasing the quality by any significant margin.
Kellogg’s thought they were revolutionizing the grab-and-go breakfast market when they unveiled their Breakfast Mates in 1998, but not so surprisingly, the general public was less than thrilled with the idea of pouring pre-packaged, shelf-stable, room-temperature milk into their breakfast cereal. Flops happen, even to time-tested brand-name food corporations.
Take a look through this collection and reminisce about the best food product fails in history.
Arch Deluxe — McDonald's
In 1996 McDonald’s decided to design a new menu item that would appeal to a more sophisticated, adult demographic — the result was the Arch Deluxe burger. The advertising campaign declared that the burger had a bun fresh from the bakery, 100 percent pure domestic beef, extra-fancy ketchup, and a new "secret sauce" made with mayonnaise and mustards. It’s not surprising that the general public couldn’t distinguish the new sandwich enough from the classic Big Mac to make it a hit.
BK Baguette Sandwiches — Burger King
In 2003, Burger King introduced a new line of chicken sandwiches aimed at appealing to a more health-conscious demographic — the BK Baguette Sandwiches. But the product never caught on in the U.S. and was quickly replaced with the TenderGrill Sandwich.
Heinz EZ Squirt — Heinz
Considering the love affair most children have with ketchup, this product seemed like a slam dunk. However, as most parents are the ones doing the buying at the grocery store, the idea of serving neon green, purple, blue, or "mystery" colored ketchup to their kids seemed more bizarre than genius. The product launched in 2000 and was discontinued in 2006 despite numerous attempts at marketing strategies.
Wow! Chips — Frito-Lay
In 1998 Frito-Lay unveiled their innovative line of fat-free chips with great fanfare and anticipation from diet-conscious Americans. In order to create the chips the company replaced the fat with Olestra, which subsequently caused major cramping and other digestive complications for many, many people. Needless to say, the product was discontinued a few years later.
Click here for more failed products of major brands.
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