Well, sometimes we just can’t have nice things. There have been many discontinued products that hit us all in the heart, or digestive system. Ecto Cooler, Waffle Crisp (before it came back), the McDonald’s Arch Deluxe, Butterfinger BB’s. So many memories, so many foods; all those snacks, lost in time. We can add one more victim to that collection- ice cream treat, the Choco Taco.
Yes, the Choco Taco, a waffle cone turned horizontal and loaded with ice cream. If you haven’t had one before, it’s not as if you were missing out on anything truly revolutionary; just a novel way of eating ice cream. The origin of the dessert treat goes back to 1983, when it was created by Alan Drazen. His idea was simple but effective. When you eat an ice cream cone, all the toppings are loaded onto the top of the cone, meaning that once you eat the top of it, all the extras are gone. However, if you made the cone like a taco shell, the toppings would go along the entire top, spreading them out over the course of several bites.
So why is a beloved product being killed off after nearly 40 years? Well, there’s no straightforward answer from Unilever, the parent organization of Klondike, the company that makes the frozen treat.
According to several sources, a Unilever representative said the following about why the discontinuation of the Choco Taco was happening:
“The Klondike Choco Taco has unfortunately been discontinued in both 1ct and 4ct pack sizes. Over the past 2 years, we have experienced an unprecedented spike in demand across our portfolio and have had to make very tough decisions to ensure availability of our full portfolio nationwide. A necessary but unfortunate part of this process is that we sometimes must discontinue products, even a beloved item like Choco Taco. We know this may be very disappointing, but we hope you’ll try one of our other great products, including Klondike Cones, Shakes, Sandwiches, and of course, our signature Bar available nationwide.“
Hmm, over the past 2 years, eh? If only we could put our finger on something that’s been going on over the last two years that could be dis… oh yeah, COVID-19. Obviously Unilever didn’t directly say “COVID-19” in their statement, but with that timeframe they gave, it couldn’t possibly be anything else. When they say they’ve experienced an “unprecedented spike in demand across our portfolio,” it’s probably more accurate to say that their supply lines are strained, it’s more expensive to have a variety of SKU’s, and they want to focus on their core products that are selling the most.
So while we can’t definitively say that COVID-19 killed the Choco Taco, it’s more than likely that the economic stress of the ongoing pandemic is what did it. It’s immensely frustrating to see a popular product be discontinued. It’s surprising that of all the products that Klondike would choose to discontinue that they would choose something so iconic. Then again, the Klondike Bar is also a massive product so who knows how the Choco Taco sold in comparison to that. It all comes down to money and perhaps the Choco Taco was being taken for granted. Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
Maybe public outcry will cause Klondike to reverse course. After all, we do live in a world where pizza flavored ice cream exists. So if that can find a place on store shelves, maybe there’s hope for the Choco Taco to rise from its icy grave and come back into our hands.