Canning, a storage method that preserves food from spoiling by hermetically sealing it in a can that’s then sterilized by heat, was invented by French chef Nicolas Appert all the way back in 1809. Since then, canned food has saved many home cooks who realized they didn’t have something fresh on hand. Just check the pantry, it’s probably sitting on the shelf in a can!
While it’s hard to imagine a grocery store without the canned-food aisle, not everything that comes in a tin has stood the test of time. We found some of the most interesting discontinued canned foods, and why they’re not on the shelves anymore. Read on and reminisce!
And for more, don’t miss these 15 Discontinued McDonald’s Menu Items You Wish Still Existed.
Canned mac and cheese doesn’t sound particularly appealing, especially if you prefer your pasta al dente, but the Franco canned line of pastas (think spaghetti and meatball) was popular in the 70s and 80s with parents who were just trying to get dinner on the table. Discontinued in 2004, there is a Facebook group for those who miss their canned pasta.
Another canned pasta dish, this one a marketing tie-in with the popular 80s video game. Featuring vaguely Pac Man and ghost-shaped pasta in something called “golden chicken sauce” or tomato sauce (with or without meatballs), this pasta is worth revisiting for the over-the-top 80s ad alone.
Canned pasta definitely had a big moment in the 80s, and this mix of wavy pasta and kid-sized meatballs was another popular favorite. Apparently, they were so beloved people wrote to Chef Boyardee begging for their return.
We’ve seen a lot of unusual foods flavored with pumpkin spice, but Spam might take the cake (meat cake?). This limited-edition flavor came out in 2019, and while it’s definitely not for everyone, it apparently sold out in a matter of hours! Check out the most popular pumpkin spice foods on the shelves now.
This classic soup was likely brought to the U.S. by enslaved people from the Caribbean. Tripe, veal, and vegetables combine to make a thick, hearty soup, and while Campbell’s no longer sells it by the can, you can still make it at home.
Not all Progresso canned soups have exited store shelves, however, there are a lot fewer offerings. Back in 2020, the brand decided to tighten up its product offerings and cut 40 types of soup. The tough part is we don’t know which soups, so you could be disappointed when shopping for a specific style.
Production issues signaled the end of a few of Trader Joe’s animal eats—and unfortunately, it’s for good. Early in 2022, the company released a statement that some canned pet foods would no longer be sold due to inconsistent supply issues.
Marketed during NFL games for manly men who liked their soup full of chunks of meat and veggies (uh, who doesn’t?), Campbell’s Chunky line was a big hit at first, but over the years they’ve canceled a few flavors, including Meatball Bustin’ Sausage and Rigatoni Soup as well as the Philly-Style Cheesesteak Soup.
Possibly the first frozen brand to launch frozen orange juice concentrate, Snow Crop made a big impact on American breakfasts back in the 1940s. Next, the brand brought out frozen peas, broccoli, spinach, and strawberries, to stellar success, before being bought by Minute Maid in 1954.
Before Snack Packs came in plastic cups, lunchbox pudding cups were served in cans in the 1970s.
Chef Boyardee is still on store shelves, but the Smurfs version is a thing of the past.
Trader Joe’s has discontinued several of its chili offerings, including the fan-favorite veggie chili. Fortunately, you can still get vegan chili cans from Amy’s Organic.
These snack crackers, released at the same time as Bugles in the 1960s, came in cans as well as in boxes (and yes, they were spelled Daisys and not Daisies). Shaped like flowers and train conductor whistles, they didn’t stand the test of time, although Bugles are still around today.
For another dose of nostalgia, check out these 25 Classic Snacks From the 80s.
You can still find Dinty Moore beef stew, but you’d be hard-pressed to find the meatball version of this canned Hormel classic.
Eat This, Not That!