Foods From The 2000s That Are Weirdly Making A Comeback

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Several foods from the 2000s are weirdly making a comeback. But it's not so weird when you think about it. Marketers know that they can tap into our sense of longing to get us to buy foods we once enjoyed. According to HowStuffWorks, nostalgic experiences like eating and smelling certain foods from our past cause our brain to release chemicals such as dopamine that make us feel good.

Something interesting that we noticed about many of the foods that are making a comeback is that companies are releasing them for only a limited time or in a very limited supply. Some are available from only one store, to a select few contest winners, or only to fan club members. According to the scarcity principle of marketing, we consider a product to be more valuable if it's in short supply, which makes us go out and buy it before it's gone (via Feed Dough). If we know that we can get Pepsi Blue or Neapolitan Oreos any time, we're less likely to make a mad dash to go buy them.

Some foods from the 2000s that have made a comeback may be here to stay. Others, however, seem to have been big teases since they had a limited release. Let's explore some of the popular comebacks from the 2000s to see what may be waiting on the shelf of a store near you.

Oreo Cakesters

Once upon a time, finding variations on original Oreos was rare. However, in the past few years, the company behind Oreos has really capitalized on having lots of flavors available and introducing seasonal favorites like Gingerbread. Oreo occasionally revisits old favorites, but this is the first time it has brought back Oreo Cakesters since 2012.

To promote Oreo Cakesters, Oreo took over the last-standing Blockbuster video store and gave away free Cakesters in what looked like old VHS cases. The catchphrase was "It's 2007 all over again!" (via BizBash). Well, not quite. Most of us were watching movies through Netflix and on Blu-Ray by then.

If you're more of a cake than a cookie person, you can rejoice because Oreo Cakesters are the perfect compromise between cake and cookie. One nostalgic fan calls the Cakester a "mass-market whoopie pie" (via Reddit). Cakesters have two puffy pieces of cookie-shaped cake stuffed with a creamy filling. Since they're soft, there's no need to dunk them in milk (unless you want to), and they're also excellent frozen (via Influenster).

Some consumers say they taste exactly like "a cake version of an Oreo" (via Influenster). Meanwhile, others who haven't tried them before were disappointed, saying that Cakesters were essentially a Hostess cupcake (via Influenster). Overwhelmingly, though, Oreo lovers and Cakester lovers have been thrilled at this 2022 comeback. We wouldn't be surprised if they stick around a while or make it into the regular Oreo rotation. Only time will tell.

Doritos Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch

Doritos have come a long way since they debuted their first flavored tortilla chips in 1967. The first flavor was Taco. Then, along came the classic Nacho Cheese flavor in 1972 (via Maxim). These were the only two flavors available during Doritos' early years, but after they introduced Cool Ranch in 1986, they realized they were onto something and started producing new flavors. Since then, they've released over 170 types and flavors (via Taquitos).

Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch Doritos were first released in 2006 and briefly returned in 2011. Then, they were spotted on the shelves again in 2017 (via Impulsive Buy). Their most recent reappearance in 2022 is a part of Doritos' Solid Black Initiative. Two thousand limited-edition bags featured original artwork by Mz. Icar, an art collective whose members are mostly Black women. Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch chips in these special bags were available only briefly online (via Yahoo!).

If you weren't lucky enough to grab one, you may still be able to find this flavor at Sam's Club. Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch is a Sam's Club Exclusive Doritos flavor for a limited time. Of course, there's a chance they're already gone since we couldn't find them on Sam's website in September 2022. Doritos brings this flavor back every five to six years, so you may have to wait until 2027 or 2028 to find them again if they're completely out of stock.

Berries & Cream Dr Pepper

Another food from the 2000s that is making a comeback is Berries & Cream Dr Pepper. It debuted in 2006, but it wasn't around for long. If you've been awaiting its return, we're sorry to report that Dr Pepper only produced a few cans of Berries & Cream for the 2022 comeback, and you can't get them in stores (via Elite Daily). In fact, it may already be too late to get your hands on one of these limited-edition Dr Peppers. Dr Pepper announced on Twitter in February 2022 that you had to sign up for Pepper Perks for a "chance to win." So, we're afraid there may be no more forthcoming. Then again, it could have been a way for the company to gauge interest in the flavor before committing to mass production. 

Pepper Perks winners got only a single 12-ounce can of Berries & Cream Dr Pepper, which seems like a big tease (via Reddit). Of course, it did get more people to sign up as Pepper Perks members (via Reddit).

Berries & Cream Dr Pepper was difficult to find in 2017 when Dr Pepper last brought it back (via Influenster). Fans said the dessert-like Berries & Cream Dr Pepper was creamy and tasted like a cross between Vanilla Dr Pepper and Cherry Dr Pepper (via Influenster). If they brought it back to the shelves before, they can do it again. So, keep your eyes open for it.

Pepsi Blue

Pepsi Blue also made a comeback from the 2000s. We first saw the electric blue soda on shelves from 2002 to 2004. It returned in 2021 for a limited time (via Tasting Table). Interestingly, there have been rumors of it returning again in 2022. So, its first comeback likely was successful.

Pepsi hinted at Pepsi Blue's return in June 2022 with a tweet saying, "Fashion trends come and go, but Pepsi blue will ALWAYS be in style." On the same day, Pepsi replied to a customer on Twitter to say it was selling Pepsi Blue only as a limited-time offer. What a tease! Or perhaps it was a marketing ploy to determine how many people would be interested in a reboot.

Pepsi targeted its early version of Pepsi Blue at pre-teens and young teens. One said at the time, "It tastes like a Crayola but not as good," which isn't the most glowing review the drink could have received. Another called it "disgusting" and said that it tasted "profoundly artificial" with a "weird tingle to it" (via Mental Floss). Still, there were plenty of people who found the 2021 version delicious (via Reddit).

Pepsi Blue disappeared from shelves in 2004, possibly because it contained questionable Blue No. 1 dyeHealthline cites various studies that did not find any evidence that Blue No. 1 caused cancer. So, maybe we can relax our concerns for the next Pepsi Blue comeback.

Ritz Bits Sandwiches S'mores

Ritz is another company teasing us with limited releases of old favorites. On August 10, 2022, Ritz announced it was giving away 300 boxes of its Ritz Bits Sandwiches S'mores, a "Y2K classic." All you had to do was follow its Facebook page and leave a comment tagging a friend (via Facebook). So, you were supposed to get your friends all excited about the s'mores flavor rising from the grave, but only 300 were going to get a box? We're hoping they're planning a larger release to the general public later. Surely, they can't just tease and walk away. However, the whole thing was in honor of National S'mores Day (also on August 10), so maybe that was all we get (via Chew Boom).

The last time Ritz discontinued its Ritz Bits Sandwiches S'mores was in 2016 (via Twitter). However, at least one person reports still being able to buy them in Canada in 2022 (via Reddit), so there's certainly hope these tasty treats could show up on U.S. shelves again in the near future if we keep our fingers crossed.

Frosted Grape Pop-Tarts

A fun food from Y2K that is making a comeback is Frosted Grape Pop-Tarts. Back in 2020, Mashed listed Frosted Grape as a Pop-Tart flavor "you'll sadly never get to try again." But we were wrong. They're back! Grape Pop-Tarts first appeared back on shelves in April 2022. Hopefully, they're here to stay.

To herald their return, Pop-Tarts gave a grape-tastic prize to the first 50 fans who tagged and shared a "Frosted Grape look" on Instagram. Fans posted pictures of themselves with purple hair or wearing purple in an attempt to win a prize packet. The winners received a year's supply of Frosted Grape Pop-Tarts and a "Y2Grape Time Capsule" filled with purple Y2K memorabilia like a purple hat, grape lip gloss, butterfly hair clips, and more (via PR News Wire).

When Pop-Tarts first discontinued Frosted Grape, they said they did so because there weren't enough fans. But their scarcity before their demise may have been why they didn't sell as many, as one customer noted (via Twitter). However, plenty of people consider Frosted Grape Pop-Tarts their favorite, so it seems that the fans won on this one (via Influenster).

Froot Loops Cereal Straws

The comeback of Foot Loops Cereal Straws is a good example of how petitions may succeed in getting popular products back. According to USA Today, 81,000 people signed a petition on between 2017 and 2021 to get Cereal Straws back after a 12-year absence. Kellogg's not only brought back its Froot Loops straws but also its Cocoa Krispies straws.

Cereal straws look a little like pirouette cookies but with a cereal coating on the outside and flavor on the inside that you taste as you suck milk through the straw. The beauty of these straws is that you can eat them when you've finished drinking milk through them. So, you don't even have to wash a spoon.

If you can't find Froot Loops Cereal Straws in a grocery store near you, you can find them online. Each packet contains 18 green, yellow, orange, and red straws. The serving size is three straws, so you get six servings per package.

Fans are excited to see this 2000s food making a comeback. One even says that "these are the straws that will save the planet, not paper straws" (via Reddit). We wouldn't go quite that far with our praise unless you use an edible cup, too, but they certainly are making people happy.

Kellogg's Eggo Cereal

Kellogg's Eggo Cereal made cereal lovers happy with two flavors when it was introduced in 2006: Cinnamon Toast and Maple Syrup. Fans were saddened when these cereals disappeared in 2012. Interestingly, a tweet in 2019 led the way for the return of this breakfast great. The tweet pleaded with Eggo to start making its cereal again. Eggo responded on National Waffle Day, saying that it would bring the cereal back if the post could get 10,000 retweets. Amazingly, it did. National Waffle Day was on August 24, and by November, the Twitter user became a hero of Eggo-cereal lovers everywhere when the cereal returned to store shelves.

Not only did Eggo start producing the newly named Maple Flavored Homestyle cereal, but it added Blueberry Waffle and Chocolate Waffle to its cereal repertoire as well (via Mashed). That's quite a task in such a short time. Some fans from the 2000s were amazed by how close to the original the comeback cereal was, while others weren't nearly impressed with the flavor, saying that the milk washed it away too quickly (via Reddit).

In 2021, some people were worried that Eggo Cereal had gone away again, but it only seemed to be a temporary shortage (via Reddit). As far as we know, Kellogg's has no intention of taking it off the shelves again so soon.

Burger King Chicken Fries

Burger King's first run with Chicken Fries was from 2005 to 2012. They came back for a limited time in 2014 (via Time) and were added to the permanent menu in 2015 only to disappear again in some locations.

In July 2020, Burger King's marketing director in the U.K., Katie Evans, said that Burger King was "delighted to be able to bring back another much-loved menu item" (via Tyla), which had been cut during the pandemic. Then in July 2022 Burger King decided to advertise them in an "odd yet hilarious way." Its Instagram ad featured a chicken fry lifeguard overseeing human hands dressed as pool-goers with swimsuits. The caption said, "Heart for honey mustard, comment for ketchup." So, why over-advertise what is already a fan favorite?

Burger King's Chicken Fries are well-loved and represent what focus-group testing indicated customers wanted. Not only did they provide customers with a chicken option in a burger-based fast food restaurant, but they were more like chicken fingers than chicken nuggets. BK Chicken Fries are made from single strips of white-meat chicken rather than ground chicken, making them much tastier than a nugget option. So, it's surprising they ever went away. 

Pizza Hut P'Zone

Pizza Hut's P'Zone is an example of a relaunch gone wrong. Pizza Hut first put P'Zones on its menu in 2002 and launched them with a Super Bowl ad. They briefly resurfaced in 2007 and again in 2011 (via Mashed). However, when Pizza Hut tried to bring P'Zones back in 2018, fans said that the new version was "almost nothing like the original" and that "Pizza Hut should be embarrassed by this P'Zone" (via Reddit). Pizza Hut launched them once more in 2019 with a NCAA partnership and a social media campaign proclaiming that "A Legend Returns."

Pizza Hut tried to bring P'Zones back again in 2021, but they didn't sell well. One employee said they only sold 10-15 per week, and several customers noted that Pizza Hut should have advertised their P'Zones better (via Reddit). After all, people tend to buy their old standbys when they order pizza and may not look at the extended menu.

Once again, some said the latest P'Zones were nothing like the originals. A customer on Reddit said that the previous version seemed fresh with parmesan and oregano sprinkled on top, while the new ones are flavorless with parmesan baked into the dough.

P'Zones were nowhere to be found on the menu in the fall of 2022. Hopefully, when Pizza Hut tries to resurrect them again (as they seem fond of doing), they'll use the old recipe and get it right.

Wendy's Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Spicy chicken is all the rage these days, so it makes sense that Wendy's has finally brought back its Spicy Chicken Nuggets. They first found their way to Wendy's menu in 2009, but they disappeared in 2017.

Fans of Wendy's Spicy Chicken Nuggets were devastated after discovering they were gone. An employee said that Wendy's removed them from the main menu because they weren't selling well. Supposedly, franchises could still buy them if they wanted to, but they weren't a requisite menu item anymore. So, in most places, they just disappeared (via Reddit).

Interestingly, Thrillist says it was Chance the Rapper who prompted Wendy's to return the Spicy Chicken Nuggets to its regular menu in 2019 after he tweeted a positive affirmation about getting Wendy's spicy nuggets back. Wendy's replied by saying, "Y'all keep asking, so here's your chance. The people in charge say if you guys can get our tweet (this one right here) to 2 Million likes, they will bring SPICY CHICKEN NUGGETS BACK. Let's freakin' do this!" More than 1.9 million people liked the post.

In the past few years, Wendy's seems to have no limits when it comes to social-media advertisements, which has kept fans looking to see what it will say next and craving menu items like spicy nuggets (via Facebook). With Wendy's staying in the social-media spotlight, we're hoping Wendy's Spicy Chicken Nuggets are here to stay.

Neapolitan Oreos

Another food from the 2000s that returned in 2022 was Neapolitan Oreos. They were last seen on shelves in 2011 (via Elite Daily). Fans were happy when Twitter predicted their reappearance in June 2022. They were on the shelves as a limited-edition item by July 2022 (via Instagram).

Neapolitan Oreos are waffle-cone-flavored cookies triple-stuffed with vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate creme fillings, making them a much-sought-after treat. Chew Boom said that they would be around only while supplies last, which means you may not be able to find them anymore if they're already sold out in your area.

Some people thought they tasted exactly like "ice cream in a cookie" (via Influenster). However, not everyone likes them, which may be why they were limited edition. One person on Reddit said, "The waffle cookies are really bad and do not taste like an Oreo cookie. It almost had a cinnamon taste to it, which combines with the strawberry flavor into a weird mix that almost tastes more like cinnamon apple. Would have been much better on normal golden Oreos."

If you didn't catch these when they were available in a store near you, keep looking. They're bound to pop up again eventually.