The real reason Pudding Pops were discontinued

If you are a product of the '80s — Valley speak, punk rock, and all things Ronald Reagan — you probably snacked on Jell-O Brand Pudding Pops. Jell-O Pudding Pops were a simple creamy, icy, and refreshing frozen version of pudding on a stick. Who can forget the iconic commercial featuring Bill Cosby dressed as an ice cream man talking to the kid about chocolate vanilla swirl pudding pops? One side of his mouth said vanilla and the other said chocolate. Our reply? "Mom, can you buy some Jell-O Pudding pops?" 

It was genius marketing that spoke directly to its audience, but unfortunately, the marketing was outpaced by changes in our cultural tastes and focus. Today, with healthy living trends, many of us eschew the ice cream aisle and instead consider a specialty drink from Starbucks a decadent dessert (via Tampa Bay Times). 

Jell-O Pudding Pops may have been a staple in our freezers when we were kids, but they are no more. If you cruise through the frozen dessert aisle in your local grocery store looking for this childhood nostalgia, you will be sadly disappointed, along with the approximately 3,600 people who search Google every month wondering what happened to their beloved pudding based popsicle (via Delish). So what happened to this frosty treat of yore and can our taste buds still relive that wonderfully smooth taste of Jell-O Pudding Pops?

You can still buy a Jell-O Pudding Pop mold

Jell-O Pudding Pops were part of the General Foods family and soared in popularity in the 1980s due to their wholesome goodness, and they were holding their own when they entered the 1990s. In fact, just five years after they made their debut, Jell-O brand Pudding Pops were bringing in $300 million in sales a year. Not too shabby, but guess what? They didn't make a profit. General Foods was new to the frozen food game, and they didn't have the know-how to make money off their hugely successful product. In 2004, the company tried to salvage their creation by licensing the Jell-O name to Popsicle who made their own version of the pudding pop. Unfortunately, while imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, these "pudding pops" just weren't the same. Popsicle used its own mold in place of the original pudding pop shape and never achieved the Pied Piper-like following or sales of Jell-O brand Pudding Pops (via Culinary Lore).

While Jell-O brand Pudding Pops are no longer being sold, Jell-O didn't completely leave us in a lurch. If you are feeling the retro vibes of youth, visit the Jell-O website for a recipe to make Pudding Pops on your own, or see if you can snag a Jell-O Pudding Pops vanilla and chocolate mold kit and make them yourself.