Taco Bell garnered great praise last February when the chain announced it was bringing back the Choco Taco.
The hazelnut treat was first produced by Unilever (UL) – Get Unilever PLC reportof the Klondike in the 1980s. But a decades-long partnership with Taco Bell, now with Yum! YUM brands, ensured that generations of visitors would see it on Tex-Mex chain menus throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
The signature sweet treat is a taco-shaped sugar waffle cone filled with vanilla ice cream with a swirl of fudge and covered in chocolate peanut dip.
A nostalgic treat with a very vocal fan base
The February buzz, however, proved to be short-lived. As Taco Bell pretty much stopped selling it when it would sell best, in the summer. Due to its nostalgic factor, the dessert has legions of fans who have raised a similar tone to another Taco Bell cult favorite: Mexican pizza.
“Bringing back such a nostalgic favorite after a seven-year absence is special and bringing it on our 60th anniversary was the perfect fit,” said Liz Matthews, global head of food innovation at Taco Bell, in February.
Obviously, the belief that the Choco Taco would stick around was short-lived. Ahead of confirmation that the dessert would finally be discontinued, rumors of the Choco Taco’s demise began popping up on social media sites like Twitter. (TWTR) – Get the Twitter Inc. report. and Reddit.
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But then the ax fell. “Over the past two years, we have experienced an unprecedented increase in demand in our portfolio and have had to make some very difficult decisions to ensure the availability of our entire portfolio nationally,” confirmed a Klondike Brand representative on CNN Business.
The social media frenzy escalated, with many “RIP” memes being posted for some beloved childhood fun. There were tears, there were swears and there was the only person who remained firm in a previous comment calling the Choco Taco “one of the worst frozen treats in history”.
Others sought governmental solutions. “I will challenge Biden in the primary solely on the basis of his inadequate response to the cancellation of Choco Taco,” wrote journalist Olivier Willis. “America needs a president who can put our chocolate needs first.”
The growing frenzy is, at least for now, much more vocal than many items Taco Bell has dropped over the years. The Tex-Mex chain is known for its evolving menu and numerous limited-time offers; between 2020 and now, it has rid its menus of 7-Layer Burrito, Beefy Fritos Burrito, Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, Grilled Steak Soft Taco, Loaded Grillers, and Triple Layer Nachos, among others.
There were also countless limited-time offerings like cheese-dusted chicken wings that were never intended as permanent menu items.
Since the Choco Taco hadn’t been sold regularly at Taco Bell since 2015, the current rumblings are aimed more at the Klondike than the Tex-Mex chain. But some are already commenting that he didn’t “work hard enough” to convince Klondike.
“Are the people who decided to get rid of Choco Taco also the same people who got rid of Hi-C at McDonalds? How about Mexican pizza at Taco Bell? writing ESPN host Vanessa Richardson. “Show your face, cowards.”
Hope is of course never lost as it is not uncommon for a chain or food producer to bring back a popular item due to social media outrage. Earlier this year, McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation report briefly brought back the cult Szechuan sauce she launched in 1998 to promote the Disney (SAY) – Get The Walt Disney Company Report “Mulan” movie.