10 Iconic Food Brands That Changed Their Recipe and People Lost Their Minds

Brands That Changed Their Recipes and Were Hit With Backlash

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Brands That Changed Their Recipes and Were Hit With Backlash
Cheapism; Pexels

Revamped and Loathed

Over the years, some of the world's most iconic food companies have modified their recipes hoping to attract more customers. While the changes were often made with seemingly noble intentions, they frequently sparked significant backlash from loyal customers. Whether driven by cost-cutting measures, health concerns, or attempts to innovate, these decisions often resulted in widespread backlash and disappointment. 

Here are 10 well-known brands that veered from their original recipes, much to the chagrin of their customers. 

Related: The Surprising Reasons These Companies Changed Their Brand Names

Coca-Cola 2-liter Bottles 4-pack Sam's Club
Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

1. Coca-Cola

In 1985, Coca-Cola made the infamous decision to swap out its original recipe and introduce "New Coke," a reformulated version of its classic soda. But the change was met with immediate and intense backlash, as loyal fans did not hop on board with the new formula's taste. The outcry was so strong that within just a few months, the company reintroduced the original formula as "Coca-Cola Classic." 

Though the pivot is considered one of the biggest marketing blunders in history, it also reinforced the brand's willingness to listen and connect with its customers. 

Related: Fun and Little-Known Facts About Coca-Cola

World Famous Fries McDonald's

2. McDonald's French Fries

In 1992, McDonald's altered the recipe for its beloved French fries by switching from beef tallow to vegetable oil. Though the change was reportedly made in response to health concerns over saturated fats, it left many customers disappointed with the new taste. Despite the healthier alternative, the new fries were criticized for lacking the same rich and crunchy texture that made them famous in the first place. 

Related: Surprising Things You Didn't Know About McDonald's 


3. Oreos

Nabisco's iconic Oreo cookies faced backlash in 1997 when the company decided to switch from using lard to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. The tweak was part of an effort to make the cookies healthier, but many fans felt that the taste and texture of the cookies were negatively affected. Though the company continued to tweak the recipe over the years, some purists still long for the OG version.  

Hostess Twinkies are Delicious!

4. Twinkies

In 2012, Hostess temporarily ceased production of Twinkies, causing widespread panic among fans of the classic snack. When the brand was revived in 2013, many consumers noticed that the recipe had changed, with the new Twinkies being smaller and having a different taste and texture. Though the change was intended to improve shelf life and production efficiency, it left many longtime fans disappointed.

Related: The Best (and Worst) Fast Food Desserts

Domino's Pizza

5. Domino's Pizza

In 2009, Domino's Pizza made a bold move to completely overhaul its pizza recipe. The new version featured a different crust, sauce, and cheese blend, which was a direct response to widespread criticism over the quality of their pizza. While the revamp ultimately helped improve the company's reputation and sales, the initial reaction from longtime customers was mixed, with some wanting the original recipe back. 

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Kraft Mac 'n Cheese redesigned box

6. Kraft Mac and Cheese

Kraft faced significant backlash in 2015 when it announced the removal of artificial dyes from its original formula. While the change was aimed at making the product healthier, some fans were concerned about how this would affect the flavor and appearance of their beloved mac and cheese. Despite the company's assurances, some customers claimed the new version tasted different and did not live up to the hype. 

Related: Pasta Pitfalls: 10 Pasta Mistakes You're Probably Making

Cadbury Creme Egg

7. Cadbury Creme Egg

In 2015, Cadbury changed the recipe for its famous Creme Egg by replacing the original dairy milk chocolate shell with a cheaper chocolate blend. The change sparked outrage for the U.K.-based company, where the snack is a popular treat. Fans complained that the new version lacked the same creamy, velvety texture and rich flavor. The change led to a significant drop in sales and customer satisfaction.

Related: 6 Traditional British Foods That Americans Are Missing Out On

Pepsi 2023 logo

8. Pepsi

In 2010, PepsiCo introduced a new version of its classic soda called "Pepsi Throwback," which used real sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. While some consumers appreciated the pivot to a more natural sweetener, others felt the new version didn't capture the same crisp taste that the original Pepsi had. Though the new version was initially marketed as a "limited edition" item, it gained a dedicated following that clamored for its permanent return. 

In 2023, Pepsi once again announced a recipe change, this time focusing on reducing artificial ingredients and lowering the sugar content.

MHL Nutella

9. Nutella

In 2017, Nutella's manufacturer Ferrero quietly altered the recipe of the popular hazelnut spread by increasing the amount of powdered skim milk and reducing the amount of cocoa. But the change was quickly noticed by disgruntled fans, who took to social media to express their dissatisfaction. Many claimed that the new version was lighter in color and had a different texture and flavor compared to the original.


10. Campbell's Soup

Campbell's made headlines in 2016 when it announced the removal of 10 artificial ingredients from its classic chicken noodle soup. While the change was part of a broader initiative to improve the nutritional profile of its products, some consumers felt the new recipe lacked flavor. The mixed reactions demonstrated how even small changes to a familiar product can evoke strong responses from loyal customers.