Reformulations of Successful Products For No Apparent Reason Whatsoever

I guess the most famous example of this is New Coke. They took a very successful product that people loved and just changed it. For no reason. And people hated it.

There are two much more recent examples of this phenomenon that I am irritated by.

Pine-Sol. They changed Pine-Sol, for god’s sake! I used to love the smell of that stuff- it made cleaning bearable and almost even enjoyable! I could take the top of a bottle of Pine-Sol and sniff it all day long if you’d let me. So, of course, they changed it. Now it’s a completely different smell. I liken it to cheap men’s cologne. But, they still call it “original scent”. I don’t know how they can call it original scent when it’s not the original scent, it’s completely different! Anyway, I hate them for changing one of my all-time favorite scents, and may they rot in hell forever and ever, amen.

Nestle Butterscotch Morsels. Bakers, beware! If you don’t already know, they changed it! Sometime over the past year, the old familiar yummalicious taste of butterscotch left these morsels. I made oatmeal scotchies last night with them, and the new taste of them is oh, so wrong. They taste nothing like butterscotch anymore- more like old fermentation of something, or chemicals. Plus, in the finished cookie, they turned blue-green! Yeah, that’s something that you want in your baked goods- a nice robust blue-green color… bastards. I’ve seen hundreds of complaints about this change online, so I know it’s not just me. Why, Nestle, why??

I’m sure both of these changes came about for certain rea$on$. But I don’t think this is the way to increase corporate profits.

Are there other things that have changed for the worse, and are out there, just lurking, waiting for me to stumble upon them unawares, causing me untold agony and grief? Or, you know, just some minor inconvenience and annoyance?

In the Pine-Sol case, I’m pretty sure they actually removed pine oil from the formulation. My guess is that it’s not so much because pine-oil is particularly expensive, but rather because they have multiple other cleaning products under the Pine-Sol brand, and none of them included pine oil. So where they used to have versions like “Mountain Fresh” and “Lemon” without pine oil, and the “Classic” one with pine-oil, now they have one version, just with different scents and colorants. It actually makes sense, in that now they only have to deal with variants of the same product, instead of 2 basic products.

No idea about the Nestle butterscotch chips; probably changed the flavoring agent for some reason.

Lots of stuff changes for the worse due to regulatory reasons. Manufacturers have to remove or change solvents and cleaning agents, and the “new” version often sucks compared to the old one for a while, until they get the formulation figured out. Removal of phosphates in dishwasher detergent a few years back comes to mind very readily as an example of this.

I’m not sure I follow. Why not treat the pine oil as a scent/colorant?

Ever since Grupo Bimbo resurrected Hostess as its zombie servant, Hostess cupcakes aren’t as good as they used to be. They taste exactly like the cheap knockoff cupcakes you find at 7-11 and such places. I assume it’s probably for cost saving reasons.

Well, they didn’t do it for “no reason”- they were losing market share to Pepsi, and in blind tastings people preferred the sweeter “new” Coke to the old formula - but people certainly hated the idea of it.

Because the pine oil was a pretty large constituent (like 10%) of the original formulation, but totally absent in the others.

It turns out I was wrong though; according to the Clorox company, there was a pine oil shortage, and they changed their formulation accordingly.

In fact, the leader of the “Old Cola Drinkers of America” group, who tried to sue Coca Cola to make them either bring back the old formula or release it so someone else could make it, couldn’t identify which was which, and picked New Coke as the one that tasted best in a blind taste test.

They’re still a little better than the lowest end around here (local quality may vary), but they still aren’t anything like the real thing. And quite a bit smaller too, although that’s been going on for a while.

Some of this is regulatory, but usually it’s just to cut costs.

Pulling a reversal on the situation Coke and Pepsi products are more available with real sugar now.

This makes me superfuckin sad. Scotchies have always been my “go-to” cookies, moreso than chocolate chip cookies. My mom always made them when we were kids, and my brother and I made them for our friends for Christmas for a few years, and up until this year I made them for my Christmas cookie exchange.

I don’t know what to do now. :frowning:

Freschetta Supreme Pizzas were the best frozen pizza and with a coupon and sale, we could get them for $4 at Meijer.

Now, they are horrible. The sauce changed and it ruined it. I suppose there was a reason, but I don’t know what it is.

Guittard Butterscotch Chips

Or, in the grand tradition of the SDMB, make your own. :wink:

This is a perfect thread for BMW e10 owners.

Crap. Thanks for the heads up. I make the seven-layer cookie and will have to see if I can find a different brand. Tough to do around here; sometimes I am lucky even to find the Nestle version.

Whoa, I thought you made up that name. Not so.

I really liked using Nucoa Margarine for cooking, and the taste wasn’t bad for toast, etc. The “Buttery Sticks” are terrible.

How is it I have been on this planet 48 years and never eaten a butterscotch oatmeal cookie?
Now I’m paranoid about what else I’ve been missing, and I had thought that wasn’t much…
Think Imma gunna do some baking this week.

Strongbow used to be one of my favorite hard ciders - it was drier than most American ones, but still smooth and tasted like apples instead of being astringent and champagne-y.

Then they stopped selling the original formula in the US and replaced it with “Gold Apple” flavor that tastes just the same as the Hornsby’s/Angry Orchard sweet ciders that are basically just apple juice with some booze mixed in. (Ironically enough, Angry Orchard now has a dry variety that tastes more like Strongbow than Strongbow does.)

Also, the original formula includes natural vanilla flavor, which is quite pricey, and New Coke used artificial vanillin.

This bit of the “secret formula” for Coca-Cola became public when they made the change, and the bottom fell out of the world vanilla market. It turned out Coke was buying some enormous fraction of the total world production. I don’t remember the number, but something like 1/3. It made the Wall Street Journal at the time.

Hamburger Helper and Campbell’s cream soups have been reformulated in recent years too. They don’t smell or taste the same, nor is the texture the same, and not for the better either.

Can I just say that I love this? I can’t imagine the pretentiousness it would take to sue a company to bring back an old product like that.

The new menu at Wendy’s. They changed the burgers and fries for no good reason, annoyed the people who liked Wendy’s and as far as I can tell, didn’t attract the people who didn’t. Peel the damn potatoes!