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Discontinued

The slot in the grocery store was empty; a gaping open mouth that should be holding a row of maple Wallaby yogurt containers.  But I wasn’t panicked yet.  I just asked the guy who was stocking the shelves if they had any in the back.

He checked and then walked up to me, empty-handed.  “This doesn’t bode well,” I nervously laughed.  “I know this because your arms are empty, and if you had yogurt, you would have brought it with you.”

“Yes,” he said.  “We’re out of maple yogurt.”

Before I could ask him when the next shipment would arrive, he continued, speaking slowly and staring deep into my eyes in order to drive home the seriousness of this situation.  “The distributor said that there will never be another container of maple Wallaby yogurt.  He is no longer carrying the maple Wallaby yogurt.  He can no longer ship the maple Wallaby yogurt.”

I almost fell backwards, unconscious, against the shelves, but I gathered my wits and ran out of the store to my car, pausing only to purchase the wild rice sticks that Josh requested.

I drove to Whole Foods, the only other store in the area to carry maple Wallaby yogurt.  Surely Jeff Bezos would have a superior distributor, one that stocks ALL the yogurt flavours.

But as my eyes scanned the shelves, the truth became clear.  There was no maple yogurt.  No space for a maple yogurt.  I knelt down on the floor and wept, by which I mean that I went to pick up the kids from school and broke the news.

I needed to understand why, so I called the customer care hotline number for Wallaby I found online.  “Why?” I asked the man on the other end of the line.  “Why?”

“Um… I think because it wasn’t a popular flavour.  Didn’t sell well.  They discontinued it.”

No.  No.  That is not how this works.  This is not how “shopping” and “food consumption” works.  You do not hook us on a yogurt flavour and then snatch it away when it becomes the only yogurt flavour my child will eat.  Once you release that maple yogurt into the wild, you keep making that maple yogurt until we tell you to stop making that maple yogurt.

Said child does not agree with me that pouring maple syrup into unflavoured yogurt achieves the same taste, though the child is willing to entertain the idea of a different brand of maple yogurt now that we know that our brand of maple yogurt has sailed.  But still.

(Could said child have chosen a more pain-in-the-ass, hard to find flavour?)

This hurt comes during a week when I also discovered our stain stick AND soap refill has been discontinued.

Discontinuations always happen in threes, they say.  I guess it was maple yogurt’s time to go.

Feel free to leave your own discontinuation story.

14 comments

1 Beth { 01.14.18 at 8:18 am }

Peter Pan peanut butter. It technically still exists. However it went through a long and painful recall/we-will-not-sell-your-favorite-product period. As someone who enjoyed a pb and j sandwich for lunch most every day at work (I know, I know I’m an adult but it was easy and delicious and cheap…) I was devastated. No replacement was exactly the same.

I soon after married a Jif man and are raising 2 Jif eaters together. I hope they never experience the same disappointment as I did.

My sincere condolences on the yogurt.

2 a { 01.14.18 at 9:42 am }

I have rather sensitive skin, and have been using the same detergent for, oh, 40 years or so. They discontinued it late last year, and I didn’t realize in time to stock up for the rest of my life. Not sure what I’m going to do now…live with hives, I suppose. 🙁

About 25 years ago, Stouffer’s used to make this frozen dinner that was chicken crepes in a mushroom sauce. It disappeared one day and I’m still wishing I could have some. That was delicious.

3 Working mom of 2 { 01.14.18 at 11:19 am }

I have many, many stories. Food (certain veggie burgers, meat analogues, etc.) cosmetics, etc…We used to joke that stores were tracking my purchases and as soon as I bought something too many times it would be discontinued.

One of the saddest was WholeSoy yogurt. Sold under its own label plus they made the Trader Joe’s brand. Best soy yogurt ever at a good price.First it was suddenly off the shelves which according to the website was bc they lost their packing plant and had to find a new one or something. After many many months the product was back. Then…empty shelves…web site confirmed company was folding.

TJs has done this several times—their vegan enchiladas used to be identical to Amy’s then off the shelves and new product is not as good. Their vegan chick tenders disappeared a year or so ago…as did their after dinner mints (like a thin peppermint patty, vegan)…wahh

4 Charlotte { 01.14.18 at 11:47 am }

That’s sucks on the discontinued flavor, and that it’s the only kind your kid likes. Good news is that there are other brands that are maple flavor, I know…but maybe time to try another favor?? There are SO many good ones. The new Yoplait Oui brand is seriously like dessert!

As far as discontinued stuff I’ve loved!…SO MANY…PB crisps, Mystic Wild Berry, clearly Canadian, Irish spring Sport, Johnson and Johnson Cotton swabs, to name a few. I also HATE when they change the make or recipe of something…Old Navy has the BEST yoga pants a few years ago. They changed the style yet still sell them under the same description but they are NOT the same. Fruity Cheerios changed their formula, and they aren’t as good as they once were.

5 nicoleandmaggie { 01.14.18 at 12:48 pm }

Speaking of Trader Joes– dried dragon fruit. It sustained me during my first pregnancy. The entire world discontinued it for several years (including during my second pregnancy when I could eat even fewer items than with my first).

I set up an alert on nuts.com to let me know when dried dragonfruit would start to exist again, and a year or two later I got an email. I buy it a few times a year from them and it is so much more expensive than it was when TJ’s carried it, but it is worth it.

(My daughter won’t eat ANY kind of yogurt, even the frozen ice-cream like version.)

6 Jess { 01.14.18 at 1:19 pm }

Oh, NO. That is the worst. I absolutely love Brown Cow maple yogurt, but it’s a thinner whole milk, cream-on-top variety. I don’t know what consistency Wallaby is. We don’t have that here to my knowledge… I get real sad when things are discontinued. My worst discontinuation story is a delicious pizza at Napa Woodfired Pizzeria here, where they have amazing gluten free options. The Parma was a completely tasty concoction of goat cheese, prosciutto, figs, and garlic oil as the base. It was the perfect salty-sweet combination. One day I went in to order it and it was GONE. I asked what happened, and they said “supply chain issues” — but it was SO POPULAR! It was a BESTSELLER! I can’t figure it out, as I still see both prosciutto and figs in other places, but no one has that combo. It is utterly disappointing.

You made me laugh so hard with the dramatic delivery of the grocery stockperson’s bad news. I can see that, totally. My condolences…

7 Cristy { 01.14.18 at 2:01 pm }

I’m a maple yogurt lover. Have you checked out Brown Cow? (http://www.browncowfarm.com/cream-top/) Last I checked, Whole Foods and others carry it.

8 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.14.18 at 3:55 pm }

The stupid chain grocery closest to me can’t manage to keep carrying this, but a less convenient one farther away does. https://www.graeters.com/black-cherry-chocolate-chip

And later, when the store ran out of Tart Cherry Noosa, I panicked that it would be a permanent discontinue rather than a temporary shortage. I guess I have cherry PTSD.

9 Nicoleandmaggie { 01.14.18 at 4:22 pm }

Ben and Jerry’s had this amazing chocolate mint ice cream which had chocolate ice cream and these mint chocolate coated cookie balls. Just like when Hershey’s discontinued its chocolate mint cookie crunch bars (occasionally available at Christmas in smaller forms).

10 Chris { 01.14.18 at 6:21 pm }

Carnation Breakfast Bars. Oddly, this is one is both my husband and me. Apparently, we both grew up eating Carnation Instant Breakfast Bars. And one day they were just gone. It appears they had a cult like following as there are even recipes out there for making your own, but we both miss them despite growing up not knowing one another! LOL And, every time we see something that looks similar we try it, only to be disappointed.

11 Mali { 01.15.18 at 9:16 pm }

I’ve had two favourite pasta sauces discontinued in the last two years, and a month or two ago, my replacement favourite pasta sauce disappeared from the shelves, along with a bunch of others of the same brand. The others of the brand have returned, but not my favourite. I’m hoping it is just a supply problem. But there it is – three of my favourite sauces gone from my Pasta and Chardonnay Thursdays.

12 loribeth { 01.16.18 at 3:31 pm }

My mother is forever finding out that her favourite products have been discontinued, which then sends my sister & me scrambling to see if we can round up any remaining stock for her to hoard. 🙂 Shampoos, hairspray, toothpaste, cleaning products, bras.

I can think of a few of my own examples. Cosmetics & skin care products in abundance — favourite shades of lipstick, etc. :p Favourite menu items at our usual restaurants that have disappeared or changed beyond recognition. I fell in love with a fudge about 10 years ago that was imported from Britain & sold at Chapters/Indigo stores here called Burnt Sugar (the Seasalt Caramel flavour in particular), and a couple of years ago it just disappeared from the shelves & from the company’s website. (Mrs. Spit, bless her, sent me several packages once that she had rounded up, but they are long gone.)

And I used to pre-soak laundry stains in hand-hot water with a powdered stain remover called Amaze. It was marketed for “baby stains,” but was good for all kinds. I also added it to my load of whites to brighten things up. I cannot find it anywhere lately, and nothing else I’ve tried has been anywhere near as effective.

The supermarket dh & I used to shop at in our old location, before we moved, does not have any stores anywhere near where we now live… and so we’ve found it difficult to source some of the products and brands we were familiar with and had used for years. (Example: I’m surrounded by all things Italian, but I have yet to find a grated parmesan cheese that i liked as well as the Tre Stelle I used to buy.)

On the other hand, I HAVE been able to find packages of Jello pudding — NOT instant pudding, but the kind you cook on the stove & can eat warm. I grew up eating pudding this way, & I used to stock up whenever I visited my parents because I had trouble finding it, in our old location. But now here it is! Tradeoffs…!

13 Allison { 01.21.18 at 4:58 am }

Snapple soda! So many delicious flavours, but Cherry Lime Rickey was my favourite. Now all they sell is a hideous iced tea.

14 sciliz { 01.21.18 at 2:09 pm }

Crest pro-health cinnamon toothpaste.
It is gone forever now. Apparently there was a phase where the lids to the crest pro-health didn’t fasten right, so they reformulated. And they stole my cinnamon. You have to get whitening or some nonsense to get cinnamon.
AND the cool mint substitute is not as good as the OLD cool mint substitute to boot. What’s the point of having a nice closing lid on crappy toothpaste???

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