Crystal Pepsi, The Golden Arch Deluxe and other food flops take center stage…

Crystal Pepsi, The Golden Arch Deluxe and other food flops take center stage…


In the food world, for every hit like Popeye’s chicken sandwich, there are countless flops. But not all mistakes are the same. Some are downright despised by customers, others just don’t sell well enough to justify investing millions in their development.

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Enter Samuel West, Curator of Museum of Failure, a traveling exhibition showcasing products that have fallen by the wayside. From 3D TVs to MoviePass, numerous failed innovations will be showcased. The tragic sinking of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class compact car that failed a safety test because it rolled over show that failure comes in all shapes and sizes. Even tech giant Nintendo Co. Ltd. wasn’t immune to failure, as evidenced by the Power Glove, a clunky and largely ineffective accessory for its gaming consoles that debuted in 1989.

However, the food area is particularly fascinating.

West appreciates the evolutionary approach of the food and beverage industry and points out that testing and trying new things is necessary for innovation. Even scents like beef and fish-flavored pet water or New Coke are steps in the right direction, he said.

Because without failure there can be no success. Just check out Heinz EZ Squirt Ketchup. To add variety, Heinz turned his ketchup into all shades of the rainbow. The kids loved it, but by 2006 it was gone.

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Remember McDonald’s Arch Deluxe? A $200 million investment in a new premium item turned out to be a massive flop. Franchisees struggled to keep up with the new sauce, buns, and condiments, while customers found them overpriced. In 2000 it was removed from menus.

From frozen lasagne from toothpaste makers to coffee-flavored Coca-Cola, the Museum of Failure has seen it all…


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