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Doritos, a long time beloved chip, most classically known for its red “Nacho Cheese” or blue “Cool Ranch” packaging actually has a long history of outrageous discontinued Doritos flavors. Upon inspection of these old-school flavors, it appears that some of the flavors themselves were outrageous, while some seem so tasty that the discontinuation is the real outrage. Regardless of whether you're a lover or hater of the obscure flavors, we can all give props to Doritos for their hugely successful model of utilizing fan-created content. Throughout the history of outrageous discontinued Doritos flavors, the company has exemplified interesting marketing methods to maximize fan engagement. And while not all the flavors lived to tell the tale, the methods to engage fans and increase customers certainly succeeded.
Sour Cream & Onion
An all time classic and favorite across all brands of chips, perhaps the discontinued flavor Sour Cream & Onion was a bit too “mainstream” for Doritos.
The flavor was first introduced in the 70’s and discontinued in the 80s, with a brief reappearance in 2013 as a “Throwback Flavor.” I would argue here that this was an outrageous flavor to discontinue. I mean come on, everyone loves Sour Cream & Onion, a classic flavor perfect for any occasion.
Doritos Mash-Ups: Chester’s Cheese, Pizza Cravers, and Taco Supreme
Doritos experimented with some mixing and matching in the 1990’s as it teamed up with other companies to create some truly outrageous flavor explosions.
First up in 1995, Doritos and Cheetos teamed together for Chester’s Cheese Doritos. The traditional crunchy Doritos chip was topped with the super fake, yet delicious tasting Cheetos cheese powder. In the late 1990s, PepsiCo, owner of Doritos, underwent some restructuring. The company masterfully marketed for two of its products at once by teaming Doritos and Pizza Hut up for the Pizza Cravers Edition and Doritos and Taco Bell for the Taco Supreme Edition.
And we wonder why Americans have a massive weight problem (pun intended); the junk food companies are targeting us right where it hurts. I mean who can resist a heavenly combination like Doritos and pizza? These are the discontinued Doritos flavors I wouldn’t mind trying in a throwback.
X-13 D Flavor Experiment
Here we see Doritos really playing with their customers. This outrageous flavor was eventually discontinued, but successfully got customers involved- aka buying products- with testing and naming the mystery flavor.
In 2007, Doritos launched this fan promotion where they invited tasters to name the new flavor. The bags were each decorated with “Tasting Notes: All American Classic” and the chips “closely” resembled the taste of a good old cheeseburger with a hint of pickle. Again, I used quotes around the word closely because I just have a hard time believing that a chip can closely resemble this specific taste. Unfortunately I won't be able to try out the Allnighter Cheeseburger, as it was eventually named, to properly judge myself.
Simple yet genius, this outrageous discontinued Doritos flavor combined two flavors in the same bag. And I have to give it to them, two delicious flavors in one bag, I like it.
The choices came as Hot Wings/ Blue Cheese, Zesty Taco/ Chipotle Ranch, Habanero/ Guacamole, Cheesy Enchilada/ Sour Cream, and Pizza Cravers/ Ranch. The flavors sound like appealing combinations of taste bud explosions, although I must say, I question the ability of Doritos to capture some of these flavors like “Cheesy Enchilada” into their chips. I might be provoking some passionate Doritos fans now, but honestly as a cheesy enchilada lover perhaps I’m not so outraged at the discontinuation.
Late Night Editions: Allnighter Cheeseburger, Tacos at Midnight, Last Call Jalapeño Poppers
Another group of outrageous discontinued flavors that Doritos fans were sad to let go of, the Late Night Doritos Editions, existed back in 2008.
Although I think the names are pretty stupid, I do like the flavors, possibly because of my love for late night food. It just tastes better after dinner, doesn’t it? Doritos intended to create not only a taste but also a feeling of late night snack satisfaction with these outrageous discontinued flavors.
The Quest Mystery Flavor: Mountain Dew
The Quest Mystery Flavor, Mountain Dew, was released in 2008 in another successful showcasing of increasing user engagement. While I appreciate the fan involvement, am I the only one who sees Mountain Dew as a completely outrageous Doritos flavor?!
I’m not even sure how Doritos went about creating this flavor in chip form, but I’m guessing the smorgasbord of chemicals listed on the ingredients of the bag get you somewhere close. I’m guessing like many of you, I wasn’t too sad to see this flavor go.
The Roulette Spicy Chip was a playful flavor, which contained a handful of “super spicy” Doritos in every bag. Doritos boasted that “one chip in every handful is so spicy it may bring you to tears.” Hmm… so perhaps “playful” isn't the best word for this outrageous discontinued Doritos flavor.
As a spice lover, I would be up for the challenge, but I’m not sure this flavor is for everyone. And once again, I have to question that the ingredients are anything close to wholesome or healthy if they are capable of that burn.
Degree Burn: 1st Degree Burn Blazin’ Jalapeño, 2nd Degree Burn Fiery Buffalo, 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habanero
The Degree Burn edition of Doritos included flavors of three different spice levels, released at the same time as Pepsi’s Cease Fire Max Citrus Freeze. The idea was for the Pepsi to cool off your mouth after the outrageously scorching Doritos.
Mmmm, sugar. Here we examine PepsiCo wonderfully marketing its products together to squeeze as much sugar as possible into us naïve buyers. And as much as I'm a fan of spice, the idea of eating something so painful for your mouth that you actually need a frozen drink to cool it off does seem a little… unnecessary. However unnecessary, I don’t doubt that these discontinued flavors are equally as delicious as they are addicting.
For all those guacamole lovers out there, this discontinued flavor is a real heart breaker. Skip the dip; go straight for the chip. Or add a side of guac for double guac power, which really is never a bad idea.
Doritos has a long history of discontinued flavors; while some are more outrageous than others, each stays true to the Doritos we know and love, be it the shape, crunch, or taste. Over the years Doritos has experimented with new shapes and sizes like Doritos 3D or Rollitos, and often has received backlash, rightfully so, for outrageous or not so creative flavors. In the end, when presented with a choice, I will never pass up a classic bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos, regardless of the outrageous flavors discontinued before.