Who Killed Monster Munch?
Over the last 20 years, UK consumers have been stealthily robbed of several classic foods, as their recipes have been changed to the point where they are no longer recognisable. These changes have been made by the manufacturers either as a cost-cutting measure or in a bid to capitalise on the consumer trend for healthier eating (which is usually a smokescreen for cutting costs anyway). The following ten foods we will never again be allowed to enjoy, even with all our money and technology. Damn you all to hell.
1. Monster Munch
"Pennies can't buy a bigger snack" ran the old slogan, because Monster Munch used to be big. They used to have a softer, flakier texture and were coated in flavouring. MSG, presumably. Man's flavouring. Modern Monster Munch are tiny, hard, bland pieces of shit. The culprits of this atrocity are of course Walkers (Lay's to Americans), the EA of the snack world, who have ruined most of the snacks that they've monopolistically plundered from other companies. The sons of bitches even compounded the insult by added a vanilla flavour at one time.
You'd think it would hard to fuck up a decades-old brand of wheat crackers, but McVities have somehow managed it. Krackawheat used to be more orange coloured (in keeping with their packaging), and had a liberal amount of salt on one side, which could be sucked and used to enhance the flavour no end. That's what salt is for. The modern variety are pale, wishy-washy and have the merest hint of salt.
Honey Cheerios used to be glazed in some tooth-rotting admixture of sugar, syrup and/or honey. The modern variety has the usual near-homeopathic amount of sweetener, and has been made multigrain to appease the health freaks. If Neville Chamberlain were a cereal, he'd be multigrain.
Cheesy Wotsits used to be orange, and tasted of cheese, or at least, acid and salt. Now they're yellow and hardly stain your hands at all, depriving future generations of the "Doctor, Doctor, my nob's gone orange" joke.
Life-preserver shaped brown rings of cereal. Used to taste of chocolate, now taste of cardboard and despair. Texture is a bit more plasticky now as well.
Another example of Walkers meddling. Walkers wanted to turn Doritos from a slightly up-market snack to something as mainstream (i.e. cheap to mass produce) as their regular crisps. The result is that they're now smaller, lighter and have less flavour. Interestingly the larger packs have been less affected, for the simple reason that a flimsy bubbly bit of detritus that in no way resembles a mexican corn chip can't be used with dip (which they also sell).
7. Jammie Dodgers
These awesome biscuits have been given a slightly more rubbery texture, but worst of all, the classic bas relief design on the top half of the biscuit has been replaced with an EXTREME!!1 splat of jam. Jammie Dodgers are so down with the kids that they've also spawned loads of other flavours, including "Outrageous Orange" and "Berrilicious". Fuck off, Jammie Dodgers.
8. Sugar Puffs
Not so much a cereal as a marketing person's nightmare, Sugar Puffs are lumbered with a brand name based of their most unhealthy ingredient. (They could so easily have been called "Honey Puffs", seeing as they contain honey and are advertised by the Honey Monster.) As a result, the word "Sugar" gets ever smaller with each packaging redesign, and the amount of sugar in the cereal gets reduced. Sugar Puffs are still quite nice, but they shouldn't have to be ashamed of what they are.
Wispa bars were kind of like the Aero, but with much finer bubbles, resulting in a much smoother texture and less crumbliness. There were also made of Cadbury's chocolate rather than Nestle's, so were creamier and less tart. Then five years ago they inexplicably stopped making them. OK, so they were typically a not the first choice of most people presented with a range of confectionery, but they were still quite good. Then last year, Cadbury's made a big fuss about bringing the Wispa back, which they're now saying might be a limited time deal, presumably so they can hold the remaining stock to ransom via eBay. The only solution at this point is I think to nationalise the Wispa bar.
10. Lucky Charms
The classic American cereal was briefly introduced into the UK about a decade ago. It prompted Kelloggs to temporarily add sugarless (fucksake, what's the point you idiots) marshmallows to Rice Krispies. Then at some indeterminate time later, they were withdrawn, either a victim of poor sales or some kind of European health and safety standards. There are currently no marshmallow cereals on sale in the UK, apart from imports.
I've not even covered Milky Way, which has had its malt innards replaced with fluffy white chemical gunk.
October 2008 Update: Walkers are currently selling 'old style' Monster Munch, in the original flavours. The pieces are the right size, but not the original shapes, and only approximately the right texture. The Pickled Onion flavour is authentic, but the Roast Beef flavour is a poor imitation of the original, lacking salt, MSG, beef stock, rendered fat or some combination thereof and tasting like musty onions as a result. I haven't tried the Flaming Hot flavour yet. It isn't clear whether this is a limited time promotion.