The Choco Taco Is Gone and We So-Called Fans Are to Blame

·3 min read
The Choco Taco Is Gone and We So-Called Fans Are to Blame

Those of us who love the Choco Taco will always remember our first. We tore open the crinkly metallic wrapper to reveal the thin and crunchy waffle cone shell coated inside with milk chocolate, its brain-freeze-inducing vanilla ice cream, and the thick and gloppy fudge top studded with peanut shards. It was a revelation: like a sundae, but every bite filled with the perfect ratio of ice cream, cone, chocolate, and nuts.

But this week, after almost 40 years, the worshipped ice cream truck and grocery freezer mainstay is melting away. Parent company Unilever, by way of a call center agent, confirmed to The Takeout that the Choco Taco has been discontinued in both one- and four-packs.

According to Eater, the Choco Taco came to life in Philadelphia in 1983 thanks to a former ice cream truck driver named Alan Drazen, whose email signature reads “Inventor of the Choco Taco - The Original Ice Cream Taco - Over One Billion Sold.” In 1984, Drazen and the family-owned company Jack & Jill rolled out the Choco Taco to ice cream trucks nationwide, and Unilever eventually took it to even wider distribution.

Why would Unilever discontinue such an iconic treat? According to a Klondike tweet, it’s our fault for not buying more. “We've experienced an unprecedented spike in demand across our portfolio and have had to make very tough decisions to ensure availability of our full portfolio nationwide.” It added, “we hope you’ll give one of our other delicious frozen treats a try,” as if any other food can fill the Choco Taco-shaped void in us.

I’ve suffered through a Choco Taco embargo in the past. I ate my first one from a summer camp canteen, and it made me delirious with joy that wasn’t just a sugar high. But due to other campers' nut allergies, every jar of Skippy was replaced with SunButter and the Choco Taco had to go.

So when I heard the news on Monday night, I took to the streets of Manhattan to search for one of these endangered specimen. It seemed that all 7-Eleven goers had the same idea. I went to four shops and couldn’t find a single one. As the Klondike jingle asks, “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?” I, like many of my fellow Americans, learned yesterday that I would do anything for a Choco Taco.

But there’s still a little bit of hope—many are hoping to find a way to keep it alive. Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian tweeted at Unilever, “I’d like to buy the rights to your Choco Taco and keep it from melting away from future generations’ childhoods.” (Actor Patrick Shriver said he would go in on this purchase.) Others think this is a ploy to drive buzz for the nostalgic treat before bringing it back.

Klondike did, after all, tease a comeback: “We know Choco Taco is a huge fan favorite and a top seller for our out-of-home business, so this is particularly painful. We're working hard to find a way to bring Choco Taco back to ice cream trucks in the coming years.” This reads like a convoluted anti-ghost text from someone whom you went on a few dates with. I can’t help but ask myself: Will I see the Choco Taco again or should I start seeing other ice creams?

Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit