RIP, Choco Taco

Rumblings of the Klondike product's demise has spread across social media.

As much as I enjoy scrolling through social media, we all know it's not exactly the best place from which to source your news. So I was naturally skeptical this weekend when I noticed a big commotion surrounding an ice cream truck staple, the Choco Taco, manufactured by Klondike (a brand owned by Unilever). Twitter users were up in arms, claiming that the Choco Taco was being discontinued. There was very little evidence to substantiate this claim, however—no news articles or an official social media announcement.

I kept seeing one particular image of a Choco Taco on a headstone, displaying the text "R.I.P Choco Taco, 1984-2022." That same image has been proliferated dozens of times in other tweets, which made it feel even more like a silly meme rather than an indication of an actual news development. But where did it start?

I finally found the source of the image on Facebook, where it was posted by a page called "Sno Kone Joe." Sno Kone Joe is the Facebook business page for an ice cream truck operator in Roslyn, New York, who does indeed go by Sno Kone Joe. As far as I can tell, he's a real guy.

The headstone photo's caption said:

The choco taco has been discontinued.This is a shocker! The choco taco has been around since 1984, and was one of our most popular products.

Here is the link to klondike to let them know you want your taco back! Email and call away!

In the comment section, Sno Kone Joe put up a screenshot of an email, purportedly from Klondike, which said:

Thank you for contacting Klondike.

We're sorry to have to share some sad news; Klondike ChocoTacos has been discontinued. We know how disappointing it is when your favorite frozen dessert isn't available anymore. It's always a tough decision for us to discontinue a product, especially when we hear from fans like you that really enjoyed it.

We'd love to help you find a new favorite, though! Or, you can view our entire line at http://www.klondikebar.com/

There is a minor red flag, and it's in the spelling. Klondike doesn't refer to Choco Tacos as "ChocoTacos." There's a space between the words. We're all human and mistakes happen, but it did get me suspicious. Plus, the product still shows up in the roster on the Klondike website. But the language does sound like the diplomatic tone you get from a big brand when reps have to break bad news to you, which is what got me worried.

So as your favorite pizzamaker turned investigative journalist, I did the responsible thing and called Unilever to find out whether or not the Choco Taco had been discontinued.

Is the Choco Taco gone for good?

At first the call center agent had no idea what I was talking about, but when she inquired internally about the rumor, she confirmed it to be true.

"The Choco Taco has been discontinued," she said. Holy crap. Straight from the source.

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Klondike specified one- and four-packs were both being discontinued, meaning that both the unit size sold by ice cream trucks and the multi-packs sold at the grocery store have been axed. Asked why the Choco Taco was going away, the rep replied diplomatically that the decision was made for a variety of reasons, as well as to make room for newer options. This is the same reasoning we heard from Taco Bell when several beloved items were discontinued in an act of "menu streamlining" that aimed to clear space for fresh innovations. (Or maybe just to cut costs and increase profits?)

I'm sure plenty of you will be heartbroken by this news; Choco Tacos are a top-tier ice cream selection for some people, and have been since their inception in the 1980s. I was certainly known to chow down on them when I was a kid. So it brings me no joy to be the bearer of bad news. Social media rumors don't always prove to be true, but in the case of the Choco Taco, this one is sadly based in fact. RIP, Choco Taco, 1984-2022.

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