The Altoids of today don't hold a candle to the ones of yesteryear. Excuse my nostalgia, but the chalky, curiously strong, minty tablets that you associate with the name Altoids, just aren't as good as their sexy, discontinued cousins. But what happened to Altoids Sours? Why were they discontinued in the first place (like so many other favorite fad foods)? After all, the way the Internet talks about them, you'd think they would have had a long and happy life as the sour candy of choice of discerning adults (or just people who wanted to pretend they were adults). Well, I'm here to give you some answers. Here's the story of those beloved treats, Altoids Sours
Altoid Sours were — as their name might suggest — incredibly sour, brightly colored crystalline-looking candies that made you pucker your lips with both the sensation that your mouth was going to fall off and pure joy. They came in reusable, aluminum tins, and they were everything. Lest you think, however, that I'm just looking back at the past through rose-colored, candy-flavored glasses, I'm not the only one who misses these sour bits of heaven: there are Facebook pages and Reddit threads dedicated to its fans, and eBay listings for unopened tins go for as much as $100 a pop. There's also a Change.org petition dedicated to bringing them back.
Is this just a case of us wanting what we can't have? If we love Altoid Sours so much, why were they discontinued?
Bustle reached out to Wrigley, Altoids' parent company, for some answers. According to Wrigley, Altoids Sours hit the market in 2004, and came in five flavors: raspberry, lime, apple, tangerine, and mango (and anyone who knew their stuff knew that tangerine was the best). They were then unceremoniously discontinued in February of 2010. If you're really dedicated, you can actually still get tins of them in specialty candy stores like this one, and they're not nearly as expensive there as they are on eBay.
I also asked Wrigley exactly why the Sours were discontinued. Were sales lagging? Were they just trying to break hearts? What gives?
According to a Wrigley customer service representative, it was the former: low sales. "They were discontinued due to low national demand," the rep told Bustle. "If a product is not selling particularly well, unfortunately we sometimes have to discontinue it."
So there you have it, friends. The sad, true story of the discontinued AltoidS Sours: They just weren't popular enough to warrant continued production.
The same Wrigley spokesperson told me, though, that the best way to get a favorite product back is to do what I did: call 1-800-WRIGLEY and tell them how much you loved the Sours. Plus, you get to really reflect on your relationship to the candy when your rep asks you questions like, "Did you consume this product on a daily basis?" and "What was your favorite flavor?"
If we really liked Altoid Sours as much as the internet implies that we did, let's put our money wear our mouths are. Let's bring our boys home and get Altoids Sours back on the shelves. Do your part — make the call.