In a devastating blow to ice cream trucks everywhere, the frozen desserts company Klondike confirmed that it has killed the Choco Taco, the chocolate-and-nut-coated treat that this very website once called “the most beloved and innovative of all the American ice cream ‘novelties.’” (Sorry, SpongeBob popsicle.)
Speculation about the Choco Taco’s discontinuation began on social media this weekend as an image of a Choco Taco tombstone made the rounds online. The Takeout received confirmation of the news from Klondike yesterday, and the company later explained on Twitter: “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.” That portfolio includes things like square-shaped Klondike bars, shakes in a pouch, and caramel and vanilla cones.
For some people, the Choco Taco — a sugar cone shaped like a taco and stuffed with ice cream — was synonymous with summer nostalgia. It was arguably among the best options at any well-stocked ice cream truck, alongside firecracker popsicles and ice cream sandwiches. Now, those Choco Taco fans are making their mourning clear online, including Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, who tweeted at Klondike’s parent company Unilever to say “I’d like to buy the rights to your Choco Taco and keep it from melting away from future generations’ childhoods.”
The Choco Taco was nearing its 40th year of existence, having been invented in Philadelphia by Alan Drazen, a former ice cream truck driver, in 1983. In a 2017 Eater video about his creation, Drazen claimed that Klondike had sold a billion Choco Tacos nationwide, or the equivalent of three Choco Tacos per person.
Not everyone is buying the news though, given the current state of rampant PR stunts and product revivals. Just this February, Klondike partnered with Taco Bell — who notably discontinued the fan-favorite Mexican Pizza in 2020, only to bring it back this year to rampant success — to make Choco Tacos available at 20 of the chain’s locations.
Will the Choco Taco come back? Only time will tell. For now, it’s boom times for strawberry shortcake bars everywhere.