Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll Disappears Then Makes a Come Back

In America, we knew it was officially summer when the Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll started to appear on store shelves. Whoever brought the delightful watermelon and lemon sherbert combo to the cookout was always crowned the champion of the family or neighborhood. But alas, along with other things we loved about the beautiful country we lived in, the ice cream chain decided to discontinue it sometime during the pandemic. And it broke out hearts.

But not to worry friends, this love has RETURNED! It just looks a little bit different than it did before. While it isn’t the beloved original, we hope the new version is poised to once again become a staple of celebrations and backyard barbecues.

Here’s everything you need to know about our favorite refreshing summer treat and its new identity…

A Brief History of Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll

Friendly’s, a popular American restaurant chain, has been known for its delicious ice cream treats, sundaes, and cakes since its inception in 1935. Among these delectable offerings, the Wattamelon Roll. It emerged as a fan favorite, with its delightful combination of watermelon and lemon sherbet, and chocolate chip “seeds.” This unique creation quickly gained popularity, becoming a quintessential element of summertime festivities for many families across the United States.

Friendly's Wattamelon Roll Photo credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr

Photo credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr

The Birth of an Iconic Summer Treat

The Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll was first introduced in the early 1970s and quickly became a hit among ice cream aficionados. The innovative design of the dessert, which mimicked the appearance of a watermelon slice, made it a visually appealing and fun addition to any summer gathering. With its refreshing flavors and unique combination of textures, the Wattamelon Roll cemented its status as a must-have treat during the warmer months.

The Success of the Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll

The popularity of the Wattamelon Roll continued to grow over the years, with many customers eagerly awaiting the arrival of the dessert on store shelves each summer. Friendly’s capitalized on this enthusiasm by expanding their range of ice cream rolls, introducing other beloved flavors such as the Jubilee Roll and the Hunka Chunka PB Fudge Roll. These additional offerings further solidified Friendly’s reputation as a go-to destination for mouthwatering ice cream treats.

Friendly's Wattamelon Roll

Photo credit: Friendly’s/ Facebook Screenshot

The Disappearance of the Wattamelon Roll

In a surprising move, Friendly’s announced in 2021 that they would no longer be producing their entire line of ice cream rolls, including the beloved Wattamelon Roll. This decision left many fans of the summertime staple heartbroken, as they faced a summer without their favorite cool and refreshing treat.

Friendly’s cited a change in consumer demand as the primary reason for discontinuing their ice cream rolls. According to the company’s Media Relations team, Friendly’s was shifting its focus to optimize their portfolio of ice cream cartons, novelties, and cakes to better meet the needs of customers for various occasions and celebrations. Sorry, but we’re not buying that because people were devestated over the loss of this beloved family tradition.

The Public’s Reaction to the Discontinuation

The news of the Wattamelon Roll’s discontinuation was met with widespread disappointment and disbelief. Many took to social media to express their sadness and frustration, with some even starting petitions in an attempt to convince Friendly’s to reverse their decision. The outpouring of support for the Wattamelon Roll demonstrated the deep connection that many customers had with the dessert and its role in their summer traditions. 

People even started a petition to bring it back on One bright spot however was the puns that ensued in the petition’s comment sections like “Watta catastrophe!” and “Suddenly I’m feeling melon-choly!”

Friendly's Wattamelon KRUNCH Sherbert Cake
Photo Credit: Facebook

The Return of the Wattamelon Roll as the Wattamelon KRUNCH Sherbert Cake

In response to the public’s overwhelming demand for the return of the Wattamelon Roll, Friendly’s has reintroduced the dessert in a new and exciting form: the Wattamelon KRUNCH Sherbert Cake along with a line of several other KRUNCH cakes in flavors like Orange Citrus, Strawberry, and Chocolate.

The Wattamelon KRUNCH Sherbert Cake maintains the spirit of the original Wattamelon Roll while offering a fresh twist on the beloved dessert. The cake features a base of watermelon sherbet, topped with a layer of lemon sherbet, and encased in a crunchy cookie crumb exterior. The dessert is then finished with a generous sprinkling of chocolate chip “seeds,” adding a touch of nostalgia to the updated creation. Customers eager to try the new Wattamelon KRUNCH Sherbert Cake can find the dessert at participating Friendly’s restaurants and select grocery stores, like ShopRite of Scarsdale. 

The Wattamelon KRUNCH Sherbert Cake is smaller and WAY more expensive

If you ask us why Friendly’s decided to take away our favorite summer desserts it’s so they could rebrand it and upcharge us for it. The original Wattamelon Roll came in at 58 oz. Some shoppers remember buying one for between $5 and $10. The new cake comes in at only 40 oz. and will run you a whopping $22 and change. 

The added cream and crunchies weigh down the light and airy sherbert. In our opinion, it’s just not needed and feels like an afterthought to make up for the cake’s smaller size. We also would like to see more of that lemon sherbert on top. Basically, we’d rather just see the original come back. And while the higher price is insulting, we’d still shell out a bit more for the better quality.

Will you buy it? 

The return of Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll as the Wattamelon KRUNCH Sherbert Cake is a testament to the power of nostalgia and the enduring appeal of a well-loved dessert. With its updated design and the addition of a crunchy cookie crumb layer, the Wattamelon KRUNCH Sherbert Cake is poised to create new summer memories for fans of the original Wattamelon Roll but at a cost. Will you be buying it?

Whether you will or not be enjoying the Wattamelon KRUNCH Sherbert Cake, let’s take a moment to appreciate the dessert’s storied history and the role it has played in countless summer celebrations and the happy memories that it’s made and will make.

*This article was originally published on May 29, 2023