The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read ®

Issue 974

Fabulous Food

SKITTLES

• Skittles is a brand of fruit-flavored candy, currently produced and marketed by the Wrigley Company which is a division of Mars, Inc. They were first invented in 1974 in England, and were introduced in the U.S. as an imported product in 1979. They proved to be so popular that production began in the United States in 1982. The slogan “Taste the Rainbow” was introduced in the year 1994.

• They were one of the first candies to heavily utilize social media such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. The Skittles company once made the mistake of allowing any Tweet regarding Skittles to appear live on their website, and the result was such an immediate flood of profanity that it nearly crashed Twitter.

• In 2016 during the celebration of London Pride Week, Skittles dropped their colorful packaging as well as the colors of their candy and released packages of all-white Skittles in black and white packages. This was to show support for the Pride flag, allowing it to be the only rainbow of color in London during Pride Week. The colorless candies were handed out from a similarly colorless float during the Pride parade.

• Skittles are composed mainly of sugar, corn syrup, and hydrogenated palm kernel oil along with fruit juice, citric acid, and natural and artificial flavors. Because of the citric acid used as flavoring, a small bag of Skittles contains about 50% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C for an 8-year-old and 25% for an adult.

• Each individual candy contains about 4 calories and a packet has a total of about 230 calories. It takes 8 hours to make a batch of Skittles in the factory from start to finish. Every day over 200,000,000 Skittles candies are manufactured.

• Each individual Skittle is stamped with the letter “S” using non-soluble ink and attached by edible glue. If you soak Skittles in liquid, the “S” will detach and float to the surface.

• You can make interesting Skittles art by arranging Skittles on a shallow pan or plate and covering them with hot water. The water-soluble colors run and swirl creating interesting patterns in the water.

• The most common flavors are grape, lemon, lime, orange, and strawberry. In the U.S., purple Skittles are grape-flavored, but overseas the flavor is black currant. This is because black currant bushes could not be imported into the U.S. due to the wood-damaging fungus they carried. As a result, the flavor of black currant so popular in Europe never caught on in the U.S.

• In 2013, Skittles tried replacing the lime-flavored Skittles with green apple, causing a backlash. Apple-flavored Skittles can still be found in some overseas countries.

• There are now about 18 flavors including mango, kiwi, and banana. You can also find Skittles that contain two different flavors in each candy, as well as Skittle Riddles where the flavors don’t match the colors. There’s also Skittles bubble gum.

• Skittles makes a vending machine where consumers can choose their own mix of favorite flavors and colors.

• Many people like Skittles taken straight from the freezer and eaten while frozen solid.

• In Texas in 2007, 22-year-old Alan Chavez stole a truck that was hauling $250,000 worth of Skittles. Of the 28 pallets loaded with the candy, seven were never recovered. Chavez was caught and arrested while removing the truck’s tires in order to sell them.

• Today, Skittles are ranked as the second most popular chewy candy, coming in after Starburst.