Why Was The Colorful Fruit Stripe Gum Discontinued?

pack of fruit stripe gum
pack of fruit stripe gum - retronewsnow / X, formerly known as Twitter

Now completely disappeared from grocery checkout shelves and convenience stores across the country, Fruit Stripe chewing gum was once one of the biggest kid-friendly brands going. In variety packs bursting with as many as 17 sticks, Fruit Stripe came in five flavors, with each stick corresponding to a bright and eye-popping shade laced with wavy, zebra-like stripes. Furthering the zebra association was the Fruit Stripe mascot, Yipes, a happy zebra who appeared in animated television commercials airing during kid-focused programming.

While Fruit Stripe was just plain fun all around, it's now among the many defunct candies and gums we'll probably never see again. Unfortunately, the brand's "wet 'em and wear 'em" tattoos and flavors like orange, lemon, cherry, melon, and peach couldn't save the company from its eventual demise. In early 2024, its manufacturer announced that it had already stopped making the once-popular, youth-marketed chewing gum. So, why was the briefly flavorful and always colorful Fruit Stripe gum discontinued?

Read more: 11 Discontinued Chocolates We Miss The Most

Fruit Stripe Slowly Disappeared From Checkout Shelves

fruit stripe gum pack on jeans
fruit stripe gum pack on jeans - craigcartonlive/X, formerly known as Twitter

Fruit Stripe lasted in an increasingly competitive gum marketplace for more than 60 years. Over the decades, the product was subject to a lot of corporate interference and ownership shifts. First appearing in 1960, Fruit Stripe was initially the purview of gum company Beech-Nut, then it became a Nabisco product when that food giant bought Beech-Nut's candy lines. At one point made by Hershey's, Farley's & Sathers Candy Company took a hold of Fruit Stripe in the 2000s.

When that firm merged with Ferrara Pan Candy to create The Ferrara Candy Company, Fruit Stripe became one of the new entity's best-known brands, even if it had settled into its status as a nostalgia product. But as the gum industry consolidated, it moved away from candy-like products, with breath-freshening, mint-flavored entries now dominating sales. With the lack of demand, Fruit Stripe's distribution dropped off, and it became harder to find in stores.

A Failed Brand Extension Was Fruit Stripe's Last Grasp At A Changing Market

fruit stripe gummy candy bag
fruit stripe gummy candy bag - Tetradugenikid/X, formerly known as Twitter

During the global crisis of COVID-19 and its related shutdowns, consumers looking for comfort triggered a surge in nostalgia-based purchasing, a phenomenon backed by scientific reasoning. Fruit Stripe may have benefited from that broad economic trend. In 2021, its then-manufacturer, The Ferrara Candy Company, announced that the decreasingly visible brand had enjoyed a 4.5% increase in sales over the previous year. Ferrara attempted to capitalize on what looked like a possible Fruit Stripe revival by rolling out a fresh new product: Fruit Stripe gummy candies.

Fruit Stripe Gummy Candy was both introduced and pulled quietly. It didn't seem to help bring in new customers or induce much, if any, new nostalgia for the flagship gum product. In January 2024, Ferrara announced that it had discontinued Fruit Stripe chewing gum and had already ended production. "The decision to sunset this product was not taken lightly, and we considered many factors before coming to this decision, including consumer preferences and purchasing patterns," a Ferrara spokesperson said in a statement, as reported by Food & Wine. "Consumers may still be able to find the product at select retailers nationwide," Ferrara added, referring to any dwindling stocks that may still be kicking around in a handful of stores. But otherwise, Fruit Stripe is gone for good, with its disappearance blamed on changing times and habits.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.