Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles

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Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles
Product type Confectionery
Owner Nestlé
Introduced 1881
Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles

Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles (rebranded in Australia as Wonka Fruit Pastilles after the 1988 acquisition of Rowntree's by Nestlé and as Frutips in Canada) are small round sweets measuring about 1.5 cm (0.6 in) in diameter; they have a jelly-like consistency, due to the gelatin they are made from, and are covered with sugar. They contain fruit juice, have no artificial colours or flavours, and come in five flavours: lemon (yellow), lime (green), strawberry (red), blackcurrant (purple) and orange (orange).

Ice-lolly versions were originally made in Telford, Shropshire but are now made in Cross Gates, West Yorkshire by Richmond Foods after it bought Nestlé's ice cream division in 1999.[citation needed]


Joseph Rowntree, the son of a Quaker grocer, was born in York on 24 May 1836.[citation needed] After only five years of schooling Joseph began work as a grocer.[citation needed] He started with his father at fourteen but part of his apprenticeship involved working in London.[citation needed] While working in the city Joseph became very interested in politics and regularly attended debates at the House of Commons.[citation needed]

Joseph Rowntree returned to work for his father but in 1869 he left to join his brother, Henry Rowntree, who owned the Cocoa, Chocolate & Chicory Works in York.[citation needed] The company only employed 30 workers at the time in which he was there, but under Joseph's influence the company grew rapidly and by the end of the century it was an enormous international concern with over 4,001 employees.[citation needed] Fruit Pastilles were first made in Fawdon, Tyneside, England in 1881. Before then, manufacture of gums and pastilles had been a French monopoly.[citation needed]


Tubes of Fruit Pastilles are wrapped in foil-backed paper (foil on the outside, paper on the inside) with a paper wrapper over the top. The paper wrapper is green in colour with "Fruit Pastilles" written along the front in large lettering, along the bottom of the lettering there are pictures of different types of fruit all relating to the flavours within the packet, and the top says the brand across it (Rowntrees). Fruit Pastilles come in a small pack of about 52.5g, containing 14 pastilles, and are also available in bags, which are bigger than the packs, and carry a weight of about 180g/6.3oz. They are also available in boxes and larger round cardboard tubes.

Marketing and Advertising[edit]

The 1972 television advertising campaign used the song Pistol Packin' Mama with the tag line "Pastille Pickin' Mama, pass those pastilles round".[1]

To drive awareness of the 25% fruit juice recipe in Fruit Pastilles, Rowntree conducted a 105-day experimental marketing campaign. At family events, top-end grocers and service stations they invited families to join in their 'What Can You Do But Chew?' talent shows, tying in with the brand's sponsorship of Britain's Got Talent. 427,240 product samples were distributed as brand ambassadors tried to engage parents with the '25% fruit juice' message. 93% of the consumers involved said they'd had a positive shift in brand perception, whilst more than half were 'highly likely' to purchase post campaign.[2]

A new TV commercial shows a man about to chew on a Fruit Pastille when he is surrounded by medieval people who declare whether he'd chew the pastille or go out on a date with a fair maiden. In the end he has to chew. The commercial concludes with the message "Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles with real fruit flavour. You can't help but chew!"

A commercial from the 1980s has recently been revived, featuring a child daring a basketball player to not chew on a pastille. The slogan from the previous ad is still used.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles (3): 1972". Archived from the original on 2009-09-05. 
  2. ^ "Fruit Pastille Experiential Marketing Results". iD Experiential. Archived from the original on 2009-12-06. 

External links[edit]