Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles
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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).
Joseph Rowntree, the son of a Quaker grocer, was born in York on 24 May 1836. After only five years of schooling Joseph began work as a grocer. He started with his father at fourteen but part of his apprenticeship involved working in London. While working in the city Joseph became very interested in politics and regularly attended debates at the House of Commons.
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. 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. Fruit Pastilles were first made in Fawdon, Tyneside, England in 1881. Before then, manufacture of gums and pastilles had been a French monopoly.
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
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.
A new ad for the product (and the brand as a whole) 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. He in the end has to chew. The ad concludes with the message "Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles with real fruit flavour. You can't help but chew!". Variants of this ad had introductions for Sour Pastilles and the smaller Pick & Mix bags afterwards.
An old advert for the product 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.