Starburst (originally known as Opal Fruits) is the brand name of a cuboid-shaped, fruit-flavoured soft taffy confectionery (candy) manufactured by The Wrigley Company, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. Starburst also exists in the form of jellybeans (known as Joosters), lollipops, gummies, hard candy, candy canes, and lip gloss (the latter in a partnership with Lip Smackers). Starbursts are made with gelatin (US only). Starbursts have many different flavors like tropical, sour, and regular.
The brand was introduced by Mars in the UK in 1959, named by Peter Pfeffer in a competition that won him £5, as Opal Fruits. The four original flavours were strawberry, lemon, orange, and lime. Lime was later replaced with cherry. In the 1970s Opal Fruits were well known for their advertising tag line "Opal Fruits - made to make your mouth water! Fresh with the tang of citrus. Orange! Lemon! Cherry! Strawberry!" (slogan coined by Murray Walker). Opal Fruits were introduced in the United States in 1967 as Starburst. Originally, Starburst came in the same flavours as Opal Fruits and the first variant, "Sunshine Flavors", later renamed "Tropical Opal Fruits", was released thereafter. In Europe, lemon and lime were combined to become "Lemon and Lime" to make room for a Blackcurrant flavour.
The brand name 'Opal Fruits' was phased out in the UK, followed by Ireland in 1998 in order to standardise the product in a globalised marketplace. In 2008, the supermarket chain Asda revived the original Opal Fruits in the UK for a period of 12 weeks starting May 10, 2008. On October 6, 2008, Mars acquired Wrigley, and transferred Mars' non-chocolate candy brands, including Starburst, to the Wrigley subsidiary. The original flavours are now branded "Original Fruits", and Starburst now comes in several assortments: Limited Edition Retro Fruits, Tropical, Baja California, Sour, Strawberry Mix, Berries & Creme, and Very Berry. Among the additional flavours are Kiwi, Banana, Plum, Blueberry, Passion Fruit, Blackberry, Raspberry, Strawberry-Banana, Mango, Melon, Tropical Punch, Green Apple, Blue Raspberry, Watermelon, Mixed Berries & Cream, Peaches & Cream, Orange Cream, and Strawberry & Cream. Europe also has the "Sour" assortment, which includes Apple, Cherry, Pineapple and Raspberry, as well as Strawberry Mix. As of early 2010 it was decided that Strawberry was the most popular flavour in the United Kingdom. Lime is also very popular within this demand.
Starburst in the UK is vegetarian, its packaging and website clearly stating "Suitable for Vegetarians", and also does not contain any artificial colours or flavours. In the US, Starburst contains non-vegetarian gelatin in its ingredients.
Lime Starburst made a comeback in 2007 as a limited-edition 'retro' flavour in packages of the 'Baja' version, while the range in the UK was further extended with a version named Starburst Choozers. These lozenge shaped chews have a liquid fruit juice centre, and come packaged with the tag line "The chews that ooze." Each packet contains three flavours; Orange & Mango, Raspberry & Orange, and Pineapple & Orange.
Starburst engaged in a marketing tie-in for the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest by replacing Kiwi Banana and Tropical Punch with Royal Berry Punch.
The current slogan for Starburst in the U.S. is "Unexplainably Juicy" and in the UK and Australia it is "Tastes Like Summer/Let Your Starburst Out."
Sometime after June 2009, Starburst discontinued their Baja California flavor worldwide due to low sales.
- Starburst.com: About[dead link]
- Owen, Oliver (1 July 2007). "Mint condition". Guardian.
- Mercer, Charles (2008-05-01). "Opal Fruits return to British playgrounds". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
- Mars Wrigley Press Feed
- Wrigley UK, Starburst Profile(Accessed 3/Jan/2013)
- Wrigley.com :: Starburst
- Starburst Brand official site
- Starburst UK Site at Wrigley[dead link]
- Starburst Australia[dead link]
- Timeline of Candy[dead link]