Rowntree's Fruit Gums
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Rowntree's Fruit Gums are circular sweets formerly made by Rowntree's, who were later acquired by Nestlé. There were five flavours, each of a different colour: strawberry, orange, lemon, blackcurrant and lime. The sweets were introduced in 1893, and originally marketed as Rowntree's Clear Gums - "The nation's favourite sweet" - and were available in twopenny tubes and sixpenny packets. In addition to the traditional roll packaging, they were available in a larger-volume box containing the sweets in the shape of the fruit or part of the fruit that the flavour represents.
Fruit Gums are primarily composed of glucose syrup and fruit juices and are therefore similar to wine gums (another British confectionery item). Originally the purple fruit gums were referred to as "blusterberry", but this changed to blackcurrant in the 1990s after a failed advertising campaign.
"Don't Forget the Fruit Gums, Mum"
An advertising campaign for the gums that ran for three years from 1958 to 1961 included the slogan "Don't Forget the Fruit Gums, Mum". The slogan was invented by the copywriter Roger Musgrave (1929-2007).
The television advert featured a young boy reminding his mother to buy fruit gums as she leaves to go shopping. The advert claims that "[Fruit Gums] last all day" and that "Rowntree's Fruit Gums last the longest". This referred to the number of sweets in the tube.
- Sweet Talk, Whittaker, Nicholas, Orion Books, London, 1998.
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