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Skittles (confectionery)

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Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,680 kJ (400 kcal)
90.7 g
Sugars75.6 g
Dietary fibre0 g
4.4 g
Saturated3.9 g
Trans0 g
0 g
Vitamin A equiv.
0 μg
Vitamin C
26 mg
0 mg
0 mg
15.1 mg

Amounts converted and rounded to be relative to 100 g serving.
Percentages estimated using US recommendations for adults,[1] except for potassium, which is estimated based on expert recommendation from the National Academies.[2]
Source: NutritionData

Skittles are multicolored fruit-flavored lentil-shaped candies produced and marketed by the Wrigley Company,[3] a division of Mars Inc.

Skittles consist of hard sugar shells imprinted with the letter 'S', similar to M&M's which have the letter 'M'. The interior consists mainly of sugar, corn syrup, and hydrogenated palm kernel oil along with fruit juice, citric acid, and natural and artificial flavors.[4] Skittles are sold in a variety of flavor collections, such as Tropical, Wild Berry, Smoothie, and Sour.

History and overview


Skittles were introduced in 1971 by Jack Candies, a British distributor for Mars, Incorporated. Mars was granted the patent in U.S. patent for the name Skittles in 1974.[5][6][7] An animated television advertisement from 1974 bears the logo of the "Galaxy" company and is copyrighted by Jack Candies Ltd.[8] By 1979, Skittles became widely distributed throughout the U.S.[4] In 1982, production of Skittles began in the United States.[4] Mars' Wrigley division acquired the Skittles company in 2008.

The name of the candy, Skittles, comes from the sports game of the same name, named as such for the resemblance of the sweet to items used in the game.[7]

Skittles' "taste the rainbow" theme was created by the New York ad agency D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.[9]

Bilingual (English/French) Canadian packet of Skittles

On March 2, 2009, Skittles launched a web-based marketing campaign where the official website became a small overlay with options to view different social media sites in the main area, including its official YouTube channel, a Facebook profile, and a Twitter account.[10] The move was debated by people interested in social media.[11][12]

In 2009, the production of Skittles ceased using animal-derived gelatin, making them suitable for vegetarians, vegans, and certain religious groups.[13][14]

Skittles were involved in two political incidents in the 2010s. In the aftermath of the killing of Trayvon Martin, protestors used Skittles, which Martin had reportedly been carrying along with Arizona watermelon fruit-flavored juice drink, as a symbol during rallies. Though Mars' brief statement of condolences was criticized by some outlets, such as Adweek, for being too subdued, Mars' response in 2016 to a Skittles-based image macro (which was posted by Donald Trump Jr. on his Twitter feed as an analogy for immigration) was praised for its tact and directness. MWWPR said Mars' responses could influence public relations best practices.[15]

In 2016, Skittles faced controversy over temporarily changing the color of the candies from the signature rainbow appearance to white in support of Pride month, LGBT rights and London Pride. The Wrigley Company, a separate representing party of the Skittles brand, mass-produced the limited-edition colorless candies.[16][17] Skittles' rainbow themed packaging had also been altered temporarily to complement the achromatic confectionery within. On the back of each monochrome package, the Wrigley Company included an explanation for the company's marketing decision: "So this is kind of awkward, but we're just gonna go ahead and address the rainbow-colored elephant in the room. You have the rainbow... we have the rainbow... and usually that's just hunky-dory. But this Pride, only one rainbow deserves to be the centre of attention - yours. And we're not going to be the ones to steal your rainbow thunder, no siree."[17] However, the message was met with confusion in some areas, with The Huffington Post publishing an article titled "Some People Think Skittles' All-White Pride Candies Are Racist", exploring the idea that by going all-white, the company failed to acknowledge the diversity defined by the LGBT community.[18]

Every June, Skittles repeats the colorless marketing to spread Pride awareness and raise proceeds for an LGBT charity, such as the Switchboard helpline in the United Kingdom.[19] For the 2020 Pride edition, Skittles changed the candy colors from a rainbow to all gray in the United States, with the tagline "Only one rainbow matters during PRIDE".[20] However, the white color continued to be used in countries such as the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

Skittles' marketing has become known for its avant-garde viral marketing techniques, particularly in conjunction with the Super Bowl. In 2018, it produced a Super Bowl commercial that was viewed by only one person.[21] In 2019, it conducted a pre-Super Bowl campaign featuring Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical, which was performed one time only at The Town Hall in New York City.[22]

Skittles are commonly used to effectively treat hypoglycemia in diabetics.[23]

The European Union's top food regulators found in 2021 that titanium dioxide, an additive found in Skittles, could damage DNA, which in turn could lead to cancer.[24] This resulted in the EU phasing out sale of Skittles and other foods containing titanium dioxide starting February 7, 2022, with a full ban enacted August 7, 2022.[25]

In July 2022, a lawsuit seeking class-action status was filed in California regarding the continued use of titanium dioxide as a coloring agent.[26] The lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice in November 2022.[27]

In March 2023, Democratic California Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel introduced a bill to the California Assembly that will ban production, sales, and consumption of all foods and drinks (including Skittles, Pez, Sour Patch Kids, Campbell Soup, etc.) that contain titanium dioxide and 4 other harmful additives (which are propylparaben, red dye 3, brominated vegetable oil, and potassium bromate) across the State of California, all five of which have been linked to causing cancer and other health problems and at least three of these five harmful additives are already banned by the European Union from being used in food and drink products. If passed, California will become the first US state to adopt the European Union's ban on titanium dioxide and other cancer causing chemical additives from being used in food and drink products.[28]



Skittles are produced in a wide variety of flavors and colors, including sour varieties. Skittles has hinted at new flavor releases on its Facebook page, using such statuses as "Locking myself in the Rainbow kitchen until I see some results!" A 2011 posting contained confirmation of a new flavor: "Putting the last touches on a new Skittles flavor. Tweak the Rainbow."[29]

In the United States and Canada, in 2013, Skittles replaced the lime-flavored Skittles with green apple, causing a backlash from many consumers. The lime flavor became part of the Darkside packets, which were discontinued in 2015 and followed up by the Orchards packets, which were discontinued in 2017. Lime was also part of the "Long Lost Lime" packets that came out in summer 2017 and 2018. The Darkside flavor was revived in 2019. In 2021, the "All Lime" packets containing only the lime flavor were released for a limited time.[30] In September 2021, Skittles announced that the green apple-flavored Skittles would be replaced with the original lime flavor.[31] In 2022, Skittles Gummies were released.[32]

See also



  1. ^ United States Food and Drug Administration (2024). "Daily Value on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels". FDA. Archived from the original on 2024-03-27. Retrieved 2024-03-28.
  2. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019). Oria, Maria; Harrison, Meghan; Stallings, Virginia A. (eds.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US). ISBN 978-0-309-48834-1. PMID 30844154. Archived from the original on 2024-05-09. Retrieved 2024-06-21.
  3. ^ "Skittles". Wrigley. Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Skittles". Wrigley. Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  5. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=PYZeHOZVeoYC&pg=PA1828-IA77&dq=skittles+candy+1971&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&source=gb_mobile_search&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtwPjZzrqHAxXsKkQIHV2vC-cQ6AF6BAgKEAM#v=onepage&q=skittles%20candy%201971&f=
  6. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=NcpaAAAAYAAJ&q=jack+candies+ltd+skittles&dq=jack+candies+ltd+skittles&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&source=gb_mobile_search&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjl7qi21LqHAxUr38kDHbsKAckQ6AF6BAgFEAM
  7. ^ a b "SKITTLES Bite Size Candies Backgrounder". Mars North America Newsroom. 23 August 2005. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009.
  8. ^ Classic 1970's Skittles Commercial (TV commercial). Jack Candies Ltd. 1974. Archived from the original on August 10, 2022. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  9. ^ Ives, Nat (July 9, 2004). "Skittles overhauls a familiar theme to encourage experiencing the candy, not just tasting it". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 27, 2023. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  10. ^ Steel, Emily (March 3, 2009). "Skittles Cozies Up to Social Media". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Capell, Kerry (March 8, 2009). "When Skittles Met Twitter". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on March 9, 2009.
  12. ^ Burkitt, Laurie (March 12, 2009). "Skittles' Stupid Social Media Trick". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 27, 2023. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  13. ^ Braden (2019-07-30). "Are Skittles Vegan? All Flavors Evaluated (2019)". Veg Knowledge. Archived from the original on 2023-02-27. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  14. ^ Yacoubou, Jeanne (December 30, 2010). "New Formulation Skittles Are Gelatin-Free; Starbursts & GummiBursts Contain Non-Kosher Gelatins". The Vegetarian Resource Group. Archived from the original on 27 February 2023. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  15. ^ McGregor, Jena (September 22, 2016). "Skittles can't seem to escape political controversies". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 22, 2016. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  16. ^ "Skittles packets have ditched their colours - and it's for one very important reason". Mirror. 29 June 2016. Archived from the original on 20 November 2023. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  17. ^ a b Beltrone, Gabriel (29 June 2016). "Skittles Sheds Its Rainbow to Celebrate London Pride". Adweek. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  18. ^ "Some People Think Skittles' All-White Pride Candies Are Racist". HuffPost. 16 June 2017. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  19. ^ "How Switchboard continued to support LGBTQ+ people during the pandemic". Gay Times. 17 July 2020. Archived from the original on 24 September 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  20. ^ Ebrahimji, Alisha (2020-05-22). "Skittles ditches the rainbow to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community for Pride Month". CNN. Archived from the original on 2021-07-23. Retrieved 2021-09-07.
  21. ^ Nudd, Tim (5 February 2018). "The Kid Who Watched Skittles' Super Bowl Ad Reveals What Happened in It". Adweek. Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  22. ^ Soloski, Alexis (2019-01-30). "Who Needs a Super Bowl Ad? Skittles Ups the Ante With a Broadway Musical". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2019-02-12. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  23. ^ Husband, Allison C; Crawford, Susan; McCoy, Lesley A; Pacaud, Danièle (2009-08-03). "The effectiveness of glucose, sucrose, and fructose in treating hypoglycemia in children with type 1 diabetes". Pediatric Diabetes. 11 (3): 154–158. doi:10.1111/j.1399-5448.2009.00558.x. PMID 19663922. S2CID 12008993. Archived from the original on 2023-02-27. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  24. ^ "Study: Additive found in Skittles and Starburst no longer considered safe | Environmental Working Group". www.ewg.org. 2021-05-12. Retrieved 2024-02-17.
  25. ^ "European Union: Titanium Dioxide Banned as a Food Additive in the EU | USDA Foreign Agricultural Service". fas.usda.gov. 2022-03-03. Retrieved 2024-02-17.
  26. ^ Heil, Emily (July 18, 2022). "Skittles lawsuit claims 'toxin' makes it 'unfit for human consumption'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 19, 2022. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  27. ^ "Lawsuit claiming Skittles are 'unfit' for consumption due to toxin dismissed". New York Post. Reuters. November 8, 2022. Archived from the original on November 9, 2022. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  28. ^ "California could ban Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, and Campbell's soup over additives". MSN. Archived from the original on 2023-03-18. Retrieved 2023-03-18.
  29. ^ Skittles (January 1, 2011). "Putting the last..." Facebook. Archived from the original on 2022-02-26.
  30. ^ Fitzpatrick, Caitlyn (2021-05-19). "Skittles Just Unveiled a New Pack That Only Consists of the Lime Flavor". www.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on 2021-09-07. Retrieved 2021-09-07.
  31. ^ "Lime Skittles are coming back permanently". 27 September 2021. Archived from the original on 27 September 2021. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  32. ^ "Our Gummy Candy Products SKITTLES®". October 16, 2022. Archived from the original on October 16, 2022. Retrieved October 16, 2022.