Freeze N Dried

Skittles: A Taste of the Rainbow

Table of Contents

Skittles is a colourful brand of chewy, fruity sweets produced by Wrigley Company, a division of Mars, Incorporated, which has been making consumers salivate since 1974 in the US.

The Skittles Family

Original Skittles

Skittles has its staple line of colourful sweets each of which has a distinct fruity flavour. The traditional flavours are: Strawberry (Red), Orange (Orange), Lemon (Yellow), Green apple (Green), Grape (Purple).

Sour Skittles

Sour Skittles deliver the specific fruit-flavour profile of the original line with a sour candy coating. The sources add an unexpected puckery punch to the normally sweet masticatable goodness of the candy.

Blue Skittles

Guessing that their customers need ever more excitement and that it could be used to generate a lot more incremental sales, the Wrigley Company has come up with a blue-hued new Skittle. It’s part of limited “Once In A Blue Moon” packs that will improve the hues of the Skittles rainbow.

Controversies and Bans: The Skittles Lawsuit

A man in the US, who lives in the town of San Leandro in California, has taken the Mars corporation to court over ‘heightened levels’ of titanium dioxide found in Skittles – claiming that the candies are ‘not safe and pose a significant health risk to unsuspecting consumers’. Titanium dioxide (titania), an insoluble white powder that’s widely used in commercial products (from paints to plastics, sunscreens to sprinkles) as an anti-caking or whitening agent, is, we’re told, the ingredient used in Skittles to create its rainbow stripes.

The substance was banned as a food additive in Europe in 2021 after it was found not to be ‘safe at the current level of use’. Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration considers that titanium dioxide can be safely used for colouring foods under certain restrictions such as caps on the amount of titanium dioxide and the foods on which it can be applied to.

Yet, here it is. Although Skittles faced a public backlash for its unusual ingredient, many other food products contain titanium dioxide as well: Nice! brand mints, Trolli sour gummies, Ring Pops, Chips Ahoy! cookies, Lucerne cottage cheese, various dairy products from Kraft Heinz Company, Beyond Meat chicken plant-based tenders, Great Value ice cream and more.

Skittles Logo: A Colorful Identity

The logo also looks razor-sharp, closely resembling the colourful and vibrant flavours of the rainbow skittles. The Skittles logo has undergone several transformations since the launching of the product, yet all the succeeding versions looked as striking, lively and vivid as the present-day version.

These candies have been arranged in different colors on the top and bottom parts of the banner, while the text ‘Skittles’ is arranged in the middle stretched over them. The candies on the top of the logo are bigger than the rest of the candies, and they are filled with rainbow gradients, symbolizing various types of flavours, which this brand is represented for.

While Helvetica Black is closely related to the font of the Skittles logo, this is a heavily customised version and much more unique. The rainbow, ever-present in all variations since 1982, uses two strong colours: red and white.

The Purple Skittle: A Taste of Luxury

Purple, flavoured as grape, was also the colour of the original Skittles pack. In marketing, purple is a sign of luxury and power. Purple is the colour of ambition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Blue Skittles: Blue Skittles were an occasional special-edition product made by Wrigley and marketed in packs of Skittles​ under the ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ name.

Skittles Lawsuit: Skittles is being sued over ‘heightened levels’ of titanium dioxide. The plaintiff says ‘Skittles are unsafe and pose a serious health risk to unsuspecting consumers’. 

Background: In Europe, titanium dioxide has been banned as a food additive, but it has not been banned by the US Food and Drug Administration. In the US, it can be used to colour food as long as certain restrictions are followed. It has been deemed safe.

Titanium Dioxide: Insoluble white pigment widely used in many commercial products, including food, as an anticaking or whitening agent. Titanium dioxide allows Skittles to produce those rainbow hues.

Skittles Company: The product Skittles was made by a company in England. Now the product made by the Wrigley Company which is under mind of a name of Mars, inc.

Skittles Logo: The Skittles rainbow logo has undergone some slight changes over the years. The rainbow motif is still present in all the variants of the logo released since 1982. The typeface of the Skittles logo typeface is similar in its shape to the typeface Helvetica Black, but it is definitely heavily customised.

Atlas Obscura Book: Something I have been working on with Atlas Obscura is our book, An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders, 2nd Edition. It’s a guidebook, but for those places that are maybe not well-known. There are many more places than those in the first edition of the book, as well as 12 new city guides and a fold-out map of an imaginary journey you could take around the world.

Skittles Bubble Gum: Skittles Bubble Gum combines deliciously fruity Skittles flavours with double the chewy bubble gum, so you can enjoy the flavour for twice the time.

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