No One Is Ready To Let Go Of Fruit Stripe Gum

The candy was discontinued but has found a more expensive life.

Ferrara Candy Company, owner of the Fruit Stripe brand, announced it would be discontinuing its classic fruit-flavored gum Monday. However, once again, nothing is truly gone until people sell it all off on eBay for a huge profit.

Introduced in the 1960s, Fruit Stripe gum was best known for its five fruity flavors, zebra-striped design, and wrappers printed with temporary tattoos of the brand's mascot, Yipes the zebra. But as the company confirmed to The Takeout this week, it has stopped production of the candy due to "consumer preferences, and purchasing patterns." Fruit Stripe's five flavors were Wet n' Wild Melon, Cherry, Lemon, Orange, and Peach, but even those who remember the gum fondly have joked about its nearly instant loss of flavor.

Confirmation of the gum's discontinuation came after a Reddit thread questioning the candy's lack of availability gained traction online. Ferrara noted in its statement to The Takeout that "The decision to sunset this product was not taken lightly."

Fruit Stripe gum is still available—for a price

On eBay, boxes of Fruit Stripe gum are listed for as high as $249 for a 12-pack or even three packs for $71. Those specific listings have yet to be completed, but 11 packs of the gum did sell for $179 on the auction site, and considering the fact the gum is typically priced under $3 per pack, that's a pretty high markup.

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Capitalizing on the discontinuation of a nostalgic brand is not a new phenomenon, much less online. Take, for example, the end of the Choco Taco, which led to boxes of the classic ice cream truck treat being sold on eBay for $1,000. Then there was the limited run of McDonald's Happy Meal toys listed for up to $300,000 on the site. (They didn't sell at that price, but hey, dare to dream.)

Ferrera Candy Company has pointed out that the gum is still available on some store shelves and will continue to be available online through various retailers until the last of the inventory runs out. Although low demand is what led to the gum's discontinuation, it seems the sudden farewell has inspired sellers on the secondary market to grieve in a most profitable way.

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This author does not recommend dropping hundreds of dollars for a few packs of Fruit Stripe gum. But, if you feel you'll be missing out on the momentary enjoyment of melon and cherry flavors, remember that just like its temporary tattoos, the sticks of gum won't last on shelves for long.

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