Yes, There's A Black Market For Fruit Roll-Ups Now

People are smuggling the childhood treats into Israel to sell them for tons of money.

At this point of the internet's lifespan, TikTok's influence on the real world is extraordinarily palpable. One viral trend can cause restaurant employees to wish the social media platform never existed, while other trends can get our collective hopes up or convince people to give themselves diarrhea. Now we can officially say that TikTok is responsible for a new black market in Israel, one that has sprung up around, of all things, Fruit Roll-Ups snacks.

Why Fruit Roll-Ups are causing issues in Israel

TikTok trends come and go in a flash, but one particular trend seems to be sticking around for a bit because of some fun food science. TikTok users are wrapping Fruit Roll-Ups around a small scoop of ice cream, then munching on them.


The cold from the ice cream immediately hardens the Fruit Roll-Up, turning its previously plasticky, flexible texture into a crackly shell around the ice cream; everyone who tastes the combo seems to swear by it. (My teeth are pretty sensitive, so I think I'll skip this one.)

While we here in the United States tend to have a steady supply of Fruit Roll-Ups available at the grocery store, such is not the case in Israel, where the fruity pectin inventory is much smaller. And as you can imagine, enterprising people have sniffed out the fact that they can price gouge on Fruit Roll-Ups by smuggling them into the country. If there's anything people enjoy more than TikTok trends, it's a way to earn a few bucks off the latest TikTok trend.


Fruit Roll-Ups smuggling operations, explained

The Washington Post reports that not one, but two American couples recently got caught trying to sneak hundreds of pounds of the tooth-sticking treat into Israel.

One the two couples tried to bring in 375 pounds of the stuff via their luggage, per Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Considering each individual Fruit Roll-Up (i.e. one serving) weighs 0.5 oz., you can imagine just how many 375 pounds' worth would be—my math says it's roughly 12,000, right? And if you're wondering how much money that could possibly be worth, The Washington Post reported that a single roll-up can be sold for up to $6 in Israel. Damn. I must be in the wrong racket.


JTA reports that customs officials confiscated over 661 pounds of Fruit Roll-Ups in one week at the airport. They're not the only ones with a sugar headache, either—Israeli health officials aren't keen on this new trend and are publicly grumpy about it.

The Israeli Health Ministry has sternly advised its citizens against eating too many sugary items like Fruit Roll-Ups. The Ministry said in a statement:

Glucose, corn syrup and dry corn syrup are all sugar — a lot of different types of sugar. Sugar consumption has been found to be associated with weight gain. A variety of related diseases are attributed to sugar consumption such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, dental caries and more.


Will the Fruit Roll-Up and ice cream trend stick around?

This snack hack got started on TikTok this past February, and considering how fast these things usually come and go, the fact that the trend has stuck around well into spring is fairly remarkable. It must really just taste great.


One of the main videos that originated the fad (by user @golisdream) has over 14.3 million views, but the sheer number of viral videos demonstrating the snack on every corner of TikTok is enough to make your head spin and your teeth hurt.

Now that the Israeli government is hip to this TikTok trend, the tightened restrictions will only drive up the scarcity of Fruit Roll-Ups further, adding fruity fuel to the fire. Out of all the grocery store snacks that could've made their way onto the black market, I'm not so sure I would have guessed Fruit Roll-Ups in a thousand years, but apparently TikTok can give any food a ride on the hype train.