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RIP, Fruit Stripe Gum

Farewell to a titan of the chewing gum market. Fruit Stripe has been discontinued by its owner, Ferrara.

If you never slapped a spit-moistened chewing gum wrapper on your arm waiting for a temporary tattoo to take form there, did you even experience childhood? For many of us, Fruit Stripe gum was a fixture of our youth, the brand whose bright colors, zebra mascot, wrappers printed with temporary tattoos, and (unfulfilled) promise of five fruity flavors kept us coming back again and again, even though none of us ever really loved the taste of the stuff. Now, however, future generations will never know what it was like to unwrap those antiquated sticks, because Fruit Stripe chewing gum has been discontinued.

Ferrara Candy Company, owner of the Fruit Stripe brand (which has previously been owned by Hershey), confirmed to The Takeout via email that the gum is no longer being produced. This statement comes after a Reddit thread gained traction late last week in which a Fruit Stripe fan notes their own difficulty procuring it: "I was a bit confused when it began disappearing from my regular places I would buy it like Walgreens and Walmart," notes the original poster. They link to an undated article from OldTimeCandy.com noting the discontinuation of Fruit Stripe. Hat tip to our favorite social media account, @Snack_Memories, which first made us aware of this development.

Why Fruit Stripe gum is being discontinued

"We have made the difficult decision to sunset Fruit Stripe Gum, but consumers may still be able to find product at select retailers nationwide," reads the statement from Ferrara. "The decision to sunset this product was not taken lightly, and we considered many factors before coming to this decision, including consumer preferences, and purchasing patterns."

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Maybe if we all stopped joking about the gum's instant loss of flavor, it would still be here. Alas.

Fruit Stripe was introduced in the 1960s by the Beech-Nut company, which now primarily produces baby and toddler food. The gum came in five flavors—Wet n' Wild Melon, Cherry, Lemon, Orange, and Peach—and featured zebra stripes printed right on each stick. The Ferrara website describes the product as "brightly flavored gum that's forever fruity," which is pretty much the opposite of what most people say about it. Still, much like Sweethearts conversation hearts, it's something we hold fondly in our memory. It seems that's the only place to hold it anymore.

As Ferrara points out, there are still plenty of places where Fruit Stripe gum can be found in the short term, as stock remains on store shelves and is available online via several retailers (remember, low demand was apparently what caused it to be discontinued in the first place). So if you love Fruit Stripe, now is the time to stock up.

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It's also worth noting that Ferrara is the maker of several other beloved and nostalgic candy brands, none of which are in any apparent danger of going away. These include Fun Dip, Gobstopper, Jujyfruits, Fire Ball, Pixy Stix, Chuckles, Runts, Spree, Boston Baked Beans, and Bottle Caps. The company also owns the Nerds brand, which, as we recently reported, is doing ridiculously well in recent years. Apparently the same could not be said for ol' Fruit Stripe.

"It really is the end of an era," John Finn, creator of the @snack_memories Twitter account, tells The Takeout. "In a weird way, that mediocre, neon, sugary gum really captures childhood for multiple generations, in a way that is hard to articulate."

For chewing gum flavor that lasts only a fleeting, glorious moment, we must now turn to Wrigley's Juicy Fruit.

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