Fruit Stripe Gum Is Gone Forever

If you call yourself an older millennial, then you definitely grew up with Fruit Stripe gum, its wildly erratic zebra mascot, and the brightly colored sticks of gum with bold fruit flavors that lasted almost as long as it took you to read this sentence. Almost.

However, according to Fruit Stripe’s manufacturer, Ferrara Candy, the gum is being discontinued. (That’s big news to anyone who didn’t think it was discontinued about the time “Hannah Montana” went off the air.) “We have made the difficult decision to sunset Fruit Stripe Gum, but consumers may still be able to find the product at select retailers nationwide,” a Ferrara Candy representative said in a statement.

“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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Some Fruit Stripe enthusiasts had noticed that the gum was becoming harder to find in stores lately. “When I go to the store, I’ll look for the gum to no avail, the only place I can find [it] is online,” one person wrote on the r/Candy subreddit. “RIP Fruit Stripe gum.”

The first official news of its imminent disappearance was posted by “We are sad to announce that Fruit Stripe Gum has been discontinued by the manufacturer,” the site wrote. “We are disappointed too.” (One disbelieving Redditor even spoke with a Ferrara customer service representative to confirm that the brand was being disconti…er, “sunsetted,” before learning that, yes, it’s gone for good.)

According to Ferrara, Fruit Stripe was invented in the late 1960s by James Parker. It was originally manufactured and sold by the Beech-Nut Confection Division, before being passed off in various mergers and acquisitions to Nabisco, Hershey, and Farley’s & Sathers Candy Company, which joined forces with Ferrara Pan Candy to create the Ferrara Candy Company.

In late 2021, Greg Guidotti, the General Manager of the Sugar Portfolio at Ferrara Candy Company, told Food Business News that sales of Fruit Stripe gum had increased 4.5% over the previous year. The company was then launching Fruit Stripe gummy candies, which also seem to have been discontinued.

It later introduced a zebra mascot named Yipes, and the slogan “Yipes! Stripes!,” which are both familiar to anyone whose childhood also included a steady diet of Saturday morning cartoons. In 2016, Yipes was even name-dropped in a Jeopardy! question, which asked the contestants what kind of animal he was.

I’m choosing to hold out hope that Yipes is now living happily in some kind of retirement home for discontinued spokes-cartoons, and that he hasn’t been “sunsetted” too.

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