Skittles are the second most popular candy in America, behind only Starburst as the country’s number one pick. They make it into every kid’s Halloween bag, and some adults even make infused vodkas with them. In fact, you can try a whole variety of different ways to eat Skittles because no one is willing to give up this candy. Chances are you probably just shove them in your mouth without thinking about more than how delicious they are instead of wondering about the facts. However, there’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to these little chewy balls of happiness. So, grab a handful of Skittles and get ready to be surprised by some of these facts.
10. The Next Big Flavor Release is Yogurt Covered Skittles
We already know that in the last decade or so, Skittles has come up with some new and creative innovations. You’ve got sour Skittles, tropical, orchard, dark, wild berry, and much more. And that’s just some of the flavors you can get. Well, we’ve got some exciting news for you. Skittles is about to release yogurt covered Skittles, called Skittles Dips. From what we’ve gathered, each bag will contain the original red, yellow, green, orange, and purple colors covered in a hard yogurt coating. Just like yogurt coated raisins, but better (and more sugary). You won’t really know what flavor you’re grabbing, but that just adds a little more mystery to life. About a month ago, some news leaked on Reddit that a user had gotten ahold of this new Skittles invention after they posted a picture of a package of yogurt covered Skittles asking if anyone knew where to find them. The package in the photo contains a label that says, “this unit not labeled for individual retail sale,” so most Internet users concluded that the poster’s neighbor was an employee at Mars Wrigley and had pulled the old employee five-finger discount to sneak them home. It seems as though they’re still in the development phase in the U.S. However, if you happen to be in the U.K., you can try them now. They’ve already been released there, according to Instagram. And apparently, they are delicious. For now, we’ll just have to imagine what our life will be like after these make it to U.S. shelves.
9. Any Skittle That’s Missing The “S” Gets Destroyed
There’s a reason you will never see a Skittle without its signature “S.” That’s because if it’s missing, those candies don’t make it into the bag. Every single Skittle has an “S” on it as part of the brand’s quality control system. These candies go through the assembly line and are scanned to make sure they all have it on their little shell. However, since Skittles produces a lot of candy per day, it can be really difficult to check every single one. So, what do they do? They check one Skittle out of a certain number produced, usually every so thousand, to see if it looks right. If it doesn’t, that whole batch of thousands gets destroyed. These people mean business when it comes to quality control. There are some conspiracies about where these Skittle rejects go. In 2017, a truck spilled an abundance of red Skittles that were missing their signature letters all over a highway in Wisconsin. After doing a little research, the Wisconsin police concluded that these Skittles were actually from a truck that was on its way to a farm to deliver livestock feed. One of the representatives for Mars later confirmed that the company does sell unused products to third-party clients, who mix them with other materials and then sell them to farmers as livestock feed. But Mars doesn’t sell the Skittles directly to the farmers. Hey, if people love Skittles, why wouldn’t cows?
8. Speaking of the “S,” it Floats Off in Liquid
All great stories start with people on the Internet, right? In this case, Internet users began posting on Reddit and BuzzFeed about the mysterious things that were happening when they put Skittles candies in various liquids. The “S” would float right off. So, as to why this happens, there’s real science involved here. The Skittles are printed onto the candies separately after the hard shell has developed. They’re made with a non-water soluble ink, which is then attached to the candy using a certain type of edible glue. Now, the dye used to make the actual candies are water soluble, so if you try this experiment at home, you should know that water-dissolving Skittles look disgusting. You’re going to just end up with a bunch of soggy, colorless pieces of sugar floating in rainbow sugar water. But it’s fun to see that “S” floating around like it’s got a mind of its own. This apparently works with M&Ms as well, as the “M” is made using the same concept that Skittles uses. For M&Ms, it’s all related to their whole “melt in your mouth, but not your hand” concept. These candies are protected by the candy coating, which has higher soluble rates and won’t melt as fast.
7. They Went Colorless For Pride Month
As almost everyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows, Skittles’ slogan is “taste the rainbow.” The candy is known for its signature rainbow blend of colorful candies. But for Pride Month, which is June, the company removed all colors from their packaging and their product. They stated in a press release that they chose to do this because “there is only one rainbow that matters” during the month of June. They started this in 2016, but have been continuing the trend every year since. It originally started in London, but quickly caught on with their products in North America as well. When they originally came out with this campaign, they were donating proceeds per bag sold to LCBTQ2+ organizations. Of course, as with many marketing campaigns these days, Skittles did receive a bit of criticism alongside plenty of praise on social media. Some people claimed that making the Skittles all white was a form of racism, while others claimed that they were trying to capitalize on the LGBTQ2+ community’s issues and/or profit from them. Meanwhile, others complained that they were now unable to sort through and pick out the colors they don’t like. However, for every bit of criticism, the company was praised and commended for their dedication to the house on a larger scale. Removing the rainbow isn’t the only way that Skittles has been involved in celebrating Pride. This year, on June 22, Skittles Canada will be involved in facilitating four LGBTQ2+ weddings. The weddings will take place in the newly created Skittles Hall of Rainbows in downtown Toronto, Ontario. Shangela, best known for being a three-time contestant on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, is going to be the MC for this event. Skittles has also partnered with four different LGBTQ2+-friendly summer camps in Canada and has pledged to send at least 150 LGBTQ2+ Canadian children to these camps this summer.
6. Yellow Skittles Are More Common Than Any Other Color
According to Reddit users and other Internet investigators, there are always more yellow Skittles in each bag than any other color. This is a major theory floating around with Skittles enthusiasts (and really, who isn’t a Skittles enthusiast?). Now that you think about it, though, you’re probably realizing this is pretty true. Open up a bag of original Skittles and you’ll likely be overwhelmed by all the yellow. There have actually been people who have conducted some studies on this by buying bags and keeping track of the average number of each candy. Now that’s a research project we’re on board with. It also seems to be a general consensus with consumers that this is the least liked flavor in the whole bag, so you can see why this would be a topic of interest for many people. These online Skittles investigators cited this video of b-roll footage as proof that the yellow Skittles are invasive. In this video, you can see that, despite the fact that each color of Skittle gets created separately and then mixed in by its own stream, the yellows seem to keep ending up mixed in with the other colors. If you look closely, you can see little yellow ones sticking out with the green and red ones. On top of that, they have their own stream of pure yellow Skittles. So they’re coming in from more sources and essentially taking over the bag. Of course, there are also other theories on why there are more yellow Skittles in a bag. Some people have attributed it to the company’s attempts to cut costs on ordering different colored dyes. Others have implored some kind of food-related color psychology where the brighter yellow colors make the customer want to eat more. Or, Skittles could just be trolling all of us. Whatever the reason, it’s really not enough to make us stop loving Skittles.
5. America’s Second Favorite Chewy Candy Actually Came From England
That’s right. Skittles were originally an import from the U.K., made by a company based in England. They were created in 1974. In 1979, the first Skittles hopped the pond and made their way to the mouths of Americans. They were hooked. By 1982, Skittles production began to emerge in America. Skittles are now owned by Virginia-based candy conglomerate Mars Inc. and produced in a Wrigley factory in Illinois. They have a variety of other products for people to enjoy, including Skittles gum and Skittles smoothie mixes. There are also plenty of unique and different flavors of Skittles, from tropical to ice cream sundae to sweet heat. Now, you can taste much more than the basic rainbow. As for the name, there are no confirmed theories, but some people have linked it to the origins of the word. In Victorian England, skittles was a pub game associated with drinking beer which was essentially a type of bowling. Players would take a sphere-shaped object called a skittle and throw it at pins to knock them over. People would play this in bars like they would play billiards or darts now. The brand name, then, could have originally been used to promote casual, playful fun energy that is still associated with the candies today.
4. There’s a Wacky Creation Theory Floating Around
So, we know they were invented in England. But no one actually knows how or why, or who did it. While it was probably just something that a company employee thought up, there’s a funny creation theory out there that is a little bit… peculiar. The theory revolves around a British man named Mr. Skittles. No other facts about him are available, so use your imagination to picture him. Mr. Skittles was looking up at a rainbow one day when he wondered what a rainbow would taste like. So, Skittles were born. Of course, there are a lot of loopholes in that story. For one, the whole “taste the rainbow” thing wasn’t developed until the 1990s. Also, this is clearly an absurd, far fetched internet theory, and it is much more widely believed that Skittles were derived from the British candy Glees, made all the way back in the 1960’s, which are very similar to the Skittles we’ve come to know and love today. But hey, feel free to keep believing the Mr. Skittles theory!
3. They’ve Been Winning the Social Media Game For Years Now
Skittles is one of the most liked brand pages on Facebook, with over 25 million total likes. They repeatedly nail the social media game with their colorful images and sassy-yet-funny captions that sometimes have nothing to do with their candy products. The company actually once “broke” a small part of the Internet with a social media campaign they were running. Back in 2009, Skittles decided to change the homepage of their website to a live feed of interactions with their company on various social media platforms. This included people mentioning the brand, hashtagging them, talking about them, commenting, and anything that mentioned the company name. However, people began using this to flood the feed with profanity, competitor links, and inappropriate conversations. It got to the point where Twitter actually shut down for a little bit. In 2016, Skittles even nailed the controversial publicity game after coming back from a situation that would have been the end for some other brands. At this time, Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted about the refugee crisis and compared the refugees coming into America to a bowl of Skittles with some poisoned ones thrown in. This presented a kind of lose-lose situation for the brand. Either they didn’t respond and give off the message that they support the statement, or respond and appear as though they are trying to capitalize on this attention. Ultimately, they nailed their choice and pulled it off without a hitch. Skittles responded to this tweet with absolute class, stating that “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.” They actually still currently use a similar set-up featuring social media content on their homepage, but its clearly more curated and “skittles centric” content. Either way, it was a great publicity stunt and got them tons of attention, winning all around.
2. It Takes About Eight Hours to Make a Skittle
In the Skittles factory, it takes about eight hours to fully coat the chewy center with the hard candy shell and finish up the candy. Of course, they don’t just do one at a time. In fact, over 200 million Skittles are produced every single day, so clearly they’ve nailed down the batching method. So, how does it happen? First, the chewy, fruity centers are created in large batches of each color. It’s basically like a fruity toffee that gets rolled into the circular shape. Then, those chewy centers are tumbled through the machine and coated with the hard sugar shell. This process is called “panning.” After the shells go on, the candies go through a polishing stage where they get shiny. When they’re polished and ready go to, they get blended together using a system that distributes a certain amount at a time to create that rainbow of colors. The last step in the process includes adding that signature “S,” which gets printed on using a special machine designed to ensure that the sugar shell stays intact.
1. They Have One of the Longest-Running Ad Campaigns Ever
When you think about Skittles, you really do think about their visual imagery of tasing the rainbow and all of the colors and flavors coming together. Who can forget some of those classic, yet startlingly strange, commercials where objects would suddenly burst into piles of tiny candies? If you’re in the mood to get nostalgic for Skittles, someone made a complication video on YouTube of the best “taste the rainbow” commercials. The “taste the rainbow” slogan seems to have been around forever, and nearly everyone on this planet knows it. That’s no accident. This classic Skittles slogan was actually invented in 1994 as part of an ad campaign developed by a New York ad agency called D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. And it’s been running strong ever since. That’s over 20 years. At the time that they made this campaign, they also came up with the brand logos and packaging that haven’t changed a bit since. The commercials and images may have changed, but it’s always been about the rainbow.