Skittles were first created in the United Kingdom around 1974. It is believed that an unknown British company was the first manufacturer of this popular candy. Skittles’ popularity sailed across the sea to the United States in 1979. After three years of sales in the United States, Skittles began to be manufactured here in America as well.
In 1994, the slogan “Taste the Rainbow” was introduced and became one of the longest running advertising campaigns in history. The entire theme of the Skittles company was created by D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, a New York advertising agency.
Today, Skittles are loved in over 65 countries. In the United States, Skittles are the second most popular candy. They are the most popular among all children in North America.
The 21st century brought along some changes for the Skittles company. In 2000, Sour Skittles were first introduced. Skittles Bubble Gum was created in 2004, and the first limited edition Skittles, which were X-treme Fruit, were made in 2006. The original flavors of grape, orange, lemon, lime and strawberry are still available, but there are newer varieties such as Wild Berry, Smoothie, and Tropical, which are available today.
In 2009, Skittles decided to add to their appeal by becoming vegan. Instead of regular gelatin made from the cartilage of animals such as cows and pigs, the company decided to make Skittles with a gelatin made from no animal products.
One note that has always been discussed is the similarity between Skittles and M&M’s. On the outside, they look almost identical except for the difference of a faint white letter printed on the side of each. But on the inside, the candies are worlds apart. Skittles have a delicious fruity flavor in the middle, unlike M&M’s which have a chocolate filling.
Fun Fact: American football player Marshawn Lynch became a spokesman for Skittles after he claimed that the candy helped him develop his athletic abilities.