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The History of Skittles

Skittles were introduced in Britain in the 1970s. It is not known who created them, and although there is a popular story that they were created by someone named Mister Skittles, there is no evidence to support this claim. Skittles get their name from a nearly 400-year-old British slang term that’s synonymous with playfulness and fun. The Wrigley Company first began producing and selling Skittles in 1974. Originally, they were only available in the U.K. They came in a red bag with five flavors/colors: strawberry (red), blackcurrant (purple), lemon (yellow), orange (orange), and lime (green). In 1979, Wrigley introduced Skittles to the United States as a specialty product and they quickly caught on. In fact, they sold so well that in 1982, the company started making them in the United States and distributing them all across the country. In 1994, the famous slogan “Taste the Rainbow” was introduced and went on to become one of the longest-running advertising campaigns in history. Over the years, several additions have been made to the Skittles line, including the ever-popular Sour Skittles, which hit store shelves in 2000. Despite their success in America and the U.K., there is one major difference between the American and British versions of the candy: while the purple Skittles are flavored with blackcurrant in Britain, they’re grape-flavored in the United States. In 2013, the company temporarily switched the green Skittles from lime to green apple but brought back the lime flavoring after a public outcry. Today, Skittles remain a massively popular candy in America, the U.K., and beyond.

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