Fruit Stripe Gum, something of a childhood icon for many gum chewers over the past five decades, will soon head over the rainbow with its multicolored zebra mascot, Yipes.
It Was A Fun Ride, Bright Fruit Stripe Gum
The manufacturer of Fruit Stripe Gum, the Chicago company Ferrara Candy Co., gave the magazine Food & Wine a statement Tuesday that it is discontinuing the product; on Wednesday.
“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 spokesperson said.
“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,” the statement continued.
“We are delighted to continue offering many other beloved and iconic brands in our portfolio, including Fun Dip, Gobstopper, Jujyfruits, Fire Ball, Pixy Stix, Chuckles, Runts, Spree, Boston Baked Beans and Bottle Caps!”
James Parker invented Fruit Stripe in the late 1960s. 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, said 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.
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 nostalgic candy came out in the 1960s, and has been enjoyed by generations of Americans.