skittles lined up

5 April, 2022

The History Of The Humble Skittles Confectionery

We all know it – “Taste the rainbow”. The Skittles confectionery advertising campaign was first devised in 1994 and it is one of the longest ever running advertising campaigns. It was devised by a New York advertising agency called D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles. The big question though is where did skittles come from. Many people think it is an American confectionery, but that’s not true. Its origins are a little murky, but it is believed it was first manufactured by a British company in 1974 and supplied only in Britain. It made its way across the Atlantic in 1979 and within a few years, it was then being produced by Wrigleys. Nowadays you will find them in 65 different countries and Skittles are rated the number 2 confectionery in America.

If you believe the myths, it is said a British man was looking at a rainbow one day and pondered on what a rainbow would taste like – and Skittles were born. Nobody can actually prove this and the speculation is they were first produced by an unknown British firm until Wrigleys in the USA took overproduction. As to the name, it is widely believed it is derived from the game of Skittles which is played in Scotland, England and Wales. The candy looks like an object in the games whereby a person has to throw a wooden or round sphere at 9 pins. Again, there is no solid proof of this, but both the idea and name make for a nice story.

The original line-up of flavours was Orange, Strawberry, Grape, Lemon and Lime. In 2013 they decided to replace the lime flavoured Skittle with green apple. There was such a backlash from die-hard Skittle fans, the company had to reinstate the lime flavour.

Since those early days, Skittles now has a massive range of flavours and packaging. They introduced varying packaging and a huge range of flavours. Skittle Chewies is a normal Skittle without the shell around the candy. It’s a softer and chewier version than the original and the colours are less vivid. They also brought out a Skittles Ice Cream, which if you read the packaging, they say “Skittles Cooler, made with fruit; Fruit flavoured candies with ice cream wrapped in refreshing strawberry sorbet”. Basically, it is a red coloured sorbet, wrapped around pink ice cream and speckled with Skittle pieces. They even brought out a Skittles Rainbow Party Cake. It was a ridiculous looking cake with purple, orange and yellow layers inside, surrounded by orange, yellow, green and purple coloured frosting.

The list of the different types of flavours of Skittles that you can get nowadays is ridiculous. Just see the list below

Now sold in over 65 countries, there is no doubting Skittles' popularity. You’ll find a great assortment of Skittles on our website, but if you would like help picking which type would work best for your promotion or you need advice on other confectionery, don’t hesitate to call us.


The Confectionery Only Team