Starburst (candy)

(Redirected from Starburst (confectionery))

Starburst (originally known as Opal Fruits) is the brand name of a box-shaped, fruit-flavoured soft taffy candy manufactured by The Wrigley Company, which today is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. Starburst has many different varieties, such as Tropical, Sour, FaveREDs, Watermelon, Very Berry, Superfruit, Summer Blast and Original.

Starburst Logo.png
Cherry (red), lemon (yellow), strawberry (pink) and orange flavoured starbursts
Produced byThe Wrigley Company
CountryUnited Kingdom
Introduced1960; 63 years ago (1960)
MarketsAsia, Canada, Europe, United States
TaglineUnexplainably Juicy

Introduced in the United Kingdom in 1960, the regular flavours are blackcurrant, lemon and lime, orange and strawberry.[1][2]


The brand was introduced by Mars in the UK in 1960, named Opal Fruits by Peter Phillips (known as Peter Pfeffer at the time), the winner of a competition that won him £5.[3] Produced at their factory in Slough, Berkshire, the four original flavours were strawberry, lemon, orange and lime. Opal Fruits were introduced in the United States in 1967[3] as M&M's Fruit Chewies and later as Starburst. While the etymology of the name Starburst isn't certain, it was probably an attempt to express the burst of flavour at each bite, and draw attention while space interest was at its peak during the Space Race.[4] Originally, Starburst came in the same flavours as Opal Fruits, though the lime flavour was replaced by cherry in the US in the early 1980s.[5] Subsequently, its first variant, "Sunshine Flavors", was released, and was later renamed "Tropical Opal Fruits". In Europe, the lemon and lime flavours were combined to become a singular "Lemon and lime" flavour to make room for a blackcurrant flavour.

The UK 'Twenty-one Fruits' limited edition original Opal Fruits branding

The brand name Opal Fruits was phased out in the UK, followed by Ireland in 1998 in order to standardise the product in a globalised marketplace.[6] In 2008, however, the supermarket chain Asda revived the original Opal Fruits in the UK for a period of 12 weeks starting 10 May 2008.[7] On 6 October 2008, Mars acquired Wrigley[8] and it transferred Mars' non-chocolate candy brands, including Starburst, to the Wrigley subsidiary.[9] The original flavours are now branded "Original Fruits", and Starburst now comes in several assortments: FaveREDs, Limited Edition Retro Fruits, Tropical, Baja California, Sour, Strawberry Mix, Berries and Creme, Very Berry and Fruity Slushies. Among the additional flavours are Strawberry Lemonade, Strawberry-Banana, Blue Raspberry, Blue Raspberry Rush, Cherry Splash, Citrus Slush, Kiwi, Banana, Plum, Passion Fruit, Mango, Blueberry, Blackberry, Raspberry, Melon, Watermelon, Tropical Punch, Green Apple, Orange Cream, Mixed Berries and Cream, Peaches and Cream and Strawberry and Cream. Europe and the United States also has the "Sour" assortment, which includes Apple, Cherry, Pineapple and Raspberry, as well as Strawberry Mix.

Starburst in the UK is vegetarian, its packaging and website clearly stating "Suitable for Vegetarians", and also does not contain any artificial colours or flavours.[10] In the US, Starburst contains non-vegan gelatin in its ingredients.

Lime Starburst made a comeback in 2007 as a limited-edition "retro" flavour in packages of the "Baja" version, while the range in the UK was further extended with a version named Starburst Choozers. These lozenge shaped chews have a liquid fruit juice centre, and come packaged with the tag line "The chews that ooze." Each packet contains three flavours; Orange & Mango, Raspberry & Orange and Pineapple & Orange.

Unwrapped original Opal Fruits (strawberry, orange, lemon and lime from left to right) brought back in 2021 as a limited edition

As of August 2016, the advertising slogan for Starburst is "Unexplainably Juicy".[3]

During March 2020, the Opal Fruits name was revived again for a limited period in the UK with a 152g bag available in Poundland and Dealz stores initially, which included the four original flavours (lemon, strawberry, orange, lime).[11]

Starburst products were entirely discontinued in New Zealand in April 2021,[12] and in Australia in June 2022.[13] Starburst-branded products had been sold in Australia since 1996.[14]


In the 1970s, Opal Fruits were well known in the UK for their advertising tag line "Opal Fruits—made to make your mouth water!" (slogan coined by Murray Walker[15]). The full advertising jingle was "Opal Fruits—made to make your mouth water/Fresh with the tang of citrus/four refreshing fruit flavours/orange, lemon, strawberry, lime/Opal Fruits—made to make your mouth water!"

Starburst has been marketed in several ways, including a marketing tie-in for the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest where they replaced Kiwi Banana and Tropical Punch with Royal Berry Punch.

In 2002, Starburst created a song for the Australian market called "Get Your Juices Going". It was released as a CD single and attributed to a fictional pop group also called Starburst.[16]

In 2007, a commercial for Starburst's Berries and Creme flavour went viral.[17] The commercial, referred to as "Berries and Creme" or as "The Little Lad Dance", stars a man dressed in Victorian/Georgian clothing expressing his excitement for the candy's flavour by performing an impromptu song and dance routine.[18] The commercial received praise for its style from Advertising Age.[19][20] In an interview with Adweek the actor of the character (Jack Ferver) commented that the commercial took over 12 hours to film and that they had to wear the full costume in 80 °F (27 °C) weather.[21]

In the second half of 2021, the Berries and Creme commercial went viral for a second time, with a number of videos on TikTok using the audio and the "Little Lad Dance".[22]

Other varietiesEdit

Starburst also exists or has existed in the form of vines "fruit twists",[23] ropes, candy corn, popsicles, gum, candy canes, jelly beans, fruit roll ups, gelatin,[24] energy drinks (in partnership with C4 Energy),[25] lip gloss (in a partnership with Lip Smackers)[26] and yogurt (by Yoplait in 2019 as a flavour).[27] The company also produces 'heart-shaped' jelly beans for Valentine's Day.[28] In 2021, Starburst released their first vegan gummy candy in the US.[29]

A range of non-taffy Starburst products for the Australian and New Zealand markets were produced from 1997 to 2020; products included 'Snakes' gummies and 'Sucks' lollipops.[14][30]


  1. ^ "Starburst: Original".
  2. ^ "Starburst: Facts and History".
  3. ^ a b c "Starburst". Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  4. ^ Hartel, Richard W.; Hartel, AnnaKate (2014). Candy bites : the science of sweets. New York, NY: Copernicus. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-4614-9382-2.
  5. ^ UK Starburst Flavors And American Starburst Flavors: A Comparison
  6. ^ "Global branding chews up Opal Fruits". BBC News. 27 April 1998. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  7. ^ Mercer, Charles (1 May 2008). "Opal Fruits return to British playgrounds". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  8. ^ "Wrigley Completes Merger with Mars". (Press release). Chicago. PRNewswire-FirstCall. 6 October 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Mars-Wrigley merger creates world's largest confectionery player". Confectionary News. 29 April 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Wrigley UK's Starburst Profile". Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Opal Fruits are making a comeback 22 years after changing to Starburst".
  12. ^ Mcilraith, Brianna (10 August 2022). "RIP Starburst: Popular lollies discontinued in NZ due to rising costs". Stuff. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  13. ^ "Starburst lollies discontinued in Australia". Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  14. ^ a b " : STARBURST®". Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  15. ^ Owen, Oliver (1 July 2007). "Interview: Murray Walker". The Guardian. London, UK. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  16. ^ "Pop's new big sell rakes in the lolly". The Age. 17 September 2002. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  17. ^ "Updated: The Best Ad Jingles Ever". IGN. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Watch some of the worst commercials on-air". MSNBC. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  19. ^ "We Are All Little Lads". Advertising Age. 27 April 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  20. ^ "Little Lad Produces Big Laughs in Genius Masterfoods Spot". Advertising Age. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Brief interviews with commercial actors: Jack Ferver on being Starburst's Little Lad". Adweek. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  22. ^ "DeepTok is taking over TikTok with berries and cream videos". Mashable. 15 September 2021. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  23. ^ Finn, Carina (20 August 2020). "Fruit Snacks From The '90s You'll Sadly Never Have Again". Mashed. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  24. ^ "Walmart Is Selling Starburst Duos Gelatin That You Should Definitely Make Jell-O Shots With". Delish. 26 September 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  25. ^ Barganier, Erich (29 September 2021). "Everything You Need To Know About The New Starburst-Flavored Energy Drinks". Mashed. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  26. ^ "Starburst candies becomes the new name for shower products". Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  27. ^ "Yoplait Released Starburst Yogurt In 4 Different Flavors And, Yes, Pink Is Included". Delish. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  28. ^ "Starburst Is Bringing Back Its Heart-shaped Jelly Beans For Valentine's Day". KSBY News. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  29. ^ Starostinetskaya, Anna. "Is Starburst Finally Launching Its First Vegan Gummy Candy in the US?". Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  30. ^ "Starburst Brand Silently Retired in Australia". OzBargain. Retrieved 27 June 2022.

External linksEdit