Fruit Stripe

Fruit Stripe

Certain scents have this way of adhering to our memory banks for years. Such is the case with Fruit Stripe gum. One whiff conjures up decades-old images of fluorescent stripes and colorful zebras and intense fruit flavor that lasted all of a couple of minutes. But they were some wonderfully tasty minutes.

Introduced in the early 60s by Beech Nut, Fruit Stripe gum originally came in four flavors: wild cherry, lemon, lime and orange. Each stick was painted with zebra-esque stripes and exuded an intoxicating fruity smell that beckoned one to chew.

The gum was appetizing at first, with fruity flavors that seemed more natural than artificial. Unfortunately, right as you were thinking about how good it tasted, the flavor morphed into something more akin to tire rubber. Of course, every kid knew that there was an easy remedy – just throw another stick or two in your mouth. Using this tactic, you could go through a whole pack in about twenty minutes, but they were a tasty twenty minutes at least.

The packages most of us remember were adorned with a picture of Yipes, the faithful zebra mascot of Fruit Stripe gum that was introduced in the late 60s. He wasn’t the only animal originally adorned with colorful stripes – there was also an elephant, tiger and mouse. Those critters didn’t catch on quite like Yipes, however, and were summarily dismissed from service.

Yipes, meanwhile, remains as the sole mascot for Fruit Stripe. Some years ago, the company began including temporary tattoos of Yipes in every pack, conveniently placed on the wrapper itself. They were more apt to leave a colorful smudge than anything recognizable, but kids didn’t care much, many of whom were fond of applying said tattoos to their tongues.

The flavors have changed over the years, with the inclusion of melon, peach and cotton candy added to the mix. Some fans say a chocolate version of the gum made a very brief appearance in the late 70s, although we couldn’t find any hard evidence to these claims.

Today, the gum still has that wonderful sweet aroma that fills a room the minute you tear into the foil packaging. And, in keeping with tradition, it still has a flavor that’s delicious, yet fleeting. But that lack of longevity has never made a dent in the popularity of Fruit Strip gum, which is still sold to this day, zebra and all.

Were you a fan of Fruit Stripe gum back in the day? We’d love to hear any memories you have, especially if you remember the chocolate version, in our comments section below.

2 Responses to “Fruit Stripe”

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  1. Ben Goozner says:

    I used to remember my grandmother having Fruit Stripe gum and I remember always asking her for a piece. I expessaly liked the lime flavor.

  2. Mercedes says:

    Only now it contains saccharin and sugar why both have no idea get rid of the saccharine

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