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  • Iman Syed

The Unexplained Mystery of Skittles

A while ago, my little sister was eating some Skittles (the classic kind), and I thought of the most random question: why are there no blue Skittles?

Now when I say “blue Skittles,” I mean in the original, classic red skittles package. Of course, there are blue Skittles in several other packages, including the tropical and wild berry ones. Skittles even released a version of the original that included blue skittles in 2011. However, my curiosity comes from the exclusion of blue Skittles before (and after) that point. Especially since (a) the potential of having a blue Skittle exists since there was once a package that contained them and (b) Skittles markets products as being able to “taste the rainbow” - last I checked, blue was part of the rainbow.

Since Skittles never made a statement on why blue was excluded (I wish), the public created its own interpretation on the matter based on logical reasoning. Due to this, of course, there is no 100% reputable source talking about the blue Skittles. Even without a reputable source, the ideas that people have are incredibly interesting and make some logical sense, despite no formal statement confirming these ideas as true or false.

One theory behind the lack of blue Skittles comes from the reasoning that there are few naturally blue fruits. In fact, there is no blue fruit (not even blueberries, those are technically purple). But then how do blue candies exist? For M&Ms, the color is simply meant to be that—color—there’s no need to add flavoring. But Skittles are fruit-flavored candy: there needs to be a fruit that can correspond to each flavor. Typically, other companies who face a similar situation will go for blue raspberry as their blue candy, but blue raspberry is simply a certain type of raspberry with blue food-coloring; it’s not an actual fruit.

Yet despite this, there was a blue Skittle; in 2011, the company released a special “limited edition” version of the original that included blue skittles. This flavor wasn’t even a fruit; it was later revealed to be cherry-cola flavored.

However, the dyes used in the 2011 cherry-cola Skittle were artificial dyes, a fact that leads me to my second point. For several decades, since the 1960s and 1970s, people showed disapproval towards artificial dyes. This disapproval especially shows today, with companies as big as Starbucks having to change their cups because of consumer disapproval. So, it makes sense that Skittles wouldn’t risk artificial dyes. Blue dye is incredibly difficult to make naturally, so it’d be much simpler to omit the blue Skittle instead of creating it with all the potential risks.

Though as I previously mentioned, there are blue Skittles today…and they do contain artificial dyes, a fact that totally disproves the second theory. So, in other words, all this goes down the drain.

I guess we’ll never know the reason that there are no blue Skittles…


Image Citation:

An Image of Skittles. Skittles, Accessed 26 Oct. 2019.

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