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Life Savers Hang on For Life

September 22nd, 2008 · 5 Comments

By Garland Pollard

A reader writes:

Life Saver Vintage Package

“I remember Fancy Fruit Life Savers being my favorites as a boy and I cannot seem to find them anywhere … Discontinued? What’s the story? I’ve seen Tropical Fruits available but rarely … Hmmm”

Yes,  you are not imagining things, dear BrandlandUSA Reader. Life Savers are a declining brand, and it has nothing to do with consumers who still like the brand, and everything to do with a great American brand that has been lost in the shuffle of corporate shell games. In fact, what has happened to the brand is nothing more than a national tragedy. Well, that’s a bit overstated. But if you want Life Savers,  you have to buy them wrapped. Or from a specialty store. Most 7-Eleven and Walgreen’s stores don’t stock the rolls anymore. Vi-O-Let Life Savers

The candy was invented by Clarence Crane, who started selling Peppermint Life Savers in Cleveland around 1913. He sold the company to a fellow named Edward Noble, who figured out how to wrap the mints in foil to preserve taste, and put them by registers. Noble later bought ABC Television in 1943. E.R. Squibb Corporation purchased the company and in 1981, Nabisco Brands Inc. bought the company. It became part of Kraft when Nabisco and General Foods merged into Kraft. It is now part of Wrigley, which has recently agreed to be purchased by Mars. We hope Mars can extract some value out of the brand and make its presence in checkout lines more consistent.

Original flavors we know of include:

  • Pep-O-Mint
  • Wint-O-Green
  • Five Flavors
  • Wild Cherry
  • Butter Rum
  • Fancy Fruit
  • Tropical Fruit
  • Chryst-O-Mints
  • Spear-O-mint
  • Sweet Mint
  • Orange Mints

Spin off brands include:

  • Life Savers Gummies (previously known as Gummi Savers),
  • Life Saver Minis
  • Life Saver Fusions
  • Creme Savers (ICK ICK ICK)

Wrigley bought the company from Kraft in 2004, along with Altoids and some factories. Even before the Wrigley purchase, the candy was in decline, and the candies are not on most shelves, including obvious places like Walgreen’s. From what we read, they are no longer made in the U.S. (for years they were associated with Port Chester, N.Y.) However, bagged and individually wrapped Life Savers are available, as are Gummi Savers. Nationally, we have found that independent drug stores are good places to find the foil rolls. And last Christmas, we found the Life Savers Sweet Story Books again on the Christmas candy shelves.

We found them online at the following sites:

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X-mas Trinkets Mean 4-ever Advertising
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Pillsbury Spritz Air Freshener, Bad Brand Extension

Tags: Deathwatch

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jon H.PRINCE // Sep 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    As the owner of CandyFavorites.com, and McKeesport candy Co., one of america’s oldest candy wholesalers, we greatly appreciate being included in your blog entry

    We offer over 2800 items but have been selling Lifesavers, in various sizes, shapes and flavors, for as long as they have been offered!

    Your blog has great information! Kudos to the writer!

    Sincerely,

    Jon H.PRINCE
    CandyFavorites.com

  • 2 Christmas Brand Traditions | BrandlandUSA™ // Dec 17, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    […] Life Savers Sweet Storybook […]

  • 3 Fuffernoose // Jan 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I too miss Fancy Fruits. Haven’t been able to find them in
    years. In addition to your list, I also remember being able to get
    a whole roll of Tangerine Lifesavers. Mmm, miss all those old
    staples of my childhood. :^( I was happy to see I was still able to
    find a few boxes of Chiclets gum at a pharmacy back in NJ when I
    was visiting last summer.

  • 4 Christine Gifford // Aug 22, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I would like to see Tropical Fruit and all of the others back on the shelves I have been looking for them and didn’t know that they were not on the market.

  • 5 Lisa Lindgren // Oct 5, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I would like to know can you still find Fancy Fruit, and also a real old flavor Violet. I would like to know if I can purchase them anymore. Thank you SO much!

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