A reader writes:
“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. Some 7-Eleven and Walgreen’s stores don’t even stock the rolled version.
Clarence Crane 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 Life Savers.
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. Mars should be able to extract some value out of the brand and make its presence in checkout lines more consistent.
Original flavors we know of include:
- Five Flavors
- Wild Cherry
- Butter Rum
- Fancy Fruit
- Tropical Fruit
- Sweet Mint
- Orange Mints
Spin off brands include:
- Life Savers Gummies
- 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. They are no longer made in the U.S.; for years they were associated with Port Chester, N.Y.
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.
I have found the rolls of Lifesavers at the 5 Below stores. I love the butter rum so when I find them I buy as many as I can get. My favorite is the Butter Rum. Sometimes, I can find them individually wrapped at Walmart. But if I can’t find them I also like the Pepomint. Not Wintigreen(ick).
I was wondering why there is no longer tangerine life savers, those were my favorite of all time, you never could find me without them until them weren’t for sale anymore
Magnificent site. Lots of helpful information here.
I’m sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious.
And obviously, thanks for your effort!
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!
Fancy Fruits was my most favorite. I was employed at the Lifesavers Plant in Holland Michigan. I was a attendant at the “Basket Station”, which was where the lifesavers came into baskets after being made, then put into the wrapping machines. I loved when we made “Pear”, that was my favorite. Myself and many members of my family through several generations worked there. The building is still there, but still stands empty today. so sad. Gone, all because the company wanted to save a few pennies on buying sugar outside of the United States. If MARS was smart, they would reopen that plant in Holland Michigan, and make Lifesavers big again!
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.
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.
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!