SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Fruit Stripe Gum, something of a childhood icon for many gum chewers over the past five decades, will soon head over the rainbow with its multicolored zebra mascot Yipes — seemingly for good.
The manufacturer of Fruit Stripe Gum, the Chicago company Ferrara Candy Co., gave the magazine Food & Wine a statement Tuesday that it is discontinuing the product; on Wednesday, an unidentified company spokesperson did the same for CNN. Ferrara did not respond to multiple requests from The Associated Press on Thursday seeking confirmation of its decision.
Fruit Stripe may have been best known for its oversized packs of spectral-striped gum sticks, each bearing a distinct fruit flavor that typically faded away quickly upon chewing. For years, the packs contained temporary tattoos of brand mascot Yipes the rainbow zebra that kids could apply to their arms, legs and faces; gum chewers often joked that the tattoos lasted far longer than the gum's flavor did.
So notorious was the gum's ephemeral taste that it ended up in a fittingly brief gag on the animated sitcom "Family Guy."
Yipes also had a minor cult following, especially once the company coined "Yipes! Stripes!" as a commercial catchphrase.
The gum was first launched by bygone candy maker Beech-Nut in 1969, but ended up at Ferrara following a series of corporate handoffs and mergers. Ferrara itself is a unit of the Italian conglomerate Ferrero.