14th February 2011, on the menu today...
Starburst Fruity Chews
Starburst - or Opal Fruits to me and others of a certain age - was a popular fruit chew from my childhood that came second only to Chewits due to a certain advertising campaign involving a Godzilla-like character called Chewie. They sported bright, cheerful yellow packaging very similar to that used today and contained a variety of flavours to tantalise the taste buds. More recently, smoothies, sour chews and tongue tangles have been added to the range to make things a bit more interesting and I for one am a fan.
I almost feel like putting my sunglasses on looking at the above pictures. The packaging is bright and cheerful and, as such, has already partially succeeded in targeting the younger members of society as well as everyone yearning for some summer sunshine. The "Starburst" text design is playful as are the bursts of colour representing the different flavours. That said, this playfulness is a bit more reserved than others and, consequently, the product design will appeal to older individuals as well as younger ones. Opening the packet, the individually-wrapped chews are revealed with colours to match their respective flavours. One thing I particularly liked here were the little fruit-based designs printed on each wrapper as all too often designers get lazy at this point and just throw on nothing more than a brand name.
However, I do have a few criticisms. Firstly, I am not very fond of way in which the ends of the packet poke out - this just looks untidy to me when compared to the traditional folded flush packaging. Secondly, I don't like the way the ends force you to tear open the packet as this makes resealing significantly more cumbersome than with folded designs. Thirdly, I feel the white box design containing the 'health sell' on the left of the packet looks out of place and detracts too much from overall look.
Starburst Fruity Chews consists of four flavours: strawberry, orange (pictured above), blackcurrant, and lemon and lime. The first thing I noticed is that the Starburst chews are a bit firmer than say a Chewit and, consequently, respond a bit more favourably in warmer conditions - always a consideration when pounding the streets with fruit chews in your jean's pocket. Of course, this firmness means they require a bit more jaw action to get them to reasonably malleable state. With regards to the taste, the flavours gradually develop with chewing and, in my opinion, are a good representation of the four fruits. In addition, the fruity flavours aren't overwhelmed by a sugary taste. Good solid stuff.
Have you considered...?
Starburst chews contain real fruit juice and no artificial colours or flavours.
History (as per the Wikipedia entry):
The Starburst brand was introduced by Mars in 1960 as Opal Fruits. The four original flavours were strawberry, lemon, orange, and lime. In the 1970s Opal Fruits were well known for their advertising tag line "Opal Fruits! Made to make your mouth water. Fresh with the tang of citrus. Orange! Lemon! Cherry! Strawberry!" Opal Fruits were introduced in the United States in 1967 as Starburst. Originally, Starburst came in the same flavours as Opal Fruits and the first variant, "Sunshine Flavors," later renamed "Tropical Opal Fruits", was released thereafter. In Europe, lemon and lime were combined to become "lemon and lime" and to make room for a blackcurrant flavour. The brand name 'Opal Fruits' was phased out in the UK, followed by Ireland in 1998 in order to standardize the product in a globalized marketplace, though some lament the loss of brand identity, leaving many people in the UK still referring to Starburst as Opal Fruits despite the name change. In 2008 the supermarket chain Asda revived the original Opal Fruits in the UK for a period of 12 weeks from 10 May 2008. On 6 October 2008, Mars acquired Wrigley, and transferred Mars non-chocolate candy brands, including Starburst, to the Wrigley subsidiary. In the US Starburst are manufactured in Waco, Texas.
The original flavours are now branded "Original Fruits", and Starburst now comes in several assortments: Limited Edition Retro Fruits, Tropical, Baja California, Sour, Strawberry Mix, and Berries & Creme. Among the additional flavours are kiwi, banana, plum, passion fruit, raspberry, strawberry-banana, mango, melon, tropical punch, green apple, blue raspberry, watermelon, mixed berries & cream, peaches & cream, orange cream, and strawberry & cream. Europe also has the "Sour" assortment, which includes apple, cherry, pineapple and raspberry, as well as Strawberry Mix. As of early 2010 it was decided that Strawberry was the most popular flavour in the United Kingdom. The sweets are not vegetarian-friendly.
Lime Starbursts made a comeback in 2007 as a limited-edition 'retro' flavour in packages of the 'Baja' version, while the range in the UK was further extended with a version named Starburst Choozers. These lozenge shaped chews have a liquid fruit juice center, and come packaged with the tag line "The chews that ooze." Each packet contains three flavours; orange & mango, raspberry & orange and pineapple & orange.
Starburst engaged in a marketing tie-in for the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest by replacing Kiwi Banana and Tropical Punch with Royal Berry Punch.
The current slogan for Starburst in the U.S. is "It's A Juicy Contradiction" and in the UK and Australia it is "Tastes Like Summer."
Some time after June of the summer of 2009, Starburst discontinued their Baja California flavor worldwide due to low sales.
Fellow food bloggers: