I would bet money at least once in your life, you've tasted the rainbow. The Skittles we all know and love are sweet, fruity, and bursting with flavor. Times are changing, though, and Skittles knows they have to keep up with shoppers who are antsy, craving change, and also looking for something that photographs well for Instagram. Their response? Sweet Heat Skittles, the new variety of the iconic candy that has a spicy twist.
According to a post on Skittles' Facebook page, Sweet Heat Skittles are the "perfect balance of sweet and heat." The recognizable red bag is nowhere to be seen, replaced with a bag that is black like the night. Don't worry, though — the rainbow is still there. The candies themselves, on the other hand, aren't the colorful span of hues they used to be. The packaging instead shows fire-inspired orange, red, and yellow candies, reading, "fruit flavors with a spicy kick." According to Elite Daily, the specific Sweet Heat flavors are sizzlin' strawberry, fiery watermelon, flamin' orange, lemon spark, and blazin' mango.
I would still like to know exactly how spicy these are. Are we talking make-your-mouth-tingly spicy, or wake-up-at-2:00-in-the-morning-with-raging-heartburn spicy? Someone please consume a bag and report back to me within 24 hours.
To help introduce Sweet Heat Skittles to the world, football running back Marshawn Lynch visited a senior living community to share his candy and get their feedback (and also dance and play pickle ball). The spicy candy seemed to be well-received, with a couple residents commenting that there's a "delayed kick," and the heat kind of sneaks up on you. In other words, don't dump a whole handful in your mouth right off the bat, unless you're near a fire hydrant.
On an unrelated side note, I'm going to leave this right here:
Seriously. Watch the whole video. You won't regret it.
Skittles isn't the only candy going spicy. The Wrigley Company, which produces a number of candies including Skittles, is also bringing the heat to Starburst, with Starburst Sweet Heat, says Fox News. The flavors are quite similar to the new Skittles, with fiery watermelon, strawberry mango, flamin' orange, and pipin' pineapple. As with Skittles, the new packaging is black and covered with flames.
The new flavors are a response to the growing obsession with all things sweet and spicy. Susan Whiteside, vice president of public relations and marketing communications with the National Confectioners Association, told Food Business News, "From flavors like honey sriracha to mango chipotle, confectioners and snack manufacturers both are increasingly turning to sweet to balance out hot, spicy or tangy flavors."
Sure enough, Skittles and Starburst aren't the only sweets turned spicy. Jolly Rancher has Hotties, a sweet and spicy hard candy. Flavors include watermelon cayenne, blue raspberry Sriracha, cherry habanero, and green apple ginger. To be honest, I'd lick Sriracha off the floor; so this stuff is probably right up my alley.
Even chocolate has jumped on the spicy bandwagon. For instance, Nestle Butterfinger once had the limited edition Smokin' Hot Peanut Butter Cups. I'm not sure I like the idea of anyone messing with the unparalleled peanut-butter-and-chocolate duo, and Junk Banter didn't have nice things to say, but hey — someone out there had to like 'em.
Even M&M's got into it with a chili nut flavor. Similar to the PB cups, Junk Banter said the spicy taste was an aftertaste — as in way, way, way after you've finished eating the candy. They have pretty decent reviews on Amazon, though, so they can't be all that bad!
If you love sweetness with a little kick afterward, the new flavor of Skittles might be just what you were looking for. (And BTW? Spicy food is good for you.) Will you try out Sweet Heat?