Why It Will Soon Be Harder To Find Blue Skittles

While blue Skittles may not be among the most popular Skittle flavors, blue is still an essential part of the rainbow, isn't it? And we all know how much the rainbow –- well, tasting the rainbow, anyway -– means to Skittles as a brand.

Unfortunately, due to increasing public demand for companies to cut out artificial dyes, Skittles will have to make some big changes. As of 2014, Skittles used Blue 1 and 2, Yellow 5 and 6, and Red 40 to color its candies, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. In 2016, when public backlash could no longer be ignored, Skittles pledged to phase out artificial dyes within five years. However, Skittles still contain these dyes in 2023.

Though Skittles has obviously missed its promised deadline for going artificial dye-free, we can admit there are quite a few obstacles standing in the brand's way. Even so, there's no doubt Skittles can figure out how to keep its candies representing every color of the rainbow.

The problems that come along with using natural dyes

If you've done any experimenting of your own, you've probably noticed that many natural substitutes for artificial food dyes come with their own flavors. For instance, beets work well for making reds and pinks, but most of us don't want to eat beet-flavored Skittles. What's more, natural dyes are more costly than artificial dyes, particularly when it comes to colors like green and blue.

That being said, it's now 2023, and Skittles has plenty of options to work with. Cooked red cabbage leaves, oddly enough, create a purple syrup, and once mixed with baking soda, results in a blue dye with a mild enough taste that you can use it for frosting. In fact, according to Forbes, scientists have recently been able to extract red cabbage's pigments in a way that allowed them to create an all-natural cyan-blue dye. Better yet, they can use this dye with other natural dyes to make more colors that were previously accessible only through artificial means. No excuses now, Skittles.