The Untold Truth Of Fruit Gushers

They're colorful, they're delicious, they're both chewy and juicy at the same time, and also a bit mysterious. They're Fruit Gushers. This prepackaged snack was born in the early '90s, and is sold under the sub-brand Betty Crocker (who reports to General Mills). While this little gem-like treat — filled with a juicy center — is labeled as a fruit snack, Fruit Gushers seem to fall in line more with the candy side of the world, as confirmed by Redditors. While they're not considered the healthiest snack, Fruit Gushers have been a mainstay on shelves for over 30+ years and continue to be enjoyed by millennials (who grew up with them) and their offspring.

Though their parent brand, General Mills, has experienced a few hiccups regarding Fruit Gushers and friends (via Reuters) in the past, the snack is just too good to ignore (so good that competitors have even tried to imitate it). It's a brightly colored treat that has left a major imprint on pop culture, and continues to do so by, you know, playing nice and working together with other big players in consumer pop culture.

Despite controversy, Gushers are still popular

In early 2022, a class-action lawsuit was filed against General Mills because of alleged false advertising on the Fruit Gushers packaging. The snack food is toted as having no artificial ingredients, as reported by, and yet one of the ingredients listed is malic acid. According to TheChemicalCompany, malic acid is an organic compound that occurs naturally in all fruits and some vegetables. It helps fuel cells and aids in building amino acids. Malic acid is also used to enhance flavors, especially those on the sour or tart spectrum. That being said, General Mills is using DL-malic acid, which isn't the same thing as just malic acid (there are three forms, according to DL-malic acid is synthetically made from petroleum, which means that, technically, it's considered artificial.   

Regardless of what category this colorful snack falls under, it's still a universally enjoyed treat. If it wasn't successful, then it would still have only two different flavors (which is what it originally started with). There are currently five core options, with the brand adding and subtracting different flavors throughout its 30+ year existence.   

Gushers are vegan and gluten-free

You would think that a fruit snack with the consistency of gummy candy would most definitely contain some type of gelatin or artificial dyes (which, according to ChoosingNutrition, can be made from insects or tested on animals before they make it to the fruit snack factory). But the answer is surprisingly no. Unlike some of their competitors, Fruit Gushers contain no animal products and use "safe" food dyes that are derived from plants, thus making them a 100% vegan snack. To get their gummy-like texture, Fruit Gushers are made using the gelatin substitute agar-agar, which comes from seaweed (via CrueltyFreeReviews). This avoids the use of gelatin which is made out of collagen, a protein found in animal skin and bone (via Britannica).

When it comes to being gluten-free, all Fruit Gushers contain these primary ingredients (via sugar, corn syrup, dried corn syrup, pear purée concentrate, modified corn starch, fructose, maltodextrin, and palm oil. None of these ingredients contain gluten, which Johns Hopkins University writes is a naturally occurring protein commonly found in plants and some grains. That means Fruit Gushers are considered celiac safe.

According to Cedars Sinai, most childhood allergies are caused by at least one of the following culprits: cow's milk, eggs, wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish. Fruit Gushers contain none of these, which deems them allergen-safe and a popular snack option for elementary school children.

Gushers were turned into an flavored lip balm

Kids love messy, sweet foods. The more interactive, the better (just think about other '90s candies like Push Pops and Ring Pops). That sweet flavor only last so long before you're stuck wanting more. At the same time, kids have a tendency to be plagued by chapped lips (what the Cleveland Clinic calls lip licker's dermatitis).

It seems like a perfect match, then, to create a lip balm that tastes like a beloved fruit snack. Gushers teamed up with the lip-balm brand Taste Beauty to create eight different Gushers-infused lip balms. Flavors included: Gushing Grape, Triple Berry, Burstin'Berry Lemonade, Strawberry Splash, Tropical Blast, Passionberry Punch, Screamin' Green Apple, and Rockin' Blue Raspberry (via Walmart). Unfortunately, they're not edible. While it looks like these tasty lip moisturizers are no longer in production, you can still buy them randomly through third-party online vendors. It seems, for now, like Taste Beauty has moved on to other kid-friendly flavors like Froot Loops and Hershey's Chocolate.

Gushers have been used in some interesting recipes

When you think of Fruit Gushers, you don't necessarily think of them as meshing with the salty or savory side of the food world. They obviously need to pair with something that's sweet, right? But where there's a will, there's a way. Take, for example, these sweet n' sour meatballs from food blogger Melinda Strauss. Fruit Gushers are encapsulated with Italian sausage and then simmered in a zesty marinara sauce. You could also take it one step further and mix sweet, sour, and extra spicy by using chorizo instead (via Tbsp). Theoretically, it could work, because gushers seem to hold up well and are super sweet. Nothing says "yum" like biting into a meatball and seeing it ooze blue, right?

One pairing that seems to work quite well is pairing Fruit Gushers with alcohol. PopSugar has created champagne-mimosa-filled Fruit Gushers with their own homemade recipe. Seeing that we humans have an affinity for foods that encapsulate different fillings — cream-filled donuts, molten lava cake, stuffed grape leaves, burgers stuffed with cheese, scotch eggs, alcohol-filled chocolates — why not get adventurous and create a fruit gusher that's geared towards adults?

Gushers have been turned into real (and edible) jewelry

It just seems like a perfect fit to use Fruit Gushers as jewelry. After all, they can be described as looking rather gem-like (though they can't really be identified as one specific shape). In the '80s and '90s, functional candy was a really big deal. There were necklaces, rings, whistles, lipsticks, teeth, and even band-aids. So why not utilize Fruit Gushers as jewelry?

While there are some individuals that have turned these fruit snacks into actual (temporary) wearable jewelry, like this decadent edible necklace on QuericaVida, or these majorly bling-tastic rings from the Betty Crocker, others have taken inspiration from the iconic snack itself. When it comes to jewelry, it's easy to see how artists can find inspiration in Fruit Gusher's bright and bold colors (and taste). Take, for example, Texas-based jewelry company Vinca, which created wearable ear candy that pays tribute to the fruit snack itself (via Poshmark). Because if you love eating Gushers, why not wear them too?

Welch's tried to make Fruit Gushers for adults

It's safe to say that Fruit Gushers are pretty much the fruit snack of millennials. That's probably one of the reasons why Welch's attempted to rip off of the liquid-filled fruit snack and make a version that's geared towards, well, the ones who grew up with Gushers. According to, Welch's released its adult version of Fruit Gushers in March 2021, under the name "Juicefuls." Each piece is opaque, so you can see the juice inside (which is kind of weird) and are made with real fruit. They come in three different varieties: Island Splash, Berry Blast, and Mixed Fruit. Coincidentally, Fruit Gushers have similar flavors, like Tropical Fruit, Sour Berry, and Flavor Mixers. gives Juicefuls favorable (flavor-able?) reviews, but notes that the odd gummy texture might be a little off-putting and challenging for people to get through. notes that Juicefuls have a substantially lower sugar content (though the portion size is smaller, too). The adult fruit snack is also gluten-free, but unfortunately, not suitable for vegans or vegetarians because it contains gelatin, as reported by

The fruit snack is into collaborations

Food and fashion collaborations have always been a thing — it's great marketing for both parties. And fans and consumers usually go gaga for whatever product(s) are being hawked (via CNN). It's no different with Fruit Gushers. In 2018, the snack brand collaborated with Slushcult, who created a limited edition series of neon-colored clothing (and flair) that's unfortunately now only available through third-party sellers. HotTopic also teamed up with the geometric snack with tie-dye colored t-shirts.

But by far one of the best pairings came to us in the summer of 2020 when Fruit Gushers and Yoplait decided that because yogurt was also something that kids generally liked, making a fruit snack-inspired product made complete sense. Each of the three flavors — Green Apple, Blue Raspberry, and Tropical Punch — contained little boba-like pellets (basically, mini Fruit Gushers) mixed into the creamy dairy (via 12Tomatoes). When you took a spoonful, the little gusher beads would burst in your mouth.

It's apparently quite difficult to find this yogurt in grocery stores, and you can probably imagine why.

Gushers commercials were pretty creepy

Millennials grew up with some really odd television commercials, and the Fruit Gushers adverts were no different (because nothing says "weird" like a kid that eats a Gusher and turns into a giant talking fruit). In a nutshell (wrapper?), the concept for the fruit Gushers' commercials focused on tween and younger teenage actors parading across the television screen. Sometimes in groups, sometimes solo, and sometimes in a strange cartoony house with yellow walls and minimal furniture (via YouTube), each character consumes a single fruit Gusher, and their head then transforms into whatever flavor they ate.

So, if you ate a lime-flavored fruit Gusher, your head turned into a giant lime. Popped in a banana Gusher? Yup, you're a banana. Kind of makes you wonder what the kid who ate three or four at a time ended up looking like?

Another rather disturbing commercial involved a kid at the zoo who turned into a banana and somehow ended up inside the gorilla enclosure? Don't worry, it has a happy ending.

Snapchat had a filter that turned you into a gusher

If you've always wanted to see what you would look like if you were a piece of talking fruit, then Snapchat has answered your prayers. In 2016, the social media platform made headlines when a filter that transformed users' noggins into various fruits, veggies, and food items was uploaded.

Snapchat users who grew up exposed to the creepy Gushers commercials of the early and mid-90s saw an eerie similarity between the filter and the kids who turned into fruit in these commercials (via NYMagazine). Back in 2020, a toddler went viral on TikTok when he cycled through different food filters that transformed him into various fruits, veggies, and even a talking hamburger (via Mandatory).

Have you ever heard of the 20-year rule? It's an unwritten rule that every 20 years or so, trends repeat themselves (via TheAMag). Basically, whatever was popular and influential 20 years ago will have an influence (albeit not so prominent) two decades later. So, if you were a kid in the '90s and loved Gushers, you're probably shaping what the current trends are today (like making Snapchat filters that turn you into fruit).