The Untold Truth Of Fruit By The Foot

Candy aficionados know that one of the greatest confections in modern existence is quite possibly Fruit by the Foot. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but Fruit by the Foot is pretty delicious and certainly fun to eat, as many will argue. If you're somehow unfamiliar with the snack, it's a thin piece of sweet candy that is packaged in a neat little roll. It may look small at first but, when it's unfurled, it typically comes out to a rather surprising three feet of sweet treat, hence the name.

Fruit by the Foot has been around for years and is still incredibly popular amongst kids and adults alike. If you walk down the candy aisle in your local grocery store, you'll surely see a box or two next to some of the other popular fruity candies. But what's the history behind this unique and seirously lengthy sweet? As it stands, there is still a lot that you may not know about these little treasures, even if they've been nestled into your lunchbox from time to time. This is the untold truth of Fruit by the Foot.

It was a finalist for the coolest product made in Illinois

Fruit by the Foot is a General Mills product that is put out under the Betty Crocker brand. General Mills has factories all over the United States, including one in Belvidere, Illinois, according to Now, this is probably not the most special town to most people (with the exception of Belvidere residents themselves), but it does have one factor that is meaningful to all of us: it's where Fruit by the Foot is manufactured.

In 2022, Fruit by the Foot was among the finalists for the coolest product made in Illinois named by the Illinois Manufacturers Association. Though we think Fruit by the Foot should've been given the title, it was edged out by the Rivian R1T, an electric pickup truck (via

Among the other finalists were a John Deere combine, a Freeze Flake ice maker, and the Libman Tornado Spin Mop. Don't worry, Fruit by the Foot. Though you may not have won this particular contest, rest assured that you are the true winner in our eyes and our mouths.

A TikToker made a super Fruit by the Foot

Fruit by the Foot is already pretty long, but one brave TikToker decided to make one that's even bigger. How long? As long as a football field. A standard football field measures 100 yards in length, whereas a Fruit by the Foot measures one yard long, meaning you'd need 100 Fruit by the Foots to make it from end zone to end zone.

The creator of this monster Fruit by the Foot said it took 16 boxes of the stuff to create the extra-long snack. To prove skeptics wrong, he went to a football field and unrolled his stupendously large wheel of Fruit by the Foot, all to demonstrate that it was the real deal.

This wasn't the first person to make a giant Fruit by the Foot, though. Another man made a 324-foot Fruit by the Foot (via YouTube). But to make matters unhealthier, he ate his incredibly long concoction, which he estimated to clock in at over 8,000 calories. We would love to know how he felt afterward — or maybe not.

The brand often creates promotional items

It's a lot of work to remain relevant as a brand for as long as Fruit by the Foot has. And although it does seem like having three feet of candy in one little package would be enough to make it relevant indefinitely, the factory is not resting on its laurels and is continuously creating promotional items so consumers are tempted to purchase them again. 

In 2020, Fruit by the Foot sold the adorable Mini Feet. These came out just before the holidays and were marketed as great stocking stuffers. The Mini Feet measured at the standard three feet, but it was a smaller version of the typical Fruit by the Foot that we are used to. 

Fruit by the Foot has also teamed up with another well-known candy brand: Starburst. Earlier in 2020, the candies sold a limited edition Fruit by the Foot using the Starburst flavors of Cherry, Strawberry, Orange, and Lemon (via Delish). We'll be waiting to see what the brand comes up with next.

The brand has been involved in multiple lawsuits

When your brand is as big as Fruit by the Foot, at some point in your tenure you're likely to encounter a lawsuit or two. Unfortunately that's the world we live in, and even a long candy is not immune to some litigation every now and again.

Perhaps the candy's most notable lawsuit to date made news back in 2011 when it was accused of not using real fruits as part of its ingredients. A woman named Annie Lam filed the lawsuit in question in a California district court, claiming the packaging was misleading. General Mills initially tried to dismiss the lawsuit, but it was not able to do so and legal proceedings continued.

General Mills and Fruit by the Foot came under fire again in 2019 when a man named David Hayes filed a complaint claiming that Fruit by the Foot and other fruit-based snacks contain malic acid, commonly used to boost the flavor of sour candy. According to the lawsuit, malic acid should not be labeled as anything other than what it is, yet Hayes maintained that the snack's ingredient list misleadingly omitted the fact that malic acid was part of the mix.

Customers are upset with the new flavors

Though new Fruit by the Foot flavors are welcomed by consumers, not all have been quite so successful. The company has come out with lots of new flavors over the course of its existence, and reviewers have been very forthcoming with their opinions of them.

Over at the Betty Crocker product site, customers who didn't approve of the new flavors did not hold back. "The new blue raspberry flavor is disgusting chemical tasting trash ... Expect Betty Crockers [sic] quarterly revenue to take a hit, my normal purchase volume is extraordinary," one reviewer said. "This variety is horrible – the tie dye flavoring tastes horrible ... I now almost never purchase this product anymore," another user added. Not everybody was quite so upset, though. "I'm obsessed with the new flavors especially the blue raspberry!" one customer shared after the introduction of new flavors.

The new flavor might be noticeably less tasty since the snack is no longer made using artificial ingredients (more on that later). As Chef Master notes, food coloring can affect the taste of foods, and since it's now been omitted from Fruit by the Foot, customers may not find it quite as tasty as before. 

Fruit by the Foot went viral on TikTok

Everything seems to go viral on TikTok, and that includes Fruit by the Foot. For a while, there was a Fruit by the Foot challenge on the popular app where users tried to eat the food using only their mouths as fast as they could. 

A large number of users took part in the challenge, but there was one issue with it: it was called the Fruit Roll-Up challenge. Fruit Roll-Ups, though similar and also made by General Mills, are an entirely different candy. It does have a similar texture and flavor, but it's not nearly as long as Fruit by the Foot. Some users pointed this out on TikTok, while others just let it go. 

This is not the first time, and certainly not the last time, consumers have mixed up these two snacks. The Fruit by the Foot Twitter account has even alluded to this common mixup. As its bio reads, "All Fruit by the Foot are Fruit Roll Ups, but not all Fruit Roll Ups are Fruit by the Foot."

It's been used in drug trafficking

We don't know if Fruit by the Foot is used in criminal activity often, but we do know it has been on the wrong side of the law at least one time, though it wasn't exactly the snack's fault. According to ABC News 10, a man in Troy, New York was arrested in October 2020 for possession of crack cocaine that had been hidden inside several packages of Fruit by the Foot. The man also had fentanyl in his possession, as well as $2,800 in cash.

While this may be surprising to some, the truth is that Fruit by the Foot isn't the only candy that has been used in drug trafficking. The same year as the Fruit by the Foot incident in New York, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported that a man in Georgia was sentenced to prison for drug trafficking. He used candy to disguise the drugs as well, though the exact type of candy was not revealed. However a photo shared by ICE indicates that Fruit by the Foot is in the clear for this one, at least.

Fruit by the Foot comes in some unique flavors

Fruit by the Foot comes in its standard flavors (or as we learned, its new standard flavors, much to the dismay of some customers), but it also comes in packages you might not expect, like Sweet and Fiery Fruit by the Foot. Yes, this version of the beloved footlong candy is fruity and spicy and comes in two different flavors: Fiery Peach and Spicy Watermelon. 

The sweet and spicy craze has been popular for years now, and General Mills even used it in another familiar favorite candy – Fruit Gushers (via Walmart). These special edition Fruit Gushers had an extra flavor available, too, deemed Hot Mango.

Sometimes the brand steers away from unique flavors in favor of promotional branding, like when it teamed up with the popular children's show "iCarly" for a special edition box in the flavor LOL Punch. It also released a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles box, this time in the flavor Ninja Power Punch. Nothing packs a punch like promotional branding.

It is no longer made with artificial flavors

If you were worried about eating artificial flavors, worry no more, because as of 2017, Fruit by the Foot has stopped using artificial flavors in the production of this treat. General Mills announced in 2015 its plan to phase these ingredients out; as such, it now only uses natural ingredients and colors. 

Other products included in this decision were Fruit Roll-Ups and Gushers, so anyone allergic to certain dyes or other artificial ingredients can potentially now eat the snacks. Just be sure to check the labels first.

In addition to being free of artificial flavors, Fruit by Foot is also vegan. So, if you're looking for a fruit snack that doesn't contain animal products, then Fruit by the Foot is the snack for you. In fact, this section of the grocery store aisle may be well-suited for you if you're avoiding things like dairy and gelatin. We almost didn't believe it, but after checking out the ingredients list, we can confirm the snack is in fact vegan.