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HERE’S What Happened to Sour Starburst (2023 update)

When Starburst decided to discontinue their highly popular sour gummies, you could imagine things turned pretty ‘sour’ with the fans! 

There was a massive uproar on the internet over the company’s decision to dissolve that flavor, with millions still looking for them online. 

One fan tweeted, “I got a bag of Starburst sour gummies for my boyfriend last year, and he absolutely LOVED them. How can they just stop making them?!” 

We understood the frustration of our fellow sour candy admirers. And that is exactly why we dug up the actual reason behind the publically acclaimed taffy.

So why were sour Starburst discontinued, especially if there are so many people still complaining about it even in the year 2022?

To find out, just sit back, grab some other delightful Starburst flavor and start reading. On a personal note, we’d recommend that you try the pink one – it’s the best! 

Starburst and Its Flavorful History 

If you haven’t come across the sweet and sour Starburst taffies that come in bright packaging, you haven’t lived enough. 

But seriously, do you live under a rock? 

But for those who have tried it, we appreciate your taste and culture. For something that fits so well in the contemporary world, would you be surprised if we told you that Starburst candies have been around since the 1960s? 

Granted, they had a different name back then. But what do we care, we just want to eat them! But Starburst’s rise to fame isn’t just a normal boring history lecture, it is actually interesting to see how they established themselves in the global market. 

Now let’s rewind a bit for our ignorant brothers. Starburst is a soft and irresistible fruit-flavored candy that stores sell as a taffy.

Because of the attractive packaging, soft and chewy texture, and a vast combination of fruity flavors, everyone in the whole wide world is obsessed with them! 

The creators of the candy market it as something that they make out of real juice that they freshly take out of delicious fruit.

While that may seem like a tall claim, chewing a soft Starburst taffy is an experience in itself. Doing so will take you back to the countryside with the winds blowing on your face. That’s real fruit juice, alright! 

The candies first came into existence in 1960, reports Forward, when the popular company Mars, Incorporated came up with the idea of inducting the perfect blend of softness, sourness, and sweetness in single, plastic-wrapped, square taffies. 

Upon its launch, the candies experienced moderate success, avoiding abject failure but not impressing too many people either.

For better marketability, Mars decided to hold a competition to name the fruit-flavored candies. 

So what were Starburst originally called? As per multiple reports, Peter Pfeffer, an employee in some advertising agency, came up with the name, “Opal Fruits”, which struck well with the company officials. 

And that is how Opal Fruits, the popular Starburst taffies that we know today, came into existence in the United Kingdom.

Want to know what happened to Peter, the one who gave a name to the old sour starburst? According to Wikipedia, the lad won £5 for his creative genius. 

That’s it, seriously? He could’ve won more if he’d just bought the candy jar and sold it to kids on the streets!

But granted, factoring in other details like the inflation and the economic crisis of 2022, that prize would amount to more than £100 today. Still, I’d rather have a bug of my favorite Starburst mini sours

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Starburst Takes Over the World

After a while, Opal Fruits struck a chord with the UK market. People loved the differently-flavored candies.

And it offered a unique experience, something that no other chocolate or candy could offer – the freshness of it was almost infectious. 

Now, Mars wanted to expand their market. They wanted to shift to the United States. To appeal to their market, the company changed the candies’ name from Opal Fruits to Starburst.

It turned out to be a good move, considering the candies grew very popular in the States.

After a while, Mars tried to globalize their product. For that, they needed to choose one common name for their popular sour candies.

They chose to go with Starburst, pushing Opal Fruits aside. You might guess that the Brits weren’t happy about that. 

In 1998, when the company decided to change the candy’s name to Starburst in the UK as well, the country protested. By now, Opal Fruits had gained some loyal traditionalists. They didn’t want to see their beloved candies stripped of their maiden name! 

Unfortunately, the taffies were so delicious that nobody could boycott them out of frustration. As a result, the protests died down and the name Starburst stuck.

Of course, it took a whole generation of UK residents to grow old and lose their teeth before everyone started calling the popular sweet-and-sour candies Starbursts. 

Since then, Starbursts didn’t engage in any other controversy. At least not by themselves. Their customers are always on the warpath, battling on Twitter to decide which flavor is the best. Spoiler alert, it’s PINK! 

Why Was Sour Starburst Discontinued?

The fact that sour Starbursts still receive so much reverence even today is somewhat unacceptable. 

Where was this support when Mars, Incorporated launched the product? The question stands even taller when we realized that the company discontinued sour Starbursts because of low sales. 

See what irks us now? When we speak of the reason behind the gradual disappearance of Starburst’s sour gummies, most reports agree on the same – that the product sales weren’t high enough for the company to continue selling them. 

So if people weren’t buying the sour candies back then, why are they looking for them, all of a sudden in 2022, years after the product disappeared from the market? Your guess is as good as ours. 

But this is where another theory comes in. Some sources also speculate that Mars stopped producing their sour candies because they had some dodgy ingredients. But honestly, candies made out of real fruit juices are the opposite of dodgy! 

Because of how reliable and authentic Mars is, and how effective their other products are, nobody bought this theory. Thus, it leaves us with the original speculation – starburst sour gummies just didn’t sell enough. 

So if you are one of those nostalgic customers spamming “where can I buy sour starburst” on your Google search, you’re one of the reasons why it’s not there in the market. You simply didn’t buy enough! 

With an array of delightful flavors such as sour tangerine, sour green apple, sour strawberry, and so on, it came as a huge surprise to us that the product didn’t sell enough. Even writing about these sour taffies is mouth-watering for us!

Don’t worry, though. Thankfully, Starburst is still around, and you can get any of their candies from the huge collection that they have developed over the years.

While the flavor you are looking for might not be available anymore, it’s gone for a reason. 

Maybe all the other candies were better, maybe it had some unhealthy effect on consumers. Truth is, we have to move on now, however “sour” taste the fact leaves in our mouths. 

The good old Starburst mini sours didn’t sell enough, and as a result, had to be shut down. But there are tons of other flavors to choose from, and we’ll be more than glad to guide you through them. 

When Was Sour Starburst Discontinued?

There’s no clear date as to when the product officially left the market. But as its introduction was in the years 2006-2007, we can assume that the product completely disappeared from official circulation in 2011, but we cannot be too sure about that figure. 

Many fans, however, will feel relieved that although the company has discontinued the product, you can still get the sour gummies from some platforms. These include Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, and so on.

How to Enjoy Starbursts without Having Sour Candies?

As we mentioned, Starburst’s seemingly popular sour gummies have eroded after a ginormous lack of sales. But we cannot let that prevent us from enjoying all the other goodies of the world. 

Especially not Starbursts’ very own other, much more flavorful goodies. 

To help you get the best experience, here’s how you can treat yourself to a Starburst without going “sour” on the head.

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Have Starburst Duos:

Confused about which flavor to get? Originally, Opal Fruits only had limited selections. Customers could choose between strawberry, lemon, orange, and lime. The good thing about Starburst is that they retained the original classics. 

But at the same time, they gave us tons of new flavors. While you can enjoy your favorites, why not have some more fun exploring? You can do that more efficiently with the company’s latest product – Starburst Duo. 

Enjoy the anticipation of opening the wrapper and not knowing what’s inside. Keep the excitement to a maximum, and your taste buds are on the guard. You don’t know what you’re going to get, but it’s going to be good. 

Go Pink, Go Happy:

Alright, alright, we’re here to settle the age-old Twitter debate. What is the most popular Starburst flavor? 

At the risk of starting an online riot, we’ll try to keep it environmental-friendly. PINK is the most popular and arguably the most delicious flavor that Starburst has to offer. If you want to play it safe and just have good candy, go pink. 

There’s one more important question – what’s the least favorite Starburst? While there are definite answers to that question, we will leave that to the reader’s discretion. Subjectivity in taste applies to products that we don’t like as a community.

But if you don’t agree that Pink is the best flavor, then you and we have a problem. 

Try a Cocktail: 

Believe it or not, Starbursts will allow you to drink a dessert. 

Chewing feels like a task to you? Don’t worry, Mars has got you covered. They’ve now launched Starburst Cosmopolitans, and the taste is beyond what we were expecting.

Honestly, the idea of having candy in your drink isn’t as appealing. But imagine the fruity flavor of Starburst adding that sour richness to a fresh beverage. 

Is that the sound of your mouth watering that we hear?

A Sweet Goodbye 

We talked a lot about sour things, but we would like for our journey to end on a sweet note. Unless, of course, you liked the article so much that you’re going to read it twice (in which case, we shall meet again in about 5 minutes). 

Starburst’s sour gummies are something to die for, and even though they are discontinued, we can still get them on multiple platforms. Let’s hope that the product remains in circulation for a long time.

And if not, we’re sure that Starburst will come up with something new that tastes just as exciting.