"Who wants a Skittle?"
With those four words delivered from high above Earth, Jeff Bezos not only launched a handful of the fruit-flavored candies floating about his Blue Origin New Shepard space capsule, but also inspired a new, limited-edition variety of the popular colorful treats.
Mars, Incorporated, the confectioner behind the "Taste the Rainbow" brand, announced on Thursday (July 22) that it has created "Zero-G Skittles," celebrating its candies' high-profile trip two days earlier aboard the first suborbital spacecraft to take a paying passenger into space.
"Skittles is always looking for ways to surprise fans, both earthlings and extraterrestrials, with shocking innovation. We're thrilled to bring better moments to fans by marking Skittles' [latest] trip to space with limited edition packs and look forward to pushing the boundaries of confectionery space exploration," Fernando Rodrigues, Mars' senior brand manager for Skittles, said in a statement.
Packaged in an aluminum pouch, the new Zero-G Skittles will come with only blue and purple-colored candies — a first for the brand — featuring flavors Pineapple Passionfruit, Raspberry and Berry Punch. As tested by astronauts, the label on the silvery pack promotes that Skittles "now floats in space!"
Fans desiring their own Zero-G Skittles need only follow the candy online to learn how "they might be lucky enough" to get a pack later this summer.
"Limited Edition Zero-G Skittles have been through rigorous testing and space camp. They're guaranteed to actually float while in space. Check back on our social pages to see how you can get your hands on a pack of these!" the brand tweeted on Thursday.
Bezos' choice of Skittles was his own, according to a spokesperson for the candy brand. Mars, Inc. had no knowledge its candies were aboard the mission until, like the rest of the world, Bezos began tossing them to his crewmates — 18-year-old physics student Oliver Daemen, 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk and Bezos' younger brother, Mark.
Though it may have been Skittles' first shout-out from space, the candies' ride on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket was not its first taste of microgravity. The bite-sized chewy candies with a colorful shell have previously been enjoyed by the astronauts on board the International Space Station as crew-preference snacks.
In addition to the new Zero-G packs, Skittles is also following in Bezos' footsteps by making a donation to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in support of inspiring the next generation of innovators and explorers. Prior to his launch, Bezos made a historic $200 million gift to the institution, the largest since its founding, to support the ongoing renovation of the museum and the launch of a new education center.
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