Three months after certifying that their fruit-flavored candies are "guaranteed to actually float while in space," Skittles is offering one lucky fan the chance to test it out for themselves.
Mars Incorporated, the confectioner behind the "Taste the Rainbow" brand of candies, is giving away a zero-g experience for two from Zero Gravity Corporation, "along with a bag of limited-edition Zero-G Skittles." Another 99 winners will also be selected to receive limited edition "Zero-G" candy packs.
To enter, Skittles and space fans only need to buy a Skittles product from Amazon and submit their order number with their contest entry at SkittlesInSpace.com. The sweepstakes began on Thursday (Sept. 30) and runs through Oct. 14.
The contest and special Zero-G packs of Skittles — the latter featuring aluminum packaging and Planet Pineapple, Rocket Raspberry and Berry Blast-flavor candies, Skittles' first ever blue and purple only mix pack — are in celebration of Skittles being flown on the first crewed flight of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket in July. Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who founded the commercial spaceflight company and flew on board the suborbital spaceflight, revealed the candies once he was floating weightless just above the boundary separating Earth from space.
"Who wants a Skittle?" said Bezos, before tossing the candies around the New Shepard cabin to his three crewmates, including his brother Mark, 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk and 18-year-old physics student Oliver Daemen. Video from on board the capsule showed the four catching the candies astronaut-style, using only their mouths.
The grand prize winner of the Skittles Zero-G Sweepstakes may be able to re-stage the scene without entering space. Passengers aboard Zero G Corporation's modified Boeing 727 experience brief periods of weightlessness as the plane follows a parabolic trajectory through the sky. As the plane crests the parabola and dives, the passengers are in free-fall, but without any wind resistance, float about the padded cabin.
The contest is open only to legal age residents of the United States, except those living in New York, Florida, Puerto Rico and all U.S. territories and possessions. Eligible individuals can also enter without purchase by emailing the words "Skittles in Space" to WrigleyTeam@icf.com. For the sweepstakes' full entry rules, see the SkittlesInSpace.com website.
In addition to the Zero-G packs and the contest, Skittles also celebrated its New Shepard flight by making a donation to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Although it may have been Skittles' first shout-out from space, the candy's ride with Blue Origin was not its first taste of zero gravity. The colorful confections were also flown to the International Space Station as crew-preference snacks.
Blue Origin has announced its next crewed New Shepard spaceflight for Oct. 12. Whether Skittles will again be aboard is still to be seen.