Taste the fiery rainbow
Credit: Photo courtesy of Skittles

Foods generally fall into one of two categories: the savory and the sweet. Along those lines, snacks tend to be members of the former group, while candy lands in the latter. But as brands seek to grab the shortened attention spans of younger consumers, creating unexpected flavor combinations has become a go-to move. Thus, our store shelves have been increasingly stocked with items like White Chocolate Peppermint Pringles, Potato Kit Kats, and now, spicy Skittles.

Officially called Sweet Heat Skittles, this taste bud-teasing take on tasting the rainbow was first announced by Wrigley last May, but has only now landed in grocery stores nationwide. Featuring five flavors—Sizzlin' Strawberry, Fiery Watermelon, Flamin' Orange, Lemon Spark, and Blazin' Mango—the brand boasted on its official Instagram account that this new Skittles incarnation is “like rainbows in the winter. Sweet with a lovely surprise of heat.”

To help launch the new product, Skittles turned to its favorite spokesman, NFL running back and well-established Skittles lover Marshawn Lynch, for a promotional video that sent the football player to a senior living community to see how an older generation took to these unconventional candies. Apparently, Skittles wasn’t content with letting these people enjoy their golden years without getting spicy candy stuck between their teeth.

Still, the video does provide some insight into Sweet Heat Skittles, which are described as having a heat that “sneaks up on you.” That sentiment was confirmed in a review on the site The Impulsive Buy, which back in September wrote, “It’s a slow burn. You can taste the fruit first and as you chew it kicks in.” That said, the site also stressed that these candies are “not excessively spicy.” “They’re not even Warheads candy-level,” The Impulsive Buy wrote, “but there’s still a nice kick. It smolders for about ten minutes. If I could compare the level of spiciness to anything, it’s like you had something with hot sauce about an hour ago and your mouth is starting to get back to normal.”

Also worth noting is that Sweet Heat Skittles are not alone: Wrigley has also added Sweet Heat Starbursts which come in a similar flavor lineup of Flamin’ Orange, Fiery Watermelon, Strawberry Mango, and Pipin’ Pineapple. So if you’ve been dreaming of a spicy fruity candy, you now have two different options to keep an eye out for. Meanwhile, if you prefer your candies sweet, the moral appears to be… go join a retirement center? It’s all so confusing!