19 Sep
Rowntree's Fruit Gums - The Chewy British Classic!

They're chewy, deliciously fruity and are a true British classic sweet. However, today's Fruit Gums by Rowntree's are quite different to the original product that was invented and launched in 1893. They were called Clear Gums, for starters, and there was an extra flavour, which was raspberry. The sweets contained at least 30% more sugar, too.

Three tubes (rolls) of Rowntree's Fruit Gums with different wrapper designs from 2012, 2015 and 2023.

Back in the 20th century, Fruit Gums were also available to buy in small cartons, and these were particularly popular around Christmastime.

In 2011, the sugar content was reduced by 30%, making the gums better for your own gums and your overall health.

The tube version was dropped in 2020 by Nestle, and the pouch version became recyclable and vegan friendly. However, due to consumer pressure, the tubes were reintroduced in 2022, and were also made vegan-friendly.


Fruit Gums are a harder, chewier and longer-lasting version of Rowntree's other fruity classic Fruit Pastilles, and come in the same five flavours; Strawberry, Blackcurrant, Lemon, Lime and Orange. They are currently available in two formats, pouches (bags) and tubes (rolls). 

Each sweet in the bagged version is shaped like the fruit that relates to its flavour. The sweets in tubes are circular. However, both versions include the same five flavours.

This image shows three rolls of Fruit Gums with different wrapper designs from 2012 (top), 2015 (centre) and 2023 (bottom).

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Advertising campaigns

Between 1958 and 1961, Rowntree's ran an ad campaign which included the song and slogan "Don't forget the Fruit Gums, Mum!". The young boy in the advert is the actor Dennis Waterman, who went on to play the lead role of Sergeant George Carter in the 1970s British police drama series The Sweeney, and then the lead role of Terry McCann in the first 7 series of the 80s comedy drama Minder. However, the person singing the song is the actress Denise Bryer, and she was married to Nicholas Parsons at this time. 

A 1978 TV advert aired on ITV that featured two young girls at a castle watching an ancient ceremony where keys are handed over at the gate. The Scottish tour guide announces that "this ancient ceremony has lasted since 1245". The girl holding a packet of Fruit Gums turns to her friend and says "These fruit gums have lasted since 10:45" (as in the time) and they both giggle. The ad ends with the tag line "Nothing lasts like a Rowntree's Fruit Gum".


Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Starch, Gum Arabic, Acids (Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Acetic Acid), Concentrated Fruit Juice (1%) (Apple, Blackcurrant, Orange, Lime, Strawberry, Lemon), Acidity Regulator (Trisodium Citrate), Flavourings, Colours (Anthocyanins, Copper Complexes of Chlorophyllins, Beta-Carotene, Curcumin), Glazing Agent (Carnauba Wax).

Fruit Gums contain no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or animal-derived ingredients.

Alternatives to Fruit Gums

Another sweet variety which you may like to try that are very similar to Fruit Gums are Wine Gums, which are also chewy, fruit-flavoured sweets. Skittles by Wrigley Mars are also deliciously fruity, but have a much softer texture.

We hope you have enjoyed reading about the British classic Rowntree's Fruit Gums. 

Yellow carton of Rowntree's Fruit Gums (1970s) which images of each sweet displayed.

A carton of Fruit Gums from the 1970s, which included the now defunct raspberry flavour.

Rowntree's Fruit Gums share pouch and tube from 2022. Vegan friendly and softer chew

The packaging from 2022 which is labelled as "Now vegan friendly with softer chew".

Everything you need to know about Wine Gums

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