Back in March, my mother and I were discussing LifeSavers candy.  When was the last time you saw them for sale in a store?  Think about it.  They have almost vanished.  To clarify, I’m talking about the traditional five flavor rolls.  You can still find them in bags, in gummy variety, etc.  I decided to investigate.

In May of 2002, LifeSavers, a division of Kraft Foods, announced they were closing their factory in Holland, Michigan.  Kraft cited the high cost of sugar in the United States as the primary factor for its decision to relocate to Canada.  Over 600 U.S. jobs were lost.

On August 15, 2003, LifeSavers announced a new flavor lineup.  Raspberry, watermelon, and blackberry would replace orange, lemon, and lime.  Only the original pineapple and cherry would remain.  The new flavors were selected by consumers in early 2003.  This marked the first flavor change since LifeSavers “rolled” out in 1935.

In November of 2004, Chicago-based Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company announced an agreement to buy LifeSavers (and Altoids) from Kraft Foods.  The transaction is worth $1.48 billion.  Wrigley outbid Hershey, Mars, Nestle, and Cadbury Schweppes.

Factoid:  The shelf life for a roll of LifeSavers is 12 months.

So can you still get rolls of lifesavers?  Yes.  Will it be what you remember growing up with?  No.  But if you really want some and can’t find them locally, here is an online store that has them for sale:


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