The history of General Mills fruit snacks

From the debut of Fruit Roll-Ups to designer shoes from Gushers, General Mills fruit snacks have been delighting consumers for decades.
Fruit Roll-Ups hot colors

The frenzy for fruit snacks begins

Research and development on the concept of fruit snacks started in 1975 in the desserts division at General Mills when a new fruit filling was being developed for a cake mix.   

At the time, another company had a “fruit leather” product that General Mills used as a benchmark to develop a similar, but better, product. 

Our version was tested and revised until it was ready to go into test markets in 1979. 

You just might recognize the name – Fruit Roll-Ups! 

Fruit Roll-Ups officially moved into the Betty Crocker division of the company in 1980 and was advertised as a nutritious and satisfying snack. 

While fruit snacks debuted in the late 70s, there wasn’t a time quite like the 90s that saw a frenzy for these sweet, gummy morsels. 

In the 90s, General Mills introduced a Fruit Roll-Up mascot: the Great Rolupo, a wizard who enticed kids to enjoy a rainbow of fruit flavors. 

While Rolupo was only around until 1991, he left his mark by giving fans one of the most iconic fruit snack features: the peel-out shape.