Skittles temporarily ditches its rainbow colours

The brand wants the focus to shift to "the only rainbow" that matters, part of a range of Pride activities in Canada.

SKITTLES

It’s known for the slogan imploring people to “Taste the Rainbow” but now it’s removing the colourful spectrum, at least temporarily.

For the first time in Canada, Skittles is temporarily removing the rainbow colouring from its candies and has changed its rainbow packaging for Pride Month. This, the brand believes, is to show that during Pride, only there is “only one rainbow” that matters. The limited edition Pride Skittles are now available at retailers across Canada.

Jaclyn Sutton, head of strategy and marketing at Mars Wrigley, says that the brand ditched colours for Pride in 2016 in London, and similarly in Germany in 2017.

She says the grey-scale rainbow motif is all about standing in solidarity with the LGBTQ2+community. “We have a responsibility to use our voice, and the power of our brand for good,” she says. “It’s about creating better moments that make the world smile,” she says.

The brand also has a number of Pride-related activities happening on the ground. On June 22 in Toronto, the brand has enlisted Shangela – a drag queen best known for multiple appearances on RuPaul’s Drag Race – to host a celebration where marriage ceremonies for four same-sex couples will be performed. On Aug. 4 in Vancouver, Skittles is unveiling an interactive installation during the city’s Pride Festival, a voice-activated tower of light that is illuminated with different patterns depending on the sounds it detects.

As part of its Pride efforts, Skittles is also sending more than 150 Canadian youth to queer-friendly camps, including Ontario’s Camp Rainbow Phoenix, BC’s CampOUT and the Youth Project in Nova Scotia.

“We chose charity partners which were national, so we could be a bit broader than just a Toronto community,” Sutton says.