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RUNTS RANT!: How Nestle keeps dropping the Wonka ball

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Wonka Runts Rant
Candy is serious business. Well maybe not exactly, but it’s generally thought to be a bad idea to muck with things that people are personally invested in. No matter what it is, someone out there loves it and they’re going to be angry when it changes.

Case in point: Willy Wonka substituted cherry and lime with pineapple and mango in its popular Runts candy this past year with less than stellar response. Mango is a highly unusual flavor to see as far as candy goes, although I found the Runts version to be adequately pleasing. Pineapple, while usually popular enough, is executed horribly for Runts. Both the shape and the flavor are crude representations of actual fruit and it is not very pleasing to the eye or the tongue.

Wonka Runts Package

So why would Wonka replace two original (and in the case of cherry, very popular) flavors for two that lack the quality or recognition to fill their void? Who’s to say? Though the “¡Sabores Nuevos! Piña Y Mango” emblazoned on the package would appear to speak volumes about the decision to include these new flavors.

This isn’t the first time that changes have been made to the Runts lineup. In the late 90’s lime was replaced with two flavors, watermelon and blue raspberry (both originally from the short-lived Tropical Runts). So in effect four flavors were lost to make room for pineapple and mango. Another variation called Rock N’ Runts came a little later comprised of the offending pineapple, lemon, watermelon, raspberry, and grape.

Wonka Runts Spanish

While many find the substitution of lime and cherry to be a travesty, my aggravation goes a level deeper. To me Runts are the last bastion of the fruit flavor flag previously carried by Wonka’s legendary Wacky Wafers. There are many fruit flavored candies on the market, but none were as fine as the versions found in Wacky Wafers. Something that Runts shared with the now discontinued Wacky Wafers were the carryover of both the banana and the orange flavors (unfortunately, strawberry didn’t make the same transition).

Now if I were going to make a change to Runts, I would look to the past. I would reintroduce Runts with the Wacky Wafer lineup using those flavor versions of green apple, strawberry, watermelon, orange and banana. A change like this (although still omitting the much loved cherry) would be met with more open arms by the public at large than the inclusion of a poorly translated pineapple and the less than popular mango.

I can’t fault Nestle/Wonka for trying to cater to the Hispanic demographic as it continues to rise in prominence across the country, but there has to be a better way than experimenting (poorly) with such a popular product. Instead, embrace the past with a line of Wacky Runts with the flavors used in Wacky Wafers, and reintroduce Tropical Runts with Pineapple, Mango, Lemon, Lime, and Cherry. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

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29 Responses to “RUNTS RANT!: How Nestle keeps dropping the Wonka ball”

  1. 1
    RonaldtheDonald says:


    Seriously, Runts are one of my favorite candies! They can’t do this to runts!

    I’m e-mailing this link to my family… anyone want to start an online petition?

  2. 2
    Brian says:

    The mango is nasty and the pineapple is not so good either. Bring back cherry and lime!

  3. 3
    ajewel says:

    I totally agree that Runts are off the list! I had some Runts in the Halloween candy when I was passing it out, and they were AWFUL! I guess it had been quite a while since I last had Runts, because I didn’t know they had discontinued the lime so long ago.

  4. 4
    maxo says:

    I agree, mango is funky and the pineapple tastes like dirt (literally). Lime is where its at.

  5. 5
    AntFan says:

    Pineapple looks like a stalk of Celery! LOL!

  6. 6
    Mandy says:

    My fave was lime! I do like pineapple flavored stuff so I will have to see how these taste. I am upset that they changed, though. Why would they do that?

    P.S. I miss Wacky Wafers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. 7
    GinsuVictim says:

    Nestle has ruined the Wonka name. About the only Wonka stuff I even buy now are Nerds and Bottle Caps.
    Runts was once a favorite of mine. No more.
    Also, what happened to the old “Tart ‘n’ Tiny”?
    I think that was the original name before they became “Tiny Tarts”. I’m talking before they had a candy shell, when they were rough, tasty cylinders.
    Miss those.

  8. 8
    Justin says:

    I used to love runts…now I see them in the store and just walk right by them. They got rid of to of the best flavors for flavors that suck lol. I say get rid of pineapple and mango and bring back lime, cherry, blue-raspberry, and watermelon! Until at least cherry and lime come back, I don’t think I’ll be spending my money on them. Only one saying comes to my mind when it comes to runts: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  9. 9
    steve says:

    I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who has been scarred by the mango and pineapple travesty. I was afraid it would be allowed to go unnoticed. Surely it will become obvious to Wonka that the change should not stick.

  10. 10
    Noah says:

    I have been pissed off for YEARS about Runts getting rid of lime, and then now they get rid of cherry!? A STAPLE of tons of candy out there! I don’t know what Nestle is thinking. I have tried to find a contact on their webpage but I can’t seem to find anything. I don’t understand how they can get away with this, LOL! Also, bring back Dweebs, Tart N Tiny’s, and Wacky Wafers!!! Classic candy!

  11. 11
    D. Bradley says:

    If people would stop complaining out there and simply stop”buying” the product- change happens. Power will always be in numbers, if this was not the case, every business would dry up. So ask yourself: you want change? Then you will know what to do- As with gas and other items we rely on. Dont buy it for a week and see what happens- it would be a dark day for profit- ride a bike for a week. It is not “all for one” and filing complaints individually- group together, stand up for what you want=”happens”… that simple, yet our human nature individually squanders and ponders. Go figure- Hail to the past … “To Pez and Wacky Wafers” grand as they were, humans never change- Peace to all, D

  12. 12
    Nick says:

    I loved the old runts. I now i have a huge craving for the original flavors. I remember the first time I bought a new box and when I pulled a pineapple out, I thought it was a disformed banana. Laughing at it I ate, then quickly spit it out. If anyone knows where to get the old recipe, feel free to post it on here. I have searched everywhere online to get it.

  13. 13
    valerie says:

    Subject: candy wonka runts
    The new appearance of the candy runts:
    The lime change for pineaples. It’ not a good idea. I love it the green lime!!The new flavors of red (cherry): really it’s not good… I will want to have my first runts with the lime and cherry!! If no, I stop buying the runts! And you can stop your product!!

  14. 14
    Wayne says:


  15. 15
    DP says:

    They should just take pineapple and mango and put them back in Tropical Runts. Which should come back! Along with ble raspberry, watermelon, lime, and cherry.

  16. 16
    jeremy says:

    i have been so pissed that i cant buy runts with cherry and lime in it. i first saw these new flavors and i thought oh a limited edition of flavors thats okay. then i found out they got rid of C and L permanently for these god awful tasting flavors. i cant believe they would do this to one of the best candies out there. nestle change it back and rid us of the horrible candy.

  17. 17
    Lisa says:

    I still can’t believe that they did this! How can we get them to realize that mango is awful and the pineapple isn’t much better? I want cherry and lime back!

  18. 18
    markc says:

    yea glad i’m not the only one who feels this was a brain dead move. they ruined the product. and how about the old orange and cherry nerds? those used to be be my favorites. gone! we the #^$# do they keep taking off the market the best candy in the world?!? they seem to be in habit of ruining their product line. it’s not just these guys either, the co that makes jolly rancher did the same hairbrained move and erradicted the old lineup that had lemon and etc in it. no more to be found. it defies belief …..

  19. 19
    Sedge says:

    I like the pineapple, but I can’t understand how they could replace cherry with mango. Mango is not my friend.

  20. 20
    Jennifer says:

    RUNTS ROCK!!!!! Wonka is a moron…..Bring back lime and cherry.

  21. 21
    Jorie says:

    I just opened a fun-size bag of runts that I’d received at Halloween and starting eating them. Well I popped this one in my mouth and it didn’t taste right to me. was the mango kind!!! I hadn’t realized until now that the RUnts flavor lineup had changed, but now that I know I am so bummed. I grew up with Runts havng been a kid in the 90s and cherry, lime, blue rapsberry, and watermelon all deserve to come back!!!! Mango and pineapple just tarnish the classic Runt lineup.

  22. 22
    Kiki says:

    I have written to Nestle at least 4 different times since last Halloween when I first noticed the change. I always get a “standard response.” Maybe if more people actually sent in complaints through the Nestle website, they would do something about it. It has been over a year, and I have searched weekly for news of a classic flavor comeback. Please write to them. I don’t believe that boycotting alone will do much of anything. A runt strike will not have the same impact as a gas strike.

  23. 23
    tara says:

    i agree ughh.. it made me mad. the new new pina flavor is most of the little fun sized bag if full of them.. AND THEY GOT RID OF BLUEBERRY AND WATERMELON!??! and besides the banana everything taste different..GET RID OF THE PINA

  24. 24
    Katie says:

    HOW COULD THEY REPLACE ALL OF THE GOOD FLAVORS???? Sure, they may trick people initially, but as soon as they open the box they will know they have been had!!! All I have to say is gross, gross, gross.
    I want my good runts back and my WACKY WAFERS back!
    What are they thinking? I mean look at the demand. We are posting websites about CANDY!

  25. 25
    maxo says:

    I have in my posession the new 4th generation of flavors, aka sabores mas nuevos: pineapple and dirt-mango are gone and have been replaced by green apple and grape! The green apple are very tasty, and use the old apple (cherry?) shape. The grape inexplicably uses the mango shape, but tastes good with the superfake grape gum flavor. And for some reason the strawberries are redder but taste the same. the people have spoken, and they said no mas to sabores that taste like dirt.

  26. 26
    Jeri says:

    I’m sorry, but I disagree with all of you about pineapple and mango being gross,(I think they’re wonderful!) but I did like the original flavors, so since mango is my favorite flavor, and I wouldn’t care if they got rid of the strawberry, I think they should make all of them, and put them all in the same box, yum yum.

  27. 27
    Laura says:

    I saw this post when I first realized mango and pineapple were the disgusting new additions to my favorite candy of all-time! I was so mad that I wrote a letter to nestle/wonka and what did they send me back? A coupon for $2.99 worth of candy so I could try something new. Needless to say I didn’t use it because I already know what else they sell and that wasn’t the point. However, walking past the bulk candy section of the grocery store today I see new colors including PURPLE in the mix and was extremely excited! Although nothing will be the same as the original, I find the grape a HUGE improvement from pineapple, and green apple is hands down a better choice than mango. All I can say is that all of us who complained combined with the drop in sales they finally did something. It’s about time!!!

  28. 28
    Susane says:

    I agree that they need to go back to original flavors. The pineapple and mango are disgusting. I have found that most stores in my area do not even carry runts any more because people won’t buy the Tropical version.

  29. 29
    Shana says:

    This flavors are actually my favorite. . .I love the pineapple its one of my favorites. . .They have new flavors that I dont like and they replaced the pineapple and mango its grape and green apple and I really dont care for them at all and it they made some kind of change to the strawberry the color is darker and it tastes different. I agree they need to STOP changing them!

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