Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved Starburst candies. When my mom was brave enough to take me along to the grocery store, she’d let me choose a treat if I behaved. At those rare times I’d select a pack of Starburst. As a kid, it felt like I was getting a lot of bang for the buck because each “fruit chew” was individually wrapped. I could eat a few now, stash the rest in my pocket where they’d stay warm until I needed my next sugar high.
Fast forward a few decades to a time where my mother no longer takes me shopping and I have to secure my own stash of Starburst. These days, the only time I see Starburst are at Halloween and occasionally in the candy bowl at work. So today, while I was opening a “twin pack” of individually wrapped chewy goodness, I noticed these words on the back of the wrapper:
Questions or Comments? Call 1-800-551-0683
Since I wasn’t busy at the time I figured I’d give them a call and see if someone could answer several Starburst related questions I’ve had for years. I dialed the number and made my way through the maze of options including one to learn more about “the Mars policy concerning animal research”. Do they really test new candy on animals? I don’t plan to dig too deep there.
I eventually found myself on hold, waiting for the next available Mars consumer candy representative. After a few minutes, a polite guy named Cameron came on the line and was more than willing to field a few questions. Here’s how it went down:
Cameron: Thank you for calling the consumer division of Mars candy. How can I help you today?
Me: I’m looking for someone to answer a few Starburst related questions. Are you the guy?
Cameron: Yes, I can help you. What questions do you have?
Me: I love Starburst candies but my favorite flavor is strawberry. Is there a way to determine if a package is loaded with mostly strawberry chews? I’ve tried holding a pack up to the light, but that hasn’t worked well and I always feel a little cheated when a pack is mostly filled with yellow and oranges.
Cameron: There’s really no way to tell. Each pack or bag is filled based on a ratio of flavors. Would you like me to find out what that ratio to flavor is?
Me: Yes, if it’s not too much trouble. (I’m put on hold for about 45 seconds)
Cameron: The current flavor ratio is 25% per flavor. The original packs contain orange, lemon, strawberry and cherry flavors. But some packs or bags may contain more or less than 25% because they are placed in a large vat and mixed together before packaging.
Me: That’s really cool. Do you know if there are any plans to discontinue the yellow ones. They are my least favorite.
Cameron: At this time, I’m not aware of any plans to discontinue the lemon flavored chews.
Me: Is there a way I could buy a bag full of only the strawberry?
Cameron: No, not at this time, but you’re not the first to ask. I will pass that suggestion on to our marketing group who values the input from loyal customers like yourself.
Me: Thank you. How would I go about suggesting a new flavor?
Cameron: You can tell me and I’ll pass it on for you.
Me: Cool. I’d like to suggest a lime flavored Starburst.
Cameron: We do have a lemon-lime in the “Baja pack”, but not lime only. I’ll pass that on to our marketing department.
Me: Do you have a lot of people call up asking about Starburst?
Cameron: I wouldn’t say a lot but we have a few who call us with questions.
Me: You’ve been very kind. Thank you for your help. That’s it for now.
Cameron: Thank you for calling the consumer division of Mars Candy and I hope you continue to enjoy Starburst candies.