On TikTok, all it takes is one viral video or trend to make a product sell out at an exponential rate.
And while this is good news for some retailers looking to make a splash, it can have an adverse effect on companies in smaller markets that quickly run out of items without being able to immediately restock.
This has been the case for Fruit Roll-Ups, the famed sweet snack that recently went viral on TikTok after users started a trend of taking a scoop of mango sorbet (or another ice cream) and placing it inside a roll-up, which quickly (and surprisingly) hardens to become crunchy.
Last week, a local news outlet in Israel reported that two Americans were caught smuggling over four suitcases full of Fruit Roll-Ups, nearly 375 pounds of the candy total.
An American couple was caught trying to smuggle 375 POUNDS of Fruit Roll Ups into the State of Israel after prices skyrocketed once the snack became part of a viral TikTok trend.
Did you pack your bags yourselves and also are they full of exclusively candy? pic.twitter.com/GtGh76Z9n9
— Amy Spiro (@AmySpiro) May 1, 2023
A second shipment was intercepted just days later in the mail, leading the total intercepted amount of the candy snack to be roughly 650 pounds worth.
Smuggling the candy in prevents shoppers from having to pay Israel’s mandatory taxes, which makes the government and merchants miss out on valuable cash had the candy not been sold through the black market.
There’s been a surge of demand for Fruit Roll-ups thanks to TikTok, according to the Times of Israel, which has led to a skyrocketing price increase for those looking to purchase a box, no matter where you live.
Retailers in Israel are reportedly selling individual Fruit Roll-Ups for upwards of $6. In comparison, a value pack box of 20 Fruit Roll-Ups on average goes for $5.68 at Walmart in the U.S.
@golisdream #sweetdreams #fruitrollups #icecream ♬ original sound – Goli
The craze has become so apparent that the Health Ministry of Israel released a statement in light of the Fruit Roll-Ups hype.
“Glucose, corn syrup and dry corn syrup are all sugar — a lot of different types of sugar,” the statement said. “Sugar consumption has been found to be associated with weight gain. A variety of related diseases are attributed to sugar consumption such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, dental caries and more.”