US Couple Caught Smuggling 375 Pounds of Fruit Roll-Ups into Israel
In a Nutshell:
- A viral TikTok trend involving Fruit Roll-Ups has led to a black market, with two Americans caught smuggling 375 pounds of the candy into Israel and 10 mail shipments intercepted, totaling 650 pounds of confiscated Fruit Roll-Ups.
- The popularity of the candy has skyrocketed in Israel, with stores selling out and merchants charging $5 to $6 for a single Fruit Roll-Up, prompting people to attempt smuggling the candy into the country.
- Despite the craze, the Israeli Health Ministry has warned against consuming Fruit Roll-Ups, citing potential health risks and suggesting cucumber rolls as a healthier alternative.
A sweet, sticky snack has found itself in the center of an international smuggling scandal, proving that sometimes, crime really does pay – in Fruit Roll-Ups.
Thanks to a TikTok trend that has revived the popularity of the classic candy, people are going to great lengths to get their hands on them, even if it means breaking the law.
On May 1, Mako, an Israeli news outlet, reported that two Americans were stopped at customs at Ben Gurion International Airport with four suitcases chock-full of fruity contraband. Each passenger had two suitcases filled to the brim with cellophane-wrapped Fruit Roll-Ups.
In a video embedded in the report, customs officers can be seen rummaging through the suitcases, uncovering layer after layer of the fruit leather-style candy. One man, questioned about the sugary haul, claimed that the hundreds of Fruit Roll-Ups were for relatives in Israel.
Amy Spiro, a journalist at the Times of Israel, tweeted another video showing the suitcases bursting with the candy, writing: “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.”
But that wasn’t the end of the Fruit Roll-Up crime spree. On May 4, Ynetnews reported that the Israeli Tax Authority had intercepted 10 shipments of Fruit Roll-Ups sent through the mail.
Destined for different addresses in Israel, these boxes contained a “commercial quantity” of the candy, subject to taxes and fees by law. The largest shipment weighed in at 38 pounds, and a total of 347 pounds was seized across all the shipments.
Combined with the airport bust, customs officials confiscated a staggering 650 pounds of the sugary snack, according to the Times of Israel.
So, what’s the deal with the sudden demand for Fruit Roll-Ups? It all began when a TikTok trend involving wrapping ice cream in the candy treat went viral. This sweet sensation has since made its way to Israel, where stores are selling out and merchants are charging $5 to $6 for a single Fruit Roll-Up.
Despite the popularity, the Israeli Health Ministry has issued a warning against eating the snack, citing potential health risks such as weight gain, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and dental caries. They even offered a healthier alternative: cucumber rolls.
One thing’s for sure: this sticky situation is a prime example of how far people are willing to go for a taste of nostalgia.
And as the Fruit Roll-Up black market continues to flourish, we can’t help but wonder: what’s next, an international ring of Gushers smugglers?
May 11, 2023 at 10:16 am
Smuggling Fruit Roll-Ups?
Seriously, is this news? Who knew (and who cares?)?
May 11, 2023 at 4:42 pm
No one stops the drug cartels only people with Candy.