Have a ’90s Moment with the Best Fruit Roll Ups

Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot, and other flat, chewy snacks instantly transport me back to elementary school. They weren’t just vaguely fruit-based treats—they were activities. You had the ones where you could punch out different shapes and build little slices of pizza. Others were long, and you’d try to eat them as fast as you could. Even the boring natural fruit ones (the “leathers”) were fun to peel off the plastic lining at the very least.

Jasmine Williams, Mythical’s people and culture coordinator, jumped at the chance to join us in sampling every fruit roll up we could find. We agreed that a good fruit roll up should be chewy (but not too chewy), have a strong fruity flavor, and they shouldn’t be grainy. The roll ups that made the list are ones that we’d happily add to our adult lunch boxes.

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fruit roll-ups

Best of the Best

Fruit Roll-Ups with Tongue Tattoos

The tongue tattoo Fruit Roll-Ups were the coolest possible thing the adult in your household could add to your childhood lunch. Luckily, our taste test showed that these are just as cool as I remember. Not only that, the tongue tattoos work even better than in my memories. It imprinted a bright blue, perfectly outlined rainbow on my tongue, and I was thrilled. And it’s not just the fun factor that we liked. The taste is great too! The fruitiness is prominent and the texture was chewy without being sticky. This whole experience made me feel so nostalgic.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

fruit by the foot

Best Classic

Fruit by the Foot

Nothing hits quite like a variety pack, and Fruit by the Foot is no exception. Jasmine loved the Berry Tie-Dye flavor. It certainly doesn’t taste like a fruit you’d find in nature, but as Jasmine said, “Give me the fake stuff.” To be honest, I have no clue why someone invented a very long piece of fruit leather. That being said, I’m glad they did! It tastes really delicious and is fun to eat in such a childlike way.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

jovy fruit roll

Best All Natural

Jovy Fruit Roll

I am lukewarm on mango in general, but the Mango Jovy Fruit Roll made me a diehard mango stan. The flavor is so natural and fresh and sweet. I would absolutely buy these again. Unfortunately, these were docked a Spork for their awful packaging. The little cartoon child on the wrapper completely undermines how deliciously mature these fruit roll up are. Additionally, they’re a little sticky, which makes consumption a little more difficult. If Jovy upgraded its  presentation, these would be a perfect 10/10.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

trader joe's fruit buttons

Best for Kids

Trader Joe’s Peel Away Fruit Leather Buttons

The Trader Joe’s Fruit Leather Buttons have the cutest design. The silver dollar-sized, round pieces easily peel off the paper, making for breezy enjoyment. You have two excellent flavor options with these: grape mango and strawberry mango. The texture is natural, but not too organic and fruit leather-y. I know some of the other, more sugary fruit roll ups might seem like they’d be better for kids, but these are packaged in a way that makes them great for lunchtime sharing.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

annie's organic really peely

Most Controversial

Annie’s Organic Really Peely Fruit Tape

I’m giving Annie’s Organic Swirly Strawberry Really Peely Fruit Tape 5/10 Sporks because the team was completely split. Half of us thought it was the perfect fruit roll up. The other half of us (including me) thought this tasted weird. This was, however, Jasmine’s favorite. After a single bite, she said, “This is the one.” While I found it to have a tacky texture I did not enjoy, Jasmine described it as “perfectly sticky.” This is why we taste as a group. Different strokes for different folks!

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

5/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • I loved Fruit by the Foot so much as a kid. I would scrunch it up into one giant ball and eat it like a huge gummy like an absolutely crazy person, but it was still delicious.

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