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How It's Made: Creating the C4 Energy x SKITTLES Flavor

Explosive energy & an iconic candy

That’s how you get this epic partnership: C4 Energy x SKITTLES™ Original.

Two legendary brands known for delivering unmatched flavor teamed up for an unforgettable experience. When we embarked on our journey to make this collaboration happen, we had a goal in mind: pairing the explosiveness of the world’s #1 performance energy brand with the fruity flavor of SKITTLES™ Original in a zero-sugar drink.

How We Got The Iconic Flavor of C4 X SKITTLES™ Original into an Energy Drink

Our Director of Product Development, Frank DiLorenzo had this to say:

Overall, this was a lot different than the STARBURST™ candy project, because that was a lot more objective. When you’re targeting a single flavor, you can get into the specific flavor notes. But when you’re doing this many flavors and you’re chewing them simultaneously there are several things going on. You have to consume them individually and then collectively to see if they blend that same way. But they usually don’t because they hit your palette differently. Sometimes two opposing flavors taste distinct but collectively you may not be able to tell, it may taste entirely different. Trying to discern the individual flavors gets more difficult when you have all these flavors fusing together.  

When you’re eating these individually and collectively, it’s a lot more complex because you can’t objectively single them out. Everyone tastes things these differently and every handful of SKITTLES™ is different.

Anyone that’s had a bag of SKITTLES™ Original before can tell you that no handful is the same.

How We Recreated the Taste Experience of Eating a Handful

Frank had this to say:

A lot of it is instinct, certain flavors are going to be stronger than others and you want to balance that out. From a ratio perspective, it was eating a lot of candy and drinking samples to try to recreate the same experience. Trial and error are how you dial it in. We tried a few different options and experimented with citrus, apple, and strawberry notes.

When you’re eating hard candy there’s a crunch to it. We were trying to get that feeling of sugariness that sticks to your palette. And you have that candy texture in your mouth that’s hard to describe. There’s a candy element to it where you taste the fruits and the candy-like finish to it. Since we can’t recreate the texture from a hard candy shell, we try to at least give the candy mouth feel. Certain chemicals give a sweet sugary experience when they hit your palette so that when you’re drinking this you get that feeling

The biggest challenge with this is how do you recreate something that isn’t well defined. People know what SKITTLES™ is but you’re trying to recreate the experience. When the array of flavors is so diverse it can be very challenging. And ultimately, the Mars team signed off on our submission.

Impressively, it only took our team about 10 tries to get approval for the SKITTLES™ Original flavor.

Which SKITTLES™ Flavor Was Most Surprising to Recreate

Frank: I didn’t realize that the green was a green apple. I assumed all greens were lime. With reds, it was determining if it was strawberry or cherry. Anytime you’re blending citruses they can merge somewhat in terms of their profile so it can be hard to pull out distinctly lemon or orange when you have multiple citruses. You do get some crossover with some of these flavors where it may be hard to perceive one individually.

Want to experience the adventure of explosive energy and fruity flavor?

Crack a can of C4 Energy x SKITTLES™ and get a taste of the EXTRAORDINARY. 

SKITTLES™ trademarks owned by Mars or affiliates and used under license.

Date March 30, 2022
Category Lifestyle