RIP Starburst: popular lollipops discontinued in New Zealand due to rising costs

It's a sad day for lollipop lovers - Starburst has been discontinued.

Kathryn George / Stuff

It’s a sad day for lollipop lovers – Starburst has been discontinued.

If you’ve searched in vain for Starburst yellow sachet lollipops in New Zealand, you’re not alone.

Turns out the reason you can’t find them is because the gummy lollies have been quietly discontinued.

A Mars spokesperson said Starburst was discontinued in New Zealand in April 2021.

“We regularly review our Mars Wrigley product range to ensure that we are providing our consumers with great tasting products that also offer great value. Our Starburst products are imported, and like many companies that import products from overseas, the brand has been exposed to supply chain challenges and increasing cost pressures over the past two years.

“After considering all options, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the brand in New Zealand from April 2021.”

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Starburst had been on Kiwi’s shelves for decades – and the range included everything from double-headed anaconda lollipops to lollipops, fruit chews, babies and squirts.

Mars said it would focus on its other products in New Zealand, such as M&M’s, Maltersers, Skittles, Snickers, Extra and Eclipse.

The disappearance of Starbursts has sparked outrage in Australia, after Sydney’s wife Nariman Dein took to social media platform Tiktok to express her frustration at not being able to find the sweets in supermarkets.

“I’ve been looking everywhere – Big W, Coles, whatever – these lollipops don’t exist,” she said in the video.

“And I have some kind of conspiracy theory, did they just stop selling them and nobody noticed?”

The video received over 30,000 likes and 1,000 comments from people asking the same.

Countdown said it hasn’t had Starburst lollipops on its shelves in over a year.

Stopping pacifiers isn’t the only devastating food loss New Zealanders have faced.

Starburst's disappearance has also caused outrage in Australia.

Sarah McCarthy

Starburst’s disappearance has also caused outrage in Australia.

The Snak, the snack pack containing crackers and dip that had been around for three decades, was discontinued by manufacturer Bluebird in May.

“Over time, we have seen demand for the product decline as consumer taste preferences have changed,” a Bluebird spokesperson said.

Last year, Mars shocked chocolate lovers after it discontinued its line of pods due to changes in its manufacturing capabilities.

Almost instantly, Pods fans could hit up Trade Me to get their chocolate fix.

But it comes at a price, with a listing for a single pack of chocolates reaching $300.

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