Americans Caught Trying To Smuggle Suitcases Full Of Fruit Roll Ups
Two American couples were caught by Israeli customs officials for attempting to smuggle over 650 pounds (295 kilograms) of Fruit Roll-Ups into Israel.
A video posted on Mako, an Israeli news website, showed a customs official at Ben Gurion International Airport sifting through at least three open suitcases each filled with hundreds of colorful, sugary treats.
An American-accented voice off-screen explained that the snacks were brought over from the US for the man's family in Israel. When asked if he packed clothes for himself, the man responded that he has clothes in Israel.
However, when questioned about the excessive amount of Fruit Roll-Ups in his luggage, the man's voice explained it was for a viral TikTok trend where the snack is wrapped around a scoop of ice cream. This then freezes over, becoming hard and crunchy.
Not Allowed In Israel
According to Israeli press reports, enterprising merchants are selling individually wrapped Fruit Roll-Ups for prices exceeding $5 or $6 each. By comparison, a box of 10 Fruit Roll-Ups in the United States typically costs less than $3.
The trend has prompted the country's Health Ministry to issue a warning to citizens, urging them to consider the ingredients and health consequences before indulging in the popular treat.
"Glucose, corn syrup, and dry corn syrup are all sugar - a lot of different types of sugar," read the statement released by the Health Ministry.
While Israeli consumers frequently ask travelers to bring back products from the United States that are either more expensive or hard to find in Israel, the popularity of Fruit Roll-Ups has reached new heights.
Supermarkets, convenience stores, and online retailers across the country have reportedly sold out of the fruity snack, exacerbating the shortage and driving up prices. Even with the recent influx of Fruit Roll-Ups through smuggling, the scarcity has yet to be fully alleviated.
The American couples responsible for smuggling the sweets were inadvertently tapping into a lucrative market opportunity. The surprising discovery highlights the impact that consumer trends and preferences can have on international trade.