Americans Caught Smuggling 450 Pounds of Fruit Roll-Ups Into Israel

Israeli customs found hundreds of the contraband sweets in suitcases.

A person holds up a package of Fruit Roll-ups at a grocery store

The Image Party / Shutterstock

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok in the past few months, you’ve probably scrolled past at least a dozen videos involving ice cream-filled Fruit Roll-Ups. The easy, DIY dessert really took off on the app several months ago and, in Israel at least, demand for Fruit Roll-Ups has caused widespread shortages of the sticky candy — and prompted a government warning.

Earlier this week, Israel’s Health Ministry suggested that everyone should consider the ingredients and additives in Fruit Roll-Ups before they give in to TikTok-temptation. “Sugar consumption has been found to be associated with weight gain,” the Ministry wrote, according to The Times of Israel. “A variety of related diseases are attributed to sugar consumption such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, dental caries and more.” (The outlet added that the Ministry suggested cucumber rolls would make for a nice alternative.)

The Ministry might’ve noticed that Fruit Roll-Ups are in short supply in Israel — and the ones that are available have hefty price tags. One Haaretz reporter wrote that he went to “five supermarkets [and] three candy stores” in Tel Aviv and couldn’t find a single Fruit Roll-Up. He struck out at online candy stores as well. 

“To understand how high the demand in the market is, how great the shortage is and to realize that human stupidity really has no limit, it is enough just to glance at the news that came from the airport,” he wrote.

That news involves two American couples who were stopped by Israeli customs trying to smuggle a hundreds of pounds of Fruit Roll-Ups into the country. One couple was caught with 170 kilograms (375 pounds) of candy, while a second couple were discovered with 33 kilos (72 pounds) in their own suitcases. In total, 300 kilograms (650 pounds) of fruit rolls have been confiscated.

In a video posted online, a customs officer can be seen rifling through three suitcases that are completely stuffed with packages of Fruit Roll-Ups. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reports that a male voice can be heard explaining that he brought the candy for his relatives, and that “it has something to do with ice cream.”

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