Most people associate the black market with drugs and wildlife. The next attempted smuggling attempt to garner international headlines involves a less controversial but nonetheless surprising product: Fruit Rolls.
One Israeli airport seized almost 650 pounds of the sugary, nostalgic delicacy. Mako reported a smuggling crackdown on May 1.
In late April, customs agents found 375 pounds of Fruit Roll-Ups in the luggage of an American couple at Ben Gurion International Airport.
Twitter footage shows the couple's overpacked luggage full with Fruit Roll-Ups. The Israeli Tax Authority confiscated 661 pounds of Fruit Roll-Ups at the airport in one week.
On May 4, Israeli authorities seized 347 more pounds of Fruit Roll-Ups from US shipments. These massive shipments were commercial amounts of the treat and liable to specific taxes and duties.
Officials have found 1,000 pounds of fruity contraband. How many roll-ups have slipped by security?
Why are Americans smuggling this snack into Israel? Fruit Roll-Ups became famous due to a viral TikTok craze.
In February, TikToker released a video of her favorite "sweet guilty pleasure," a Fruit Roll-Up with a scoop of ice cream inside.
The Fruit Roll-Up crunches when you bite into it thanks to the icy ice cream. The video has over 14 million views and has inspired many TikTokers to make and eat fruit leather-ice cream.
Israel hasn't escaped the growing trend. Mako's local customers experienced difficulty locating Fruit Roll-Ups in grocery stores and higher pricing when they did.
Israel's Health Ministry has noticed the Fruit Roll-Up-ice cream mix. This month, the authorities warned against sugar's effects on weight, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.