Sweet sensation

Viral Roll-Ups and ice cream craze prompts Health Ministry warning

Social media fad has driven up demand, raising prices for snacks and prompting retailers to limit sales per person; ministry suggests cucumber rolls instead

Children participating in a trend, rolling up ice-cream with Fruit Roll-Ups. (YouTube screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Children participating in a trend, rolling up ice-cream with Fruit Roll-Ups. (YouTube screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

In a global viral trend, users on the TikTok social media app have posted videos of themselves wrapping ice cream with Fruit Roll-Ups candy, prompting a warning from Israel’s Health Ministry Wednesday.

In the trend, users record the process, sometimes struggling with the sticky wrapping, but ending up with the treat which takes the shape of a dumpling. The soft, sticky Roll-Ups apparently harden upon contact with the ice cream, creating a crunch exterior to contrast the soft interior, delighting many of those who try it.

The Health Ministry advised Israelis to think about the ingredients of the sweets and the consequences for their health before they jump on the trend.

“Glucose, corn syrup and dry corn syrup are all sugar — a lot of different types of sugar,” the statement read. “Sugar consumption has been found to be associated with weight gain. 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 ministry added a link to a recipe for a cucumber roll as a healthy alternative.

Around the country, supermarkets, convenience stores and online retailers have reportedly sold out of Roll-Ups, driving up the cost of the snack. According to press reports, enterprising merchants are selling individually wrapped fruit rollups for prices exceeding NIS 15 ($5) or NIS 20 ($6) each. By comparison, a box of 10 Fruit Roll-Ups in the United States typically costs less than $3.

Cheaper imitation brands get scooped up in a short amount of time, according to a Ynet new site report. The demand has prompted people to try and smuggle large quantities from the US.

On Tuesday, an American couple was caught at Ben Gurion Airport with a suitcase full of some 170 kilograms of Roll-Ups. Over the past week, 300 kilograms of the sweets have been confiscated at the terminal, according to the Tax Authority.

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