Iconic lolly axed from shelves
SAY goodbye to your childhood.
Coles has confirmed it has made the difficult decision to remove Starburst from its shelves, joining with Woolworths which quietly axed the iconic fruit chew in December 2015.
"Unfortunately we can confirm that Starburst varieties have been removed from our national range," a Coles spokesperson wrote in response to a panicked Starburst fan on Facebook.
"We understand how frustrating it can be to see a favourite product disappear from the shelf and we can assure you that this decision is not one made lightly.
"It's our job to provide customers with choice and value but with limited shelf space we have to balance providing choice with making sure the most popular products customers want to buy are available every time they shop. Keeping products that are not selling on shelf makes this difficult.
"We're sorry for the disappointment and we'll ensure your feedback is shared with our Merch Team so they're aware."
Another customer asked where the Starburst lollipops had gone. "I buy [them] for parties. I've been buying these from you for eight years and now they are gone," he wrote.
In response, Coles said, "We have decided to no longer carry Starburst as we have numerous brands in the range and they were catering for the same need. We have taken them out and added segments of the market we were not covering well."
A Change.org petition calling for Coles and Woolworths to restock Starburst has attracted nearly 100 signatures.
"I think it's a cop-out when your grocery store deletes lines that you've always purchased, citing no demand for the product," petition creator Katherine M wrote.
"I think it's a giant conspiracy to demand more money from companies for their shelf space. I get that this isn't exactly an earth-shattering, world-changing issue.
"Everyone knows, though, how annoying it is to go to a grocery store to find your favourite items are being deleted in favour of home-brand products or just deleted altogether.
"Lavazza coffee have also had a couple of their coffee strengths removed from shelves recently, too. So now I'm wondering ... who will be stocking Starburst products? Woolworths and Coles have both removed Starburst products from shelves with no valid reason given by staff.
"I'm extremely devastated. I'm a gym junkie with an addiction to Starburst snakes. I think I kept them in business just with my mild (heavy) addiction. I can't do Allens snakes, can't do Allens lollies. Let's face it, they aren't Starburst.
"How and where can I get my next Starburst hit and when are Starburst products going to be back on the shelf?
"There's nothing like a Starburst snake that's sat in its packet on a 43-degree day in the console of your car. It's like solid cordial. Please come back, Starburst. I can't be a fitness fanatic without you."
A Coles spokeswoman said, "We regularly review our product range to ensure we have the products customers want while providing great value. Following a recent range review, Coles will no longer be stocking Starburst products."
A Woolworths spokeswoman said, "We discontinued ranging Starburst products in late 2015. We continue to stock a wide range of delicious chocolates and sweets which are very popular with our customers and great value."
A spokesman for Metcash confirmed IGA still stocked Starburst.
Starburst manufacturer Mars has been contacted for comment.