Lifesavers Candies - © Mars - Wrigley

Holiday Traditions: End of Story For Lifesavers Story Book?

Actually, it been just the ‘Fun Book’ for some time, now. And it’s been attacked mercilessly by shrinkflation. But now the legendary Life Savers Sweet Story Book has been discontinued in Canada. And it’s a shadow of its former self in the US…

I’m devastated. Mars Co. has ruined Christmas for me. Not only this year, but forever after. I’ve grown out of a lot of seasonal traditions over my many decades in this tired old world. And I’ve lost hold of others as most of the folks I used to celebrate the season with have passed, or moved far away, out of touch.

But my spirits have been buoyed without fail every Yuletide when I catch my first sight of the Life Savers Sweet Story Book (or its more recent incarnations) in the candy aisle. Until now.

Vintage Lifesavers Ad - © Mars coVintage full-page ad in the Saturday Evening Post: Commemorating the original 12-roll
Life Savers Sweet Story Book. This is the version I knew and cherished as a child…

End of Story

“We discontinued the Life Saver Fun Books in 2023,” Tarm Nersesian, director of external communications and affairs for Mars Canada, confirmed to CBC News recently. No explanation. No consolation. No remorse.

“How could they do such a thing?” I literally said out loud.

They have their reasons

First and foremost, we can’t expect any product to remain immune from rising costs. And the sometimes desperate measures manufacturers resort to to keep making a reasonable profit.

What makes me so mad is how they’ve diluted and adulterated the whole concept of the Christmas Sweet Story Book.

What can you do?

Well, for one thing, you can sign the online petition demanding Mars bring back the original Life Savers Sweet Story Book. The page also provides a detailed history of how the mighty tradition has fallen.

“The original, now a collector’s item it seems, had 12 Life Savers rolls in it, and a variety of flavors: Pep-o-mint, Spear-o-mint, Butterscotch, Orange, Lemon, Wild Cherry, Wint-o-green, Clove, Stik-o-Pep, Butter Rum, Crist-o-mint, and Five Flavor. Then, it went to a 10-pack, but still had a great variety. Eventually, they went to an 8-pack… And then to the dreaded 6-pack. […] This has gone too far!”

Poor relief…

My Dad’s mom – Grannie Annie – always said, “Sympathy is poor relief. Like mustard without beef.” A poignant quote. Especially in this context. She was the one who always made sure, throughout my childhood, that I had a Life Savers Sweet Story Book under the tree on Christmas morning!

The current version – the Life Savers Fun Book, with a measly 6 rolls of the unique hard candies aboard – is nowhere to be found in stores. But it’s still, apparently, available on Amazon. (Price: (C)$51.14 for 2. ‘May arrive after Christmas’.) Looks like the Big ‘A’ corralled an exclusive on the last of the species. Take a look. Or don’t. Unless you want to risk having a good cry over the death of one of most iconic symbols of the season…

But whatever else you do, sign that petition!

~ Maggie J.