What Exactly is Blue Raspberry?

Mix of berries
Photo by Sneha Cecil on Unsplash

Blue raspberry, huh? Have you ever seen a blue raspberry? Well no, because they don’t exist. And yet they’re still found in Slurpees, popsicles, and candy. How’s that possible? Let’s solve the mystery of blue raspberry once and for all.

The History of Blue Raspberry

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that raspberry started off red. The dye used for it was Red No. 2, but in the late ’50s, people started to question whether the dye was safe to eat. Before long, the Food Additives Amendment of 1958 and the Color Additive Amendment of 1960 decided it was unsafe and companies started using Blue No. 1 in the ’70s for raspberry flavor. This ended up being blue raspberry. A frozen treat company called ICEE started using it because the color resembled the blue that the brand was already using for their marketing.

How Did it Become Popular?

Blue raspberry caught on pretty quickly and it may be due to the fact that it stands out from other artificial fruit food colorings. It’s easy to differentiate blue raspberry from strawberry, watermelon, and cherry, which all use shades of red dye.

Is There Really a Blue Raspberry?

Sadly, there’s no such thing as a blue raspberry. The closest you’ll find to it is whitebark raspberry which grows in western parts of North America. When they’re ripe, these raspberries are blue-black, which isn’t nearly as bright as the blue raspberry shade we’re used to. Also in regards to taste, they’re not as sweet as the artificial blue raspberry.