According to research, the candy brand Skittles appeared first in 1974, manufactured by a British company. Ultimately, it made its way to the United States as a part of the William Wrigley Jr. Company, a division of Mars, Inc., and was marketed in the U.S. in 1979.
The contents of a piece of Skittles candy consists of...
...sugar and Gelatin hydrogenated vegetable oil along with fruit juice, citric acid and natural and artificial flavours.
Skittles are very similar in taste and manufacture to jelly beans:
There are other candy products which also have a hard candy shell and a gummy interior, such as Skittles. However, these are not marketed as jelly beans and are not typically referred to as such.
While the candies are marketed differently, we may assume that the manufacture is similar in each candy:
The ingredients are mixed and liquefied (with heat) into a syrup and poured into a tray that has candy-shaped dents, which are covered with corn starch—the center of the candy is cooled in the mold until it has the shape and texture of a jelly-centered candy. To add the shell...
The centers...are placed in stainless steel vessels called "pans" that are globe-shaped and hollow with an opening at one "pole" of the globe.
The "globes" are tilted and other ingredients are added into the open end, such as sugar which will "build up" the gummy center while forming a "harder sugar shell." The outside of the candy is still dull looking, so the candy is covered with a "glaze of confectioner's sugar;" this gives the candy a shiny look.
Specific to Skittles, each piece of candy—with its hard shell and multiple colors—has a white "S" imprinted on it.
In terms of nutritional value, the 3.5 ounces of Skittles has over 75 grams of sugar, almost 4 grams of saturated fat (the "bad" fat, from hydrogenated oils), and just over carbohydrates.