Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Grapefruit & Blackcurrant Pastilles

Name: Blackcurrant and Finest Pink Grapefruit Pastilles
Brand: Dr. Doolittle’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe’s
Price: $1.99 each
Size: 2.5 oz (approximately 34 pieces)
Calories per ounce: 95
Type: Jelly

A few weeks ago I got an email from a kind reader named greenhaven suggested that I try Rowntree Blackcurrant Pastilles, since I couldn’t find them, I picked these up. (I know, they’re not at all the same.) I’ll keep looking though, as I remember liking “wine gums” that I bought at a newsstand in London quite a bit. I’m not sure all folks consider pastilles candy, after all, most people think of them as throat lozenges. However, as a person who used to eat cough drops as candy, I fully embrace these as sweets. (One of my favorites was Smith Bros Black Licorice.)

These are soft and chewy, but wonderful to suck on and kind of fold up as it gets smaller in your mouth. The glycerine provides a soothing, moisturizing coating to dry throats. But what’s best about these is the intense flavor. Packed with more flavor than just a gummi bear or hard cough drop, these are zesty. They come in little tins (the size of Altoid tins, only gold.)

The pink grapefruit has a wonderful zest with a good rounded tartness that goes through and through. The blackcurrant is smooth and tart with a good winey note to it. I prefer the grapefruit ones, mostly because I’m just not a blackcurrant fan. These are very soft and I don’t really like them this soft, so sometimes I’ll just leave them open for a day so they can toughen up.

They have 18% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C (in 2 drops) and their ingredients are all natural. If you go on the Dr. Doolittle website (it’s in French) and click on production, you can see how they make the drops by pouring the mix into little molds.

Rating - 7 out of 10 (I buy them a couple times a year, they’re rather expensive)

UPDATE: I found a new local supply of Dr. Dolittle’s Pastilles. They come in Lemon, Blackcurrant and Pink Grapefruit. Different tins now, a lot more expensive. See new review here.

Related Candies

  1. Dr. Doolittle’s Pastilles (Lemon, Grapefruit & Wild Berry)
  2. Jelly Belly Pomegranate
  3. Black Ace Licorice
  4. The Real Jelly Babies

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:52 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewDiscontinuedGummi Candy7-Worth ItSwitzerland

  1. I just returned from the Trader Joe’s store in Fairfield, CT and was told that the selection was not as good ad the West Coast TJ’s stores - and that they believe the selection is slowly making its way Eastward, to enhance the selection here on the East Coast!  The Dr. Doolittle’s brand is not available yet, here.

    Comment by Jonathan on 5/28/06 at 7:25 am #
  2. Help!  Trader Joe’s (in Menlo Park and Mtn View, CA) no longer carries Dr. Doolittle’s Pastilles and says the product is discontinued - which means they won’t buy it.  This may be due to price increase, product availability or other factors.  They were not specific.

    Does anyone know where I can find these wonderful treats?  I particularly like the blackcurrant.

    If not Dr. Doolittle brand, please suggest other brand available in northern California.  Thanks.


    Comment by amcguck on 6/17/06 at 10:01 pm #
  3. I was in Trader Joe’s tonight (Walnut Creek, CA) and they are no longer carrying those wonderful Dr Doolittle Pastille’s.  Another woman was in the store searching for the very same items as I.Seems these little things are quite seductive to the taste buds.  The woman mentioned going online in an attempt to contact the manufacturer but said they would not respond to her repeated emails.  Anyone out there know where in the United States these tins of fruit flavored candy can be purchased?  I have already scoured three other Trader Joe’s - and all are without any stock left.

    Comment by Dr. Sally Headding on 7/03/06 at 7:08 pm #
  4. Here is Las Vegas, the Trader Joe stores here have discontinued carrying the Dr Doolittle’s brand of black currant and grapefruit pastilles.  Can anyone suggest where we can find these anymore?

    Comment by G. Yonashiro on 7/04/06 at 1:36 pm #
  5. Cybele's avatar

    I’m looking into it - I’ll report back what I find as soon as I can.

    I’ll miss them too!

    Comment by Cybele on 7/04/06 at 1:51 pm #
  6. Just received some bad news for all of us Dr. Doolittle fans.  I had contacted the manufacturer by email several days ago and received an email back today written by Marcel Rosenberger (Dr. Doolittle’s)stating that Trader Joe’s has stopped stocking their product, both flavors, and that this product will no longer be sold in the United States.  Although nicely written and very polite, I found the news devastating.  My suggestion is that all of you Dr. Doolittle fans out there contact the company directly to express your feelings about their product and its lack of availability.  I found their website on the internet.  In fact, why not address your concerns directly to:  Marcel Rosenberger at Dr. Doolittle’s Pastilles.
    Sorry about the bad news.
    Dr Sally Headding in Concord,CA(undergoing second week of product withdrawal)

    Comment by Dr Sally Headding on 7/05/06 at 12:02 pm #
  7. Cybele's avatar

    Dr. Headding - I also heard back from Marcel Rosenberger - he promised to keep me in the loop is they do end up with some other US distribution or a store that sells them on the web.

    My best suggestion is to keep an eye on eBay ...

    Comment by Cybele on 7/07/06 at 12:49 pm #
  8. Yesterday,I contacted friends in Soestenberg, Netherlands.  Today I learned that they can not find this product other than traveling to purchase it in Switzerland. It now seems that purchasing illegal drugs might be an easier task than being able to buy a tin of these candies! Unwilling to give up,I’m making yet another attempt through a friend who lives in The Hague,Holland. I will post the results.  Maybe we should team up and become distributors for this country - Dr Doolittle’s permitting!  I’m game for just about anything to get this product back here. Even my little dacshund, Buddy, has a grand passion for these pastilles (Black Currant being his favorite)  Why have these become such an elusive purchase???????
    Dr Sally Headding

    Comment by Dr Sally Headding on 7/07/06 at 2:18 pm #
  9. Dr. Headding-

    I had a dachschund for 10 years.  I plan to get another when I retire.  I wonder how many other similarities exist among Blackcurrant Pastilles devotees??

    Your idea about going into business to supply these is a good one.  How can we communicate confidentially on this idea?

    Comment by amcguck on 7/07/06 at 11:34 pm #
  10. You can reach me through my website which is  Any message you leave will come directly to me with your email address and I can contact you back with my phone number so we can discuss this concept of distributorship further.

    Comment by Dr Sally Headding on 7/08/06 at 10:22 am #
  11. I suggest we write Trader Joe’s and request the return of Pastilles, possibly in the supplement section rather than the candy section.  They make great losenges and contain no corn syrup as other losenges.  I checked online and the Grether’s Pastilles are avilable for over $10 a tin whereas Trader Joe’s were $2.99.  Quite a difference in cost.  Here are the addresses if you wish to write them.

    Trader Joe’s Customer Relations
    PO Box 5049
    Monrovia, CA 91017
    for Northwest, West and Southwest states

    117 Kendrick Street
    Suite 700
    Needham, MA 02494
    for Eastern seaboard and Midwest states

    Comment by Terry on 8/04/06 at 7:24 am #
  12. Please carry the Black Currant Pastilles

    Comment by Ross McGee on 8/07/06 at 1:13 pm #
  13. I am agast that this wonderderful product has been discontinued in the product line at TJ’s.
    Could we possibly ask that they be brought back in their suppliment section for sore throats?

    Comment by Christine Valentine on 8/30/06 at 8:15 am #
  14. Just another surprised shopper.  I was in TJ’s yesterday on Cinema Drive, and they told me they no longer carry Dr. Doolittles pastille candies.  I was aghast.  My grandson is in the Navy, and whenever he comes in he looks to his grams for his tin of Dr. Doolittle grapefruits.  How sad.
    Alberta B. Kurgan

    Comment by Alberta B. Kurgan on 10/07/06 at 9:06 am #
  15. Re: Dr. Doolittles & Trader Joe’s….
    Below is an email response I received from the makers of Dr. Doolittles in Switzerland. Yes, Trader Joe’s is no longer carrying them and there’s no place in the U.S. period that carries them. Still waiting for a response from Trader Joe’s.
    I strongly suggest every one to contact Trader Joe’s, ask them why they arent selling them and strongly suggest they start again….

    (email response)
    Dear Fred
    Thank you for your inquiry via our website and your interest in buying our finest Dr Doolittle’s pastilles at Trader Joe’s or somewhere else.

    Unfortunately it is a fact that Trader Joe’s delisted both our Pink Grapefruit and Blackcurrant pastilles and did not list any other variety. Probably some of the TJ shops may have a remaining inventory to sell out, however, thereafter we have not any other sales point in America.

    As mentioned in our website, we do not sell directly to consumers in foreign countries. We know that the demand for direct purchasing via internet is increasing, however, we do not have an organization for direct exports to consumers in the near future.

    Of course, we hope that many consumers complain at TJ so that they may reconsider their decision to stop sale of our delicious and wholesome pastilles manufactured by us here in Switzerland.

    Therefore, we are very sorry to inform you that our finest Dr Doolittle’s pastilles are no longer available in the U.S.A. and we are sad about this fact, too. But we will inform you if this situation would change.

    Thank you for your understanding +

    Best regards from Switzerland, Marcel

    i.V. Marcel Rosenberger
    Product Manager Brands

    Dr. med. Aufdermaur AG
    Weststrasse 16, CH-5426 Lengnau/AG
    Tel. +41 (0) 56 266 55 11
    Fax +41 (0) 56 266 55 22

    Comment by Fred on 10/19/06 at 10:37 am #
  16. I am so sad your grapefruit candy is not avaILble in the USA anymore. They are the most delicious candies I have every had.

    Let me know if I can purchas ethem in the future in the USA.



    Comment by Staci Housum on 11/12/06 at 6:18 am #
  17. I was very upset to read the comments left by others. I too, have been trying to find these gummies!! I live in colorado but i get to visit california about every summer, where there is a trader joes. Last time I went there, there werent any! I’m considering searching ebay because I really like them and would like to know how to purcase them, even if it’s directly from switzerland!

    Comment by Sarah on 12/20/06 at 5:54 pm #
  18. I was in the Concord Trader Joe’s this afternoon and what did my eyes behold at the checkstand? Yes, there they were,stacks and stacks of those delightful Dr Doolittle’s black currant pastilles. Those kind souls at Trader Joe’s listened to our pleas and are once again stocking our favorite sweet. Caught up with the moment, I bought fifteen tins - just to be on the safe side.

    Comment by Dr Sally Headding on 12/30/06 at 7:36 pm #
  19. Just a note: Rowntree Fruit Pastilles are own by Nestles and they are marketing in certain parts of the world- namely, Asia as Fruitips. Perhaps you’ve seen them under this label as they available for purchase at Asian grocery stores (Chinatown, etc.) They come wrapped in a paper tube much like Mentos and look like flattened gumdrops (they are covered with large crystals of sugar). The texture is a little chewier/firmer. There is a roll of only blackcurrant and another mixed fruit. The mixed fruit comes in orange, strawberry, blackcurrant, lemon, and lime.

    Comment by Trish on 1/18/07 at 6:45 pm #
  20. Actually, Dr. Doolittle’s blackcurrant pastilles replaced the product that Trader Joe’s originally carried, called Grether’s blackcurrant Pastilles. They are very similar (and most importantly, both made with glycerin and real blackcurrant juice) but I personally think the Grether’s tasted a little better. Anyway, you can still get Grether’s at various places (mainly mail order), but gone are the days of $2.99 tins. It’s a lot more expensive now.

    Comment by John on 1/25/07 at 4:47 am #
    I have trying to finding your e-mail or ayway I can contact you.
    Ihave also tried your web-site but there is no e-mail address.
    Is it ok if you contact me or i contact you ??
    IT does not have anything to do with Dr DOOLITLE`S PASTELS.

    Comment by LOUISE FARRUGIA on 2/15/07 at 10:55 pm #
  22. Dr sally headding -
    Hi it `s louise again .I just realized I did not leave an e-mail address sorry about that .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Comment by LOUISE FARRUGIA on 2/15/07 at 11:00 pm #
  23. So, can anyone give me the current status and availability Of Dr Doolittle’s at Trader Joes in the US. I just heard of them a month or so ago and tried to buy some at Trader Joes in Indy, but they said they did not carry them. What’s the latest please. Thanks
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Comment by Robert Coon on 6/28/07 at 4:07 am #
  24. The blackcurrent pastilles used to be marketed in England as Allenbury’s Pastilles. I was delighted to find them at Trader Joe’s, and devestated when they went away, especially the grapefruit ones. I’ll gladly petition TJ’s to restock them.

    Comment by Dan Hooven on 8/25/07 at 8:44 pm #
  25. Sad is to say that requesting this product from Trader Joe’s has been like pounding sand - end result being nothing.  Does anyone out there have any other constructive suggestions to bring this beloved product back to our country store shelves?

    Comment by Dr Sally Headding on 8/26/07 at 8:18 am #
  26. I used to order Dr. Doolittle’s pastilles by the carton from Goldengate Sales, who marketed them to Trader Joe’s.  Then Goldengate dropped the product too.  There must be a way to obtain them, so if anyone else has ideas, please let me know!  Perhaps if there are others so inclined, we could band together and order a sizeable amount directly from the manufacturer?

    Comment by Jane Johnston on 9/04/07 at 9:47 pm #
  27. When I discussed this same thought with the manufacturer I was informed that they only ship to the US by container load - which is a massively huge amount of product and requires a letter of credit for $200,000 Euro.  I don’t know about your response to this but it managed to dash any hopes that I had for bringing this product in on a co-op basis with others.  I’m still open for suggestions…

    Comment by Dr Sally Headding on 9/05/07 at 3:02 pm #
  28. I won’t beable to live without Dr. Doolittle’s Pastilles. I have checked all Trader Joe’s stores without any luck. they say they are not going to carry this product anymore. Ebay doesn’t have any either….HELP

    Comment by Angela North on 10/27/07 at 8:03 pm #
  29. I’ve communicated with both Doolittle’s in Switzerland and the U.S. distributor.  Domaco will only ship in really large lots to the distributor in this country, so they need a large retail chain to carry this.  (I tried to talk the distributor into eBay, but they thought the fees would make that prohibitive.)  I do think we should keep the pressure on Trader Joe’s, but we might also try the major drugstore chains (Walgreen’s might be the best) to stock these as “impulse” items by their check out, with the gums and mints and such.

    By the way, Trader Joe’s made them “wash out” the blackcurrant flavor from the original to a paltry imitation, because they said the original was “too strong” a flavor for their customers.  *I* want the original back again.  They also make a Wild Berry which is delicious, but was never carried here.

    We should coordinate a campaign aimed at Trader Joe’s and a drugstore chain, for maximum impact and hit both from multiple locations.

    Alternatively, does anyone travel to Switzerland?


    Comment by Jane Johnston on 10/27/07 at 8:21 pm #
  30. I found an alternative same product . they have raspberry, black current, with and without sugar. A little more expensive.

    Comment by Angela North on 10/29/07 at 7:40 pm #
  31. I have friends in both Holland and Switzerland who have been searching stores for the Dr. Doolittle’s I miss (as does my dog, Buddy), but to no avail. Trader Joe’s posture on stocking this item seems rather cavalier, as it’s very obvious that Dr. Doolittle’s sells and has faithful followers.  Cost Plus?

    Comment by Dr Sally Headding on 10/30/07 at 10:11 am #
  32. Hello,

    If you are ever in Canada the Dr. Doolittles pastilles are carried by Chapters and Indigo Books in Grapefruit, Lemon and Black Current flavours.


    Comment by Brian on 1/10/08 at 4:32 am #
  33. Talk about music to my ears, thank you so much for the information!  I’m going to make a try at ordering them over the Internet, either from Chapters, or Indigo Books.  And, if that doesn’t work, fortunately I have a few friends up their in the hinterlands as their’s not a Dr. Doolittles to be found in the States.
    Kind regards,
    Sally/Dr Sallly Headding

    Comment by Dr Sally Headding on 1/10/08 at 8:31 am #
  34. Where, oh where are my Dr Doolittles?  I too have repeately requested Trader Joes to restock these wonderful pastilles to no avail.  Since I live close enough to the British Columbia border to consider a buying trip, does anyone know what stores in BC might carry them?  Thanks…

    Comment by Judy Abbott on 1/29/08 at 7:06 am #
  35. Anyone have luck ordering the pastilles online? My coworker introduced the grapefruit pastilles to me, and i loved them. then i tried to get them at trader joes, and they no longer sold them. i was really really disappointed!

    Comment by patty on 2/03/08 at 3:19 pm #
  36. Hi Everyone,

    Found the dr. doolittle pastilles-Harvey Nichols food hall, all flavours. 5 euros a tin in Ireland.  But I am sure that they can be found in the UK as well.

    Comment by Jackie on 12/03/08 at 2:08 am #
  37. Cybele's avatar

    Good news!

    I found them at Cost Plus World Market in Los Angeles. The tins are completely different (and only hold 2 ounces).

    More flavors than they used to have - grapefruit, lemon and berry.

    Review soon.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/23/09 at 6:28 pm #
  38. I tried the site Angela mentioned,, and it’s great. Less money than the other sites that carry them. I have to say the pastilles are better too. Their glycern based and soaked in pure blackcurrant juice, then cured.  I guess that’s why they are more expensive.  Apparently, this is the brand the big stars and broadway singers use.  I hope this helps everyone.

    Comment by Lucy on 3/29/09 at 5:20 am #
  39. I went to website listed prior, and found the Grethers brand blackcurrent Pastilles.. These are the ones I fell in love with as a child,and could never find. I substituted the Dr Dolittle brand instead. Anyone wanting a very similar and possibly superior product, need to try Grethers. They only have the black current and red current flavors.

    Comment by Marilyn Levy on 8/02/09 at 5:40 pm #
  40. OK, I have found them!!!!!

    This store isn’t going to know what hit it.

    You may have to call because when I tried to order online and got to checkout the shipping charges were $74.26!!!

    They specialize in wine and I was told when I called that it thought I was ordering bottles of wine.

    They have grapefruit, lemon, wild berry and apple.

    Comment by Linda on 8/03/09 at 10:19 am #
  41. Thanks SO much, Linda!  I also had to phone, but my order will go out tomorrow for delivery in about a week.  ALL the customer service people were busy, so I suspect you are right about them not knowing what hit them.  The price is not great, but any port in a storm…or a dry spell, as the situation may be.

    Best wishes,


    Comment by janejohn on 8/03/09 at 11:58 am #
  42. Just got back from Hong Kong with the Nestl? (Rowntree) blackcurrant pastilles. Or to be more precise 48 rolls = 672 pieces ~ 2.5 kg or 5.5 lbs.

    Nestl? no longer sells blackcurrant pastilles rolls in the U.K. but in Hong Kong they are still going strong. In the U.K they market the annoying fruit pastilles which I’m not a fan of all their flavors.

    The original blackcurrant pastilles with Rowntree before the Nestl? acquisition was darker. i.e. black with the sugar coating it more crystalline and cubic. The new formula is more purple with the sugar coating being less cubic and less crystalline. Nonetheless close enough to the original formula.

    Comment by Diganta on 9/17/09 at 12:28 pm #
  43. The specsonline is definitely for wine and spirits.  If your looking for the blackcurrant and redcurrant pastilles you need to go to the website for Grether’s Pastilles, which is,  It’s the best website and they really try to keep their prices low.  I have order from them for a long time and they always ship quickly.  If they have a back order, they let me know.  Check them out.

    Comment by Lucy on 9/17/09 at 12:59 pm #
  44. I was searching around, was just about to give up looking for these and then I came across this site:

    Of course it’s located in the UK, and looks like they ship everywhere except the US. Though they say if you do not see your country listed, contact them to get a quote. So it’s up to you if you want to make the effort. For now, I’m satisfied with the Grether’s Pastilles.

    Comment by amarie on 2/12/10 at 1:58 am #
  45. Hey, do you guys know where to buy these pastilles currently? I’ve been looking everywhere, but cant find them on line or in stores. Thanks!

    Comment by Marilyn on 1/17/11 at 8:32 pm #
  46. Marilyn, you can still get them at  There very difficult to find in any retail store.  This website is the best I’ve found!

    Comment by ToodieSue on 4/30/13 at 3:31 pm #
  47. I just came back from Lebanon.  There was a restaurant in Beirut, al Mandaloun, that served Dr. Doolittle’s Black Currant Pastille’s with the bill.

    Comment by catherine on 6/09/13 at 6:53 pm #
  48. Hi all - I’m singing a lot these days. Had a back-supply of Boots glycerine drops but they don’t ship those here… Only in the UK. So I switched to Grethers but they are a bit pricey. The Duke medical site actually recommends Dr. Doolittle’s for singers - so any updates? Does Costplus still sell these? Any online options at all? Grateful for any news…. Thanks!

    Comment by Marian on 10/20/13 at 7:39 pm #
  49. Cybele's avatar

    Marian - I would look for either Pine Bros which are not terribly expensive in the large bags or Bach Rescue Pastilles, which are several times the price.

    Comment by Cybele on 10/20/13 at 7:46 pm #
  50. Thanks! Have seen both but have my heart set on that grapefruit flavor… Will make due in the meantime.

    Comment by Marian on 10/20/13 at 7:55 pm #
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