Gummy candies are arguably one of the most satisfying types of candy ever invented. There's just enough resilience when you bite down to fulfill that need to chew, and some brands suggest a serving size that’s in the double digits! The only problem is, there are so many options to choose from, how do you know which is best for you?
That depends on what you like. If you’re seeking the stalwart gummy bear, then the answer is easy. However, if you're looking for something more unusual, like worms or spiders for a creepy Halloween treat, or you'd prefer organic gummies in prepackaged portions, then you’ll have to do a bit more searching.
Although children are told not to play with their food, part of the fun of eating gummy candies is to first stretch and squish them. Just make sure that your hands are clean.
When shopping for something as subjective as gummy candies, the best way to discover what is right for you is to consider everything that’s available. Since this comes down to personal preference, we've decided to group all the different options into one section, so you have all the information you need in one convenient location.
The two most recognizable gummy candy shapes are bears and worms, but by no means does it stop there. You can find gummy candies in the shape of anything you desire, from cubes to flowers. There are lips, sharks, burgers, soda bottles, fruits, hearts, stars, gumdrops, rings, ghosts, bats, brains, rats, eyeballs, and much more. If you prefer something unconventional, that doesn't mean you're out of luck, it just means you have to look a little harder.
Gummy candy can be an irresistible treat with its diminutive size. Just popping one (or a half dozen) little morsels in your mouth might be perfect. However, there are always extremists, those who crave the jumbo-size items. If this is you, be careful, because biting into a gummy rat that is four inches thick is quite a different (unsettling?) experience. However, if you like giant snakes, thick worms, and oversize bears, you might want to consider something you can really sink your teeth into.
Oddly enough, there isn't a great deal of variety when it comes to flavors. Manufacturers tend to stick to the tried and true handful of fruity originals, such as orange, strawberry, pineapple, lemon, and raspberry. If you'd like greater diversity in flavors, it’s possible to find that, but it isn’t easy.
Coating: The coating on gummy candies is for more than decoration. If it looks likewhite, crystalline dust has settled on your bear or worm, chances are, it's going to be sour. The sweet gummy candies, on the other hand, have a chocolate coating. Some people prefer a sweet and salty combination. If that’s your taste preference, the salty coating will likely be something that you have to add yourself.
Colors are akin to shape in that you can find almost anything you desire, from blue sharks to purple bears. The only caution is to be aware that the colors don’t always match the flavor you may expect, such as the green-colored, strawberry-flavored gummy bears.
Additives can be good or bad. Many parents are not fond of artificial sweeteners and dyes in food. Luckily, you can purchase gummy candy made with certified organic fruit juice. Additionally, you can find gummy candies that are vitamin enriched or even caffeinated. If this is what you desire, these gummy candies will likely cost considerably more. Note that gummy vitamins are not candy. Be very careful about purchasing an item that may become dangerous if you or your child consumes more than the recommended amount.
And, if you cannot or do not eat sugar, you don’t have to miss out. Gummy candies are also available in sugar-free options.
If you're having a party, go for the big bag. However, if you're like most of us, popping these little treats can be so addicting that it's hard to stop. If that sounds like you, it's usually best to limit your purchase to one 4- or 5-ounce bag at a time.Many parents prefer purchasing pre-packaged portions so they can easily add them to their child's lunch for a tiny sweet treat. Also, if you get these packages, at least you won't feel so guilty when you can't stop yourself from consuming an entire bag.
When we research gummy candies, we make note of the available shapes. Although worms and bears are readily available, these soft candies come in numerous other fun forms.
Gummy candies come in just about any color of the spectrum. We take this into consideration when we assess this popular candy.
Some brands make gummy candy with organic ingredients that are derived from real fruit. We factor this practice into our research, as some consumers prefer organic products.
In analyzing gummy candy, we look at the quantity per package. While large bags with numerous pieces are available, small pre-selected portions that are ideal for kids can also be found.
In our assessment of gummy candy, we advise our readers that sugar-free options are available. They are ideal for those who love this candy’s sweet flavor and gummy consistency but need to cut sugar out of their diets.
Some gummy candies have coatings. We note that the most popular coatings are sour crystalline dust, sugar, salt, and chocolate.
From small bite-size pieces to large sweet treats, gummy candy comes in a wide selection of sizes. This is a feature we analyze in our guide.
When we provide information about gummy candy for our readers, we include details about the manufacturing process. What are the ingredients? How do the candies get their unique shapes? These steps are of interest to many consumers who enjoy this type of candy.
Although gummy candy enthusiasts love it as it is, there are also many other ways to indulge in this tasty treat. We take this into account during our research, listing several alternatives to eating the candy from the package.
Our research of gummy candies includes scrutinizing the ingredients. We take note of those required to make the candy and alert consumers about various additives that may be present. We also advise that gummy vitamins should never be consumed like candy.
Gummy candy prices
As a rule of thumb, the price of gummy candies is fairly consistent. You can expect to pay roughly $1 per ounce. However, if you want less expensive gummy candies, the ones closer to $0.50 per ounce, be prepared for a tougher, not-so-gummy chewing experience.
Also, the price for quality gummy candy typically comes down when you purchase in bulk. The only reason you would want to spend more per ounce on gummy candy is if they’re vitamin-fortified or made with special ingredients like real fruit juice, they’re labeled organic, or they’re sugar-free. Some of these special candies can be as much as $5 per ounce.
Did you know?
Gummy candies were invented in 1922, making them nearly 100 years old.
How gummy candy is made
If you've ever wondered how gummy candy is made, ponder no longer. The following is a brief outline of the process used to create these chewy wonders.
- Ingredients (see the FAQ section) are mixed together.
- Mixture is melted at 115°F.
- Molds are stamped into trays of cornstarch.
- Melted candy is poured into the cornstarch molds.
- Molds are refrigerated for about 12 to 15 hours.
- Cornstarch molds are emptied and sifted so the cornstarch can be used again for molds.
- Candied are spun and blasted with air to remove any remaining cornstarch.
- Candies are coated with mineral oil to make them shiny.
- Quality control carefully inspects and removes any misshapen candies before packaging.
Did you know?
Hans Riegel Sr., from Bonn, Germany, is credited with inventing gummy bear candy. The famed company, Haribo, was created by combining the first two letters of his first and last names along with the first two letters of his home town.
Other ways to enjoy gummy candy
Although the traditional way to enjoy gummy candy is straight out of the bag, there are other ways to enjoy these candies. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Topping ice cream or frozen yogurt
- Adding to milkshakes
- Decorating cakes and cupcakes
- Dipping in chocolate
- Filling popcorn balls
- Baking into cookies, Rice Crispy treats, or donuts
- Decorating Halloween brownies
- Dropping in coffee
- Dipping or soaking in alcohol (for adults of legal age only)
- Fishing (used as bait)
Did you know?
According to Guinness World Records, the largest gummy candy weighed 1,128 pounds 12 ounces and was made by Elisabeth Windisch of Germany in 2014. The candy reportedly took six days to set after being refrigerated.
Q. What are the ingredients used to make gummy candy?
A. Although the ingredients and the ratios used vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, the main ingredients used to make gummy candies are gelatin, sugar, and corn syrup. Coloring and flavoring are also added to make gummy candy even more fun to eat.
Q. What are the different flavors of gummy bears?
A. Again, the flavor of gummy candies vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The original bears, created by Haribo, are raspberry (red), orange (orange), pineapple (clear), lemon (yellow), and strawberry (green).
Q. My gummy candy is hard. Is there any way to soften it?
A. Possibly. The firmness of gummy candy depends on its concentration of gelatin. As the water evaporates, even soft candies can become hard. The best way to get them soft again is to let them soak in some warm (not hot) water. You'll have to keep an eye on the gummy candies to get them to the right consistency, but about 20 minutes can be enough. The new problem is the freshly softened gummy candies will melt together if you just throw them in a bag or pile them on top of each other. For best results, place them on a cooling rack until they dry out enough that they won’t stick together.