18 Gummy Candies, Ranked Worst To Best

There are candy brands that have been in the gummy game for over a century. Some have been making other sweet confections over time that didn't have chewy qualities but inevitably felt compelled to take the classic flavors that had mass appeal and switch up the recipe a bit to go in a softer direction.

What we love about gummy candies is that there is a lot of creative and artistic potential with the medium. It's easily shaped to resemble a variety of objects and animals like worms, bears, slices of watermelon, fish, hot dogs, cola bottles, or planets. When it comes to fruity flavors, you can find everything that grows under the sun. You can delight in spice-tinged gummies courtesy of Tajín. We also sampled some that were inspired by wine and cider. And we can't forget about sour gummies. We have a serious soft spot for those, and there are plenty available. We tried a variety, and here's our assessment of how they ranked.

18. Gustaf's Gumbilees

We were curious to try these wine-inspired gummy candies from Gustaf's, a Dutch candy company mainly known for its licorice offerings. We didn't have particularly high expectations for this product because wine and gummy candy seemed like a combination destined to fail. Unfortunately, we were proven right. 

Before even getting into the flavor, we found these to be rigorously chewy. They tacked onto the teeth and would not let go. These gummies do taste a bit like wine, but that's maybe not a great asset unless you have some exceptional cheese and charcuterie as a pairing. Because they don't contain alcohol, they could be a good option to serve for guests who abstain from drinking but appreciate viticulture flavors.

We were also disappointed to only find one cherry wine flavor in the pack. While other gummy boxes and bags do seem to have an imbalance of flavor distribution, this was especially egregious, considering that was the only flavor that we liked.

17. Herbert's Best Planet Gummi

These adorable gummy candy globes from Herbert's Best could be a good party favor or perhaps a stocking stuffer item around the holidays. They've also developed a bit of a fan base on TikTok, which we can only assume is mainly because of the novelty factor, but with only a measly four candies in the package we bought at the price of $5.99 from Cost Plus World Market, this doesn't seem worth buying.

The plastic shell that encases the candy gives it some visual appeal, with a plethora of colorful continents spanning the mini globe. Once you crack the shell, the candy is just a doughy, soft, blubbery blue orb that doesn't give off gummy vibes. On the inside, there's a berry-tinged filling that we assume is supposed to represent magma. The "outer crust" (if we're sticking with the planet analogy) didn't come across as a gummy. It had more of a soft marshmallow consistency and didn't have a distinct flavor of its own. It left all of the heavy lifting up to the inner component. It's an expensive candy without much substance.

16. Kasugai Frutia Strawberry Gummy

Imported from Japan, this gummy candy from Frutia was not our favorite of the bunch. It had quite a strange appearance, and while on some level we appreciate that it didn't lean into artificial coloring like many of the other gummies that we tried, this almost looked rotten.

As far as flavor, it starts just tasting like plain ol' sugary candy. The strawberry shows up somewhat once you're done chewing. Its texture is chunky and gelatinous, breaking into firm pieces rather than a pleasing chewy gummy that you can savor.

Based on appearance, flavor, and mouthfeel, as far as we're concerned, we wouldn't head back to this particular strawberry patch. We're also not huge fans of the packaging. Though we appreciate that the individual wrappers ensure that the candy inside stays fresh, it just seems wasteful and unnecessary since the candy itself frankly doesn't merit special treatment.

15. Efrutti Lunch Bag

Your jaws are definitely going to get a workout when you try Efrutti's Lunch Bag. In general, everything we tried from this lunch bag sampler pack was ridiculously tough and chewy. 

Neither the mini cheeseburgers sliders nor the hot dogs had soft buns. They eventually became less of a chore to chomp on, but it took a lot of aggressive bites to get there. The strongest flavor was an unpleasant artificial cherry. We found much of the same to be true of the pizza, which also had a stale crust. The sour french fries didn't come close in comparison to the other sour gummy candies that we tried. The same issue remained with the gummies being too tough. The cola bottle wasn't as offensive in terms of texture, but if that's your preferred gummy flavor, we would recommend just buying a package of that exclusively rather than this very mixed bag.

While there's a lot of whimsy involved with the package design and the confections inside, we thought that this was more style than substance. It would make for a fun gift, and it's also worth considering that they are nut-free and gluten-free, but if those are not dietary concerns, you might be better off looking in another direction. 

14. Vegobears - Santa Monica

It might seem like gummy candy would be vegan. After all, there are no obvious red flags like meat or dairy, but generally, gummies are not vegan because the common thickening agent is made of gelatin, which is derived from the rendered collagen of equine, bovine, and porcine livestock.

Vegobears has gone to great efforts to provide a pure vegan gummy candy option, and the ingredients are also organic and non-GMO. The company offers three flavors at the time of publication. There's Malibu, which has a foamy and creamy appearance, and a sour gummy they've dubbed Venice Beach. Third in the lineup is Santa Monica, which is what we sampled. It's a classic fruit gummy bear collection with strawberry, pineapple, and bananas as its trio of flavors. Notably, it's been a snack option on Delta Airlines.

We admire the commitment that vegans have to fully abstaining from animal-based products. It can't be easy, given the lack of food products that fall under that category. Unfortunately, we found that the texture of this vegan candy was starkly different from its non-vegan competitors. We found it to be very mealy and tacky, and the flavors weren't exceptional enough to overcome that, which is why we're ranking these gummies lower.

13. Jolly Rancher Gummies

We'll give Jolly Rancher some credit where credit is due. Their gummy candies taste spot in comparison to their popular hard candy counterparts. Unlike other gummy confectioners that tout using natural ingredients or attempt to replicate authentic fruity flavors, Jolly Rancher has always gone in a strong, not-100%-natural-flavor direction.

We would say that hard candy is a better way to go when there's this concentration of sweet and tangy. It's one thing to enjoy a sucker for a few minutes with those flavors, but they're a bit much with gummies. We did not enjoy the sour apple flavor in this format. The grape gummy we had tasted a bit like cough medicine. We did like the blue raspberry. Our favorite of the four was the watermelon, and we concluded that it's likely because the fruity inspiration is generally a mellow and relaxed flavor, so the intensity of the concentrate wasn't quite as offensive.

12. Snak Club Tajín Mango Rings

We'll admit that we were a bit flummoxed by the looks of this Tajín-seasoned mango ring gummy candy from Snak Club. It immediately made us think of fried calamari from an especially giant and terrifying squid. Maybe the peach and watermelon rings wouldn't have the same visual effect.

The chili and lime seasoning elements from the Tajín seasoning were a bit subtle at first. They eventually kicked in, but we found the result to be a bit odd. There's heat — enough to satisfy those who like spice but not so much that it would put off those who are averse to it. Our verdict is that it's not a repeat buy. We would much prefer real dried mango that hasn't been made into processed candy. Then, we could sprinkle however much Tajín on top of it that we like. We would deem that a far nicer chewy, spicy, and sweet bite.

11. Dots

Tootsie's Dots gumdrops are a genuine trip down nostalgia lane. These classic gummy candies come in five colors:  pink, red, orange, yellow, and green, which respectively reflect its strawberry, cherry, orange, lemon, and lime flavors. It's not the complete spectrum, but it's pretty darn close to it.

These classic gumdrops are exactly how we remembered them. They are rather elegant in their simplicity, and they are at least worth a purchase for the memories. However, compared to the other gummies that we tried, they weren't top-tier. They're rather dense in texture and not especially strong or particularly defined when it comes to the individual flavors. Cherry and strawberry don't come across as very different. Orange and lemon could also be interchanged easily. We'll grant an exception when it comes to lime, but when the flavor is a bit on the verge of tasting medicinal, it's not necessarily an asset. 

10. Skittles Gummies

According to the humorous "facts" section on the Mars, Incorporated website, Skittles candy has been around for approximately 208 million years and came from the depths of the oceans. All of that sounds a tad (maybe even more than a tad) hyperbolic to us. In reality, these treats originated in England and rose to popularity in the 1970s.

We appreciated that these soft gummy candies from Skittles do taste absolutely like the familiar flavors (grape, lime, strawberry, orange, and lemon) of the original hard-shelled candy we've consumed over the years. We wouldn't rank these gummies quite so high on our list because we missed that crunchy, shellacked texture, and something about the experience of eating Skittles gummies felt off without that quality. Whether or not you prefer this new approach from Skittles may come down to whether you like a thick, crispy skin on your confections or opt for tender chewiness.

9. Nerds Gummy Clusters

If you need a candy to snack on when you're watching the next Marvel flick, please let us tell you all about Nerds Gummy Clusters because they are very much the multiverse of gummy candies. They have a plethora of supercharged candy energy. They're coated with a cornucopia of colors, they're sour, they're sweet, they're crunchy on the outside, and they're sweet on the inside.

We really appreciated this candy due to its commitment to complexity. Surprisingly, it somehow all works, and Nerds Gummy Clusters will definitely be a repeat purchase for us. Nevertheless, if we're sticking to the standards of a purist gummy fan, we can't place them too high on the list. This is a solid candy, but it's cheating a bit because it's not 100% gummy. Yes, there is a gummy candy inside, but with its Nerd candy coating, it's got an unfair advantage.

8. Puchao Gummy n' Soft

Here's the good news: This candy is pretty darn good. The bad news is it's only for those who are super strict when it comes to gummy confections. We would not put Puchao's "Gummy n' Soft Candy" in the category of gummies. These came across more like a soft taffy despite the messaging on the package, which is why we ranked them lower on the list.

All four flavors, which included mango, melon, grape, and strawberry, from this bag of Puchao were equally represented in this bag. Five of each added up to a total of 20 individually wrapped candies. They were potently flavored but not overly cloying. "Puchao" is onomatopoeia in its purest form, accurately reflecting the clean and specific knockout punch this gummy candy delivers. One bite goes a long way. We found that strawberry and grape taste rather artificial, but the mango and melon flavors are top-notch. It was hard to pick a favorite between those two, and we would love to buy a bag of Puchao that exclusively features those flavors.

7. Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers

There's no pretense when it comes to the Sour Brite Crawlers from Trolli. These gummy worms are very forthright in appearing as candy loaded with artificial dyes and colors.

The batch we sampled had a mix of three different worms, which each have two flavors that are split down the middle — six in total. There are orange and lime, strawberry and grape, and cherry and lemon worms. We're not sure what the biological inspiration was here, but we'll run with the narrative. You can vaguely pick up on the fruits that inspired the candy. If you bite one in half to pick up on a specific flavor, it's not a guarantee that you'll find it. For example, the cherry came through, but the lemon flavor on the other side did not. There's somewhat of a design flaw there.

We appreciate the softness of the gummy, though. And the sour coating is applied at what we thought to be the correct ratio, so we're placing it near the middle of our rankings.

6. Haribo Goldbears

Living up to its glossy gilded packaging, Haribo Goldbears could arguably be the gold-standard bearer of gummy bears. It's the brand you immediately think of when it comes to this iconic shape, and Haribo has a lot more to offer in terms of shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. While admittedly, these bears were a bit chewier than we recalled the last time we had them, we found that they weren't short on flavor.

One thing that is odd about these bears, though, is that the strawberry bear is, for some reason, dyed a neon green hue. It's not a color we would ever associate with strawberries. While we don't object to the taste, just be aware you're not going to get any lime out of this bite. The orange, raspberry, lemon, and pineapple are much more reflective of the fruits that inspired the flavors. The strangeness of pairing green with strawberry is the main reason Haribo Goldbears isn't our top gummy pick.

5. Swedish Fish

Put on your sunglasses if you plan on reeling in some Swedish Fish because this gummy candy is shockingly bright in its neon crimson hue. We give higher marks to Swedish Fish because, over the years, we've always found the chewiness factor to be soft and tender. A slight amount of effort goes into breaking down that big fish, but it isn't a major struggle. The candy sticks to your teeth a bit, but not enough to concern your dentist.

A lot of gummy candies, even the ones that don't market themselves as "sour," have a tart finish, but that's not the case with Swedish Fish. They mellow out in a pleasant way. And while we can't quite put our finger on what the flavor is intended to be, to us, it seems like it exists somewhere in the realm of a cherry and berry blend. Bubble gum comes to mind as well.

4. Haribo Peaches

Don't turn your back on a bag of this delicious peach candy from gummy giant Haribo. Unfortunately, we did, and mere minutes after leaving the room, nearly half of the contents were somehow gone. Our bad.

These gummy candies are simply irresistible. Though a fresh peach at its peak ripeness is always going to be preferable, these will satisfy your stone-fruit craving when it's the middle of winter, and getting that particular item of produce is not an option. Unlike some of the other fruity gummy candies that we tried, we found that Haribo Peaches really hit the nail on the head with this peachy treat. They do taste quite a bit like their inspiration, albeit an artificial version of it. The candy is sweet on its own, but it's also dusted with a medium-weight coat of granulated sugar to give it even more of a sucrose kick. 

3. Trader Joe's Super Sour Scandinavian Swimmers

The biggest downside of Trader Joe's Super Sour Scandinavian Swimmers is that they're hit or miss when you're fishing for a bag. We've been lucky to find it in our local store about half the time. When this item wasn't available, we tried the Tangy Turtles as well as the regular Scandinavian Swimmers, which are plain and not sour. Neither of those was to our liking.

When you can find Trader Joe's Super Sour Scandinavian Swimmers, you can't beat the price. They are $3.49 for a 14-ounce bag. The candies are consistently nice and chewy. The sour coating adds a crunchy layer in addition to the pucker factor before you get to the gummy interior, which is pleasantly sweet. All in all, these candies are perfectly balanced. We just wish there were a few more of the dolphins since they're our favorite flavor. There always seems to be an overabundance of the red starfish, which isn't our least favorite flavor. That would be the orange tang. A bit more balance in the distribution of the flavors would help raise this gummy candy to a higher ranking.

2. Sour Patch Kids

Sour Patch Kids, as we know them today, have existed under a variety of interesting monikers. When they were first launched in the early 1970s, they were known as "Mars Men." In France, they have been sold under the name "Very Bad Kids." We think these names are both somewhat apt but also rather pejorative. Just because they're sour or perhaps literally described as being from another planet and potentially might bully your taste buds a bit doesn't make them an offensive candy. Along with the originals, there are also myriad spin-off products associated with the brand — just so you know.

If you give Sour Patch Kids a chance, you'll find that there is a sweet center inside. We truly love them despite their naughty nature, and they're a particular favorite candy to enjoy in a movie theater where you can pace your consumption for 90 minutes.

1. Raindrops Candy Sushi Mini Bento Box

We sampled a few gimmicky gummy products and didn't have high expectations for this bento box of gummies shaped like sushi and other savory items. Maybe it's because we went into the tasting by setting the bar low. Still, we thought the Raindrops candy brand not only delivered on the look of these treats but also the quality. This is an omakase candy treat that merits a very heartfelt "Arigatou gozaimasu."

There's a nice mix of flavors and textures. We loved the crunchy coating that came with what we think may have meant to represent roe. The sushi "rice" base had a marshmallow texture. Two were topped with sour gummy bands, and the other two had sweet gummies on top that were shaped and dyed to resemble tuna and salmon. There was a raspberry dessert, a sweet spin on seaweed salad, and a stuffed avocado. A lot of thought went into this, and we appreciated it.

If you like their bento box as much as we did, you'll be eager to try other fun gummy treats from Raindrops. At the time of publication, we found other inspired gummy treats, such as a taco and a box of Chinese takeout noodles.