In an attempt to create a healthier candy option, Red Vines has devised a new product they’re calling “Red Vines Made Simple.” The new line of the classic candy swaps out corn syrup and the infamous Red 40 for cane sugar and radish extract for coloring. Essentially, the artificial has been replaced with natural ingredient alternatives, following suit with other junk food companies’ healthy swap attempts.
The company has also eliminated the use of GMOs in the Red Vines Made Simple in response to the GMO controversy that’s been sprouting in health communities and ice cream conglomerates alike.
The label of the candy brags about having real sugar, no artificial colors, and no artificial preservatives. It also reads that the vines are “made with natural fruit flavor,” as opposed to the ambiguous, non-fruit-specific “Original Red” flavor of the classic Red Vine.
Here at The Daily Meal, we wondered whether consumers would really be able to taste the difference. So we ordered a few boxes and did a little sampling for ourselves.
We conducted a blind taste test, ensuring that participants in our little experiment wouldn’t be swayed at all by the earthy-crunchy packaging of the “Made Simple” version. Without divulging which Red Vine was which, we had Daily Meal editors sample each flavor.
While there were a few dissidents from popular opinion, the general consensus resounded that the “natural” Red Vines actually taste better.
“These ones are way better,” said one editor. “It tastes actually sweet.”
“I like this one better,” said another editor, referring to the classic Red Vines. “But I don’t like sweet candies, so what does that mean?”
The texture of the Red Vines pointed to the same verdict: Editors noted that they could feel the difference in the surface of the candy. “I can really feel it on my hands,” our Cook Editor, Daisy Nichols, exclaimed. The natural Red Vines had a more rugged, grainy feel, whereas the old versions were synthetically smooth.
It means that for candy lovers and sugar addicts alike, the natural Red Vines are the way to go.
Are they healthier?
You might think that this was the better choice for our health. One might even assume that the new Red Vine product is a healthy food. Now, when we inevitable plow through the eight packages we ordered faster than should be possible, at least the natural, real sugars will be better for us. Right?
We’ll let you be the judge. Each serving of the classic Red Vine contains just 12 grams of sugar. Each portion of “Red Vines Made Simple,” on the other hand, contains nearly twice that, with 23 grams per serving. The caloric content of the candies are almost exactly the same.
However, it is true that the “Red Vines Made Simple” are devoid of artificial ingredients, with which classic Red Vines are absolutely loaded.
We recommend giving these new natural flavors a try — but keep in mind, the “natural flavor” doesn’t always mean everything inside is natural at all.