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A definitive ranking of gummy bears

Published April 1, 2024

Black Forest Gummy Bears (photos by AVERY PALSHAW)


In the early 19th century, Hans Riegel of Bonn, Germany, was inspired to create his own sweets company called Haribo–a combination of the first two letters of Riegel’s first name, last name and town. Riegel’s profound passion led to specializing in making gelatin, bear-shaped candies, now widely known as gummy bears. Like many Americans, I possess an undeniable sweet tooth, so it seemed necessary to write a hard-hitting, potentially controversial review on six types of the beloved gummy bear.

  1. Black Forest Gummy Bears 

There is no excuse for this monstrosity. Black Forest Gummy Bears taste like a

Haribo Original Goldbears

lingering headache that might have occurred from drinking too much apple juice and their artificial taste is painfully sweet. Maybe Black Forest felt righteous when they put “made with real fruit juice” on their packaging, but these bears are disgraceful.

  1. Haribo Original Goldbears

These may be considered the “gold standard” for gummy bears, but as Robert Frost wrote, “Nothing gold can stay.” There is simply nothing special about these bears other than their ability to disappoint in both flavor and texture. Seriously, every bear is so stale and difficult to chew that I think I might finish high school before I finish an entire bag. 

Haribo Sour Goldbears

  1. Haribo Sour Goldbears

Again, Haribo falls short. The only thing less underwhelming than their original “sisters” is the glorious citric acid that coats each one. Still, what I find disappointing is that the actual gummy is not sour, only the

outer layer is. Do better, Haribo. 

  1. Coastal Bay Confections

    Coastal Bay Confections Gummy Bears

While nothing is unique about Coastal Bay Confections gummy bears, these are good, standard gummies. They come in the same five flavors as Haribo–strawberry, raspberry, orange, lemon and pineapple–yet, they have stronger flavoring, are larger and are overall a better gummy bear option. 

  1. Albanese Original Gummy Bears

With 12 different flavors, including cherry, pink grapefruit, watermelon, strawberry, orange, blue raspberry, lime, grape, green apple, mango, pineapple and lemon, there are not many flaws to these delicious bears. Not overly sweet, these are for anyone who prefers original-flavored candy to their sour counterparts. 

Albanese Original Gummy Bears

  1. Albanese Sour Gummy Bears

There is no other word to describe these gummy bears other than sensational. It’s perplexing how Albanese managed to

create a sour gummy that is both sour in its exterior coating as well as the actual gummy, yet they somehow did it. To any critics of sour Albanese Gummy Bears, I question your taste buds. 


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