I recently started a new series here on Hands Occupied in which I review candy and snacks. My unique set of dietary quirks force me to be more aware of what I snack on more than the average person. My quirks include hypoglycemia, lactose intolerance (though I take medicine to help with that), and I’m vegetarian.
Today, I’m looking at three candies by Surf Sweets, a company I discovered a this year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo. From the company’s website:
We want to help you foster a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. In addition to using natural, organic ingredients, Surf Sweets candy provides 100% of your Vitamin C per serving. We also understand that whatâ€™s not in your food can be just as important as what is. Thatâ€™s why all of our products are free of trans fats, GMOs, corn syrup, gluten, artificial colors and flavors. We also produce our products in a peanut-free facility that is free of other common allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, tree nuts, shell fish, and fish).
For those of you who read my Candy Expo posts, you might remember this super cute bear made of gummy bears, featured at the Surf Sweets Expo table. The first two points in my plus column for Surf Sweets were this bear and their awesome booth staff.
The Candy Caucus
I called a meeting of what I’ve started to refer to as the “candy caucus” to get opinions from multiple people on Surf Sweets. For this review, we’ve got me, my cousin Dan (an omnivore), and my husband (a vegetarian).
The Caucus tried Surf Sweets’ gummy bears, jelly beans, and sour berry bears. The sour berry bears are vegan, the jelly beans are vegetarian, and the gummy bears contain gelatin, so they’re not vegetarian. My husband and I are not strict vegetarians. Boo, hiss – I know. We will eat small amounts of gelatin, lard or meat stock infrequently, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes I have to choose between getting really low blood sugar and eating a bit of chicken stock in soup at a relative’s house, for instance.
On a scale from “don’t try it” to “you HAVE to try it!”…
Our overall thoughts on Surf Sweets -Â Try it, especially if you’re into healthy eating!
Of all three candies tried, Dan said:
They were tasty. They tasted more like fruit and less like artificial fruit flavor. Same with the jelly beans.
Ed and I agree. These aren’t grocery store gummy bears or the super cheap jelly beans you buy by the pound around Easter time. However, all three candies really feel, first and foremost like candy. Which is important to me – it’s so disappointing when you really want to like a “healthy” candy and it tastes… not like candy. :(Â It’s nice to know that all of Surf Sweets’ products are corn syrup and artificial color-free. I can have my candy and avoid all that nasty HFC.
Sour Berry Bears – You HAVE to try it!
I’m not a huge sour fan myself, but these weren’t crazy sour. Other sour candies make me think I’m going to harm my digestive system. I love that sour berry bears are vegan, and they’ve still got the texture of Sour Patch Kids, the candy I most associate with gummy and sour.
My husband specifically liked that these tasted like a natural/”healthy” candy while still being tasty.
The sour berry bears were Dan’s favorite of the three candies we sampled.
Gummy Bears – Try it if you’re veggie and don’t mind gelatin
My husband and cousin thought they were fine, but that they tasted a lot like regular gummy bears. I have a sneaking suspicion that is the point since they’re offering a natural alternative to a well-loved snack. For me personally, if I’m going to chomp on some gummy bears, they might as well be Surf Sweets. However, my only negative is that I wish they were vegetarian. As I said earlier, the gelatin renders Surf Sweets’ gummy bears unvegetarian. If they go to the effort of making them natural, why not go veg too? (I’m guessing it’s a texture/consistency thing, but I’m no expert.)
Jelly Beans – You HAVE to try it!
Ed, Dan and I all liked these, and for Ed and I, the jelly beans we our favorite of the bunch. Not only are these completely vegetarian, but they have great flavors without being ridiculously sweet. I used to love jelly beans as a kid, but these days the sugar messes me up hypoglycemia-wise. No joke, Surf Sweets’ jelly beans are going to be my new go-to chewy candy!
I only got some sample sizes of Surf Sweets, so there isn’t a giveaway on these today. If peanut butter is you’re thing, though check out my review of PB2 peanut butter from last week and enter to win some free PB2! The giveaway runs through July 1.