Get Your Jaw Ready for the Best Gummy Candies, Ranked

I love gummy candy. It has been my go-to type of candy for years and years. It was there for me when I was studying for finals in college. It was there for me on hungover mornings in my 20s. It is there for me now as a little pick-me-up when I’m stumped trying to fill out a Thursday New York Times crossword puzzle, because that is where I am in my one wild and exciting life. 

But, as I found out during our taste test with fellow gummy enthusiast and Mythical director of short form, Greg Johnson, I like my gummies to have very specific attributes. First of all, they can’t be too soft. I don’t want jellies, I want gummies. I also want them to be somewhat translucent—rather than opaque like taffy. And I want them to have a strong, vibrant flavor. Bonus points if they come in unexpected shapes that allow you to nibble them in fun ways. Gummy candy isn’t just a dessert or a snack, it’s a way to pass the time. So give me something fun to bite. 

We tried 20 of the most-popular, top-selling gummies to find the best ones. Sadly, some were left behind (I still love you, Haribo Frogs, even if other people didn’t like your white underbellies!). But the best ones rose to the top. Here are the best gummy candies you can buy.

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haribo goldbears

Best of the Best

Haribo Goldbears

Are you at all surprised that the OG gummies made it to the top of our list? They embody the perfect gummy and there’s just no arguing with it (although I’m sure I’ll see some attempts in the comments). “These are the stiffest, most compact gummy bears you can find—and that’s what I’m looking for,” said Greg. I completely agree. These require time to chew but you’re rewarded with long lasting flavor. And, notably, each color of bear has a definite and distinct flavor. Everyone has their favorites—I love a clear bear, personally—but each one brings something to the table.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best gummy worms

Best Gummy Worms

Favorite Day Gummi Worms

These Target brand gummy worms are softer than our top pick, but that’s okay. Actually, that’s what you want out of a worm. You want a toothsome gummy—something that has some resistance but is still soft enough that you can easily chomp through the lithe, wriggly body. Plus, they have that bumpy, segmented texture that makes for an even more mouth-pleasing experience. These worms are super flavorful and, according to Greg, the blue sections in particular are “impeccable.” Eat these worms solo or use them in your favorite dirt cup recipe.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Target

Rating:

9.5/10

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haribo happy cola

Best Grown-Up Flavor

Haribo Happy-Cola Gummi Candy

“This is my personal favorite,” said Greg. “I’ve eaten so many bags of these for dinner by choice.” Though these are a recent obsession of mine, I was surprised by how many of my colleagues agreed that they belonged on top. They don’t taste like a kid’s candy—well, not like a kid from any time past the 1950s. They have a grown-up flavor, almost like root beer or a digestif. They’re a touch herbal and have a nice, bright acidity. They’re great and they feel like the more sophisticated gummy of the bunch. Pro tip from Greg: “Eat them at the same time as Haribo Happy Cherries and you’ve made your own Cherry Coke gummy.”

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

haribo rainbow worms

Best Worms, Runner-Up

Haribo Rainbow Worms

These gummies are less earthworms (like traditional gummy worms) and more glow worms or grubs. They’re smaller and thicker with little faces (which I love). It’s nice to meet your food sometimes. Each worm is made up of three different flavor segments—a big swing. But they all work together. The flavors are bold and tropical—and very much different from your classic gummy worms. The texture is dense—in a good way. “They really make you chew it,” said Sporked writer Danny Palumbo. “I like that, though. I like eating to be a strenuous activity.” Make sure to warm up your jaw before you dive into a bag of these.

Credit: Ryan Martin / CVS

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

lifesavers gummies

 Best Take on a Classic

Live Savers Gummies

I remember when Life Savers Gummies first hit the market. They were a revelation. That you could take a hard candy and transform it into a toothsome gummy was amazing to me. And upon trying them again during our taste test, I was struck once more by their genius. We tried other gummy candy adaptations, such as Skittles and Starburst, but these were the only ones that really got it right. They have that perfectly satisfying squish, that same zesty tang of the classic hard candy, and, as Greg put it, “the fun factor.” You can put the rings on your fingers and eat them off. And that’s a good time.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best gummy bears

Best Variety of Flavors

Albanese World’s Best Gummi Bears

Okay, so these don’t totally follow through with the name. They aren’t the world’s best—but they’re pretty darn good. They come in 12 different flavors and colors, including a gorgeous shade of teal that I will be using as a reference for my shower tile when I redo my bathroom. They have a nice firm bite (“Lots of resistance but not in a stale way,” said editorial assistant Naajia Shukri) and good flavor saturation. Plus, they come in some unexpected flavors like mango and pink grapefruit along with classic hits like blue raspberry, green apple, and cherry. When you tire of Haribo but still want to munch on a bear, try these.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

haribo happy cherries

Best Fruit Flavor

Haribo Happy Cherries

“They make me happy,” said Greg. “It’s a great fake cherry—not a medicine cherry.” Danny agreed, praising the texture and pure flavor. “It’s gummy all the way through—no weird gummy crust,” he said. “And it actually tastes like a fruit.” I appreciate the shape, which gives you so much to play with when you’re eating. You have the stems to nibble at, as well as the round, pillowy cherries—they’re big enough so you can take bits and bites if you want, but not so big that you can’t take one down in one go.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

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haribo alphabet letters

Best Shapes

Haribo Alphabet Letters

These gummies and I have been through a lot together. They’re my go-to. They’re essentially just the same goo Haribo uses to make their Goldbears shaped into letters. And that’s great. They have the perfect amount of resistance, all of those classically delicious flavors, and a bevy of shapes for you to enjoy. Greg wasn’t sold. “I don’t want to spell a word,” he said. I get it. He doesn’t want to work while he’s enjoying a gummy. But isn’t it fun that you could spell a word with your sweet treat if you wanted to? I like options and I like activities—as long as they end in me eating gummy candies.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

efruitti pizza

Best Design

eFrutti Gummi Pizza

It may not win on flavor alone, but this product is too cute and too fun to pass up. You still get the translucent gummy satisfaction in the form of the toppings, but everything is undercut by a vanilla-tinged, opaque “crust,” which is verging on taffy. It’s hard to discern what kinds of toppings the little multi-colored gummies on the pizza are supposed to represent—but that’s fun too. It’s nice to maintain a little mystery in life. Plus, the pizza is cut into five slices so you can actually eat it like a tiny pizza. Adorable.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

red vines vs twizzlers

Enough Is Enough: Stop Comparing Twizzlers and Red Vines

For decades, the two snacks have been pitted against one another in some misguided East Coast-West Coast snack-food war. Let’s stop the madness.

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About the Author

Justine Sterling

Justine Sterling is the editor-in-chief of Sporked. She has been writing about food and beverages for well over a decade and is an avid at-home cook and snacker. Don’t worry, she’s not a food snob. Sure, she loves a fresh-shucked oyster. But she also will leap at whatever new product Reese’s releases and loves a Tostitos Hint of Lime, even if there is no actual lime in the ingredients.

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  • This list sucks the albanese should be number 1 most of these snacks I’ve never heard of, no sour gummies? What’s wrong with this list? Everything except 2 candies(albanese and cola gummies) are fire.

    Reply
    • For real albanese are the best! Depending on how fresh they are they are super soft and I love that. Plus trying to figure out all 12 flavors is fun.

      Reply
  • Haribo is KING! Glad to see so much representation. Now I gotta go find the Rainbow Worms. My favorite are the Twin Snakes. Lots of flavor.

    Reply
  • It was cool ! ! ! ! !

    Reply
  • Haribo Happy Cola is one of my favorites and i like to put mine in the freezer.

    Reply
  • Albanese have the best texture and flavor in my opinion! Top tear gummies for sure!

    Reply