I Tried 6 Fruit Snacks, and This Was My Favorite
Although meant to satisfy the sweet tooth of children, fruit snacks can easily satisfy adults, too. The children and children-at-heart can all agree that there's nothing better than snacking on a sweet treat that satisfies your sugar craving. The adults can also confirm that a healthier version of a sugary treat is best for abdominal fat, type 2 diabetes, or really just overall health as you age.
Looking for alternative snacks to replace the sugary wonders of candy and artificial goods can be tough, which is why I made the ultimate sacrifice by trying six different fruit-flavored snacks. These popular fruit snacks have a claim to fame; all with some sort of fruit-related selling point such as being made with real fruit or using natural flavors. My goal was to find the most beneficial one without lacking in taste.
What I tried
- Welch's Fruit Snacks
- AriZona Fruit Snacks
- Mott's Fruit Flavored Snacks
- Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
- Betty Crocker Fruit Flavored Character Snacks
- Betty Crocker Fruit Roll-Ups
Ranked from least favorite to most, here are the fruit snacks worth picking up in bulk at your local store, and the ones that don't need to make it to your pantry. If you're looking for more insight on sugary snacks, take a look at The Worst Candies You Should Never Eat.
AriZona Fruit Snacks
I love the concept of the brand AriZona going out of the beverage realm and releasing fruit snacks. It's a newer snack, launching in 2019, and from its original flavors developed the Green Tea pack and Arnold Palmer Half & Half pack. The idea of combining the flavors of iced tea into gummy form is a creative take and I really appreciate the brand for thinking outside of the box.
With that being said, the taste of the actual fruit snack left much to be desired. I guess you could say there was a hint of iced tea, but it was masked by an aftertaste that I couldn't get off my taste buds. The three flavors the fruit snacks come in were fruit punch, mucho mango, and watermelon. I did not taste any of those flavors. I really wish I could've loved this brand, but maybe a green tea or iced tea/lemonade mix will do the trick next time.
Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
An organic take on fruit snacks, these bunny-shaped gummies are both vegan and gluten-free. The original flavors come in strawberry, cherry, and raspberry and are made from real fruit juice. Because of this, I can definitely tell which flavor was which, and I think the brand got a good grasp on what a fruit snack should be.
However, it ranks fifth on the list because the gummy itself had a very confusing consistency. The gummy had the right amount of "squish" when squeezing it between your fingers. But taking a bite into it tasted like I was biting into a gelatine-like substance, almost as if Jell-O mold was a little bit more solid. This could be because it's vegan and the snack doesn't use meat gelatine as the other fruit snacks do. I also tasted tons of sugar. The sugar content in one pouch is 12 grams, with all those grams being added sugars. I feel like there needs to be more of a balance.
Betty Crocker Fruit Flavored Character Snacks
To be completely honest, I didn't realize it was the Betty Crocker brand that made all of the character fruit snacks. As a kid, I'd see the Scooby-Doo box of fruit snacks or the Spongebob ones. They even had Star Wars and Pokemon! These fruit snacks bring a nostalgic layer to the taste test. For this particular tasting, I grabbed a box of Disney Pixar characters and enjoyed sifting through to see my favorites.
I will say that I think the gummies tasted better when I was a kid. It could be because I associated my favorite characters with fruit snacks, or I just have a more distinct palette now that I'm in my twenties, who knows. What I do know is that some flavor was missing. These weren't bad-tasting gummies, but they weren't top-tier ones, either. They were just an average fruit snack that I would most likely get again solely for the nostalgia.
Welch's Fruit Snacks
This might come as a shock to most readers, but I'm willing to accept the judgment. Welch's fruit snacks are one of the most popular brands of fruit snacks out there, along with being known for its juices. Welch's also has a wide array of flavors in their original packaging, with each gummy shaped like the related fruit. The peach gummy is my absolute favorite. If I had an entire bag of solely peach-flavored fruit snacks, it might've ended up with a better rating.
The main reason it's not ranked higher is because of the orange and grape gummies. Yes, the orange tastes like an orange. However, it overpowers the other flavors. As for the grape, I always feel as if the actual gummy is denser/harder in texture. It doesn't have that same squish factor the other gummies have. Then when you bite into it, it's a tougher consistency. Welch's also contains a lot more sugar than I thought, with it reaching double digits at 13 grams.
Betty Crocker Fruit Roll-Ups
Before you say, "these aren't fruit snacks," the box and the wrapper specifically state "fruit flavored snacks," so they qualify. They just happen to be one sheet of a fruit snack as opposed to a gummy that comes in a package. I also didn't realize Betty Crocker made these too– I couldn't find it on the box and had to look it up. My whole childhood has been run by Betty Crocker, I'm convinced.
Anyways, on to taste. One serving of this fruit snack only contains 50 calories and 7 grams of sugar, both of which are less than any of the other gummies I tried. I did not feel as if I was missing any sugar. In fact, I ate the whole roll-up and I could probably eat the entire box in one serving. They're light and easy to chew.
However, this particular fruit snack has no gelatin in it, which is great, but could be why the texture falls a little flat compared to some of the other gummies. The texture almost felt like sandpaper, rougher than a fruit snack should be. It's also a pain to unravel the sheet because it sticks to the plastic wrap it comes on. It might be a roll-up, but it doesn't roll out, if you catch my drift.
Mott's Fruit Flavored Snacks
Coming in first, we have Mott's! They're more than just applesauce and fruit juice, they're snacks too. I went to three different stores and each one was sold out of the original assorted fruit packages, so I guess they're pretty popular with shoppers. I did end up finding the original flavors but in animal shapes, so I was still able to taste the classics. The animals were just a cute addition.
These fruit snacks also contain no gelatin, but still keep with a gummy-like consistency that has a perfect "squish" factor. There's also a combination of fruit and vegetable juices, making it a unique stand-out. Neither the fruit nor vegetable snacks were too sweet, but all still tasted like a great harmony of vegetables and fruit. I loved the addition of the pear gummy, as those aren't ones you see in traditional fruit snack packs. The brand also states that these snacks give you 100% of your daily value of Vitamin C, which is an added bonus to a great-tasting treat.
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