[ 08/30/17 UPDATE: Since we published this review, we received some smaller sized bags of these same exact gummies from Black Forest. The bags looked exactly the same, except for one difference: on the back, there was an allergy warning! Stunned, I tried to contact them, but twice got tardy canned responses that didn’t actually address my concern: were these candies made in the same allergen free factory or not? Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that. If food allergies are part of your life, I have to recommend that you do NOT BUY THESE, in any size bag. It’s a shady situation.]
If you trolled Candy Gurus reviews for comments, or read our emails from readers, a common theme arises in the questions we get: ingredients. Many of you want to know what it is you’re putting in your bodies, some of you can’t eat gluten, for example, and a lot of parents need to be in tune with allergens that affect their kids.
15 years ago, candy was candy and the flavors were the discerning factor. You wondered whether to eat chocolate or licorice but probably didn’t hold back eating something because it was made with Stevia and not real fruit juice.
Well the times they are a changin’. And Black Forest, Ferrara’s subsidiary proclaiming to be “America’s Favorite Gummy®”, have plunged right in to the wave and come up with their Organic Gummy Bears, Worms and Cherries.
Now, us Gurus been reviewing candy for a shitload of a long time. Really. Like a lifetime now. Like we wrote our first review last decade, and we’re more than half way through THIS decade. And I can’t ever remember a big U.S. candy company — one that has its foot in most grocery stores; a brand that the general public likely knows — launching a completely new, all-organic version of their already tried and true.
(Yes of course, some company probably has. I can’t keep up with EVERYthing. Feel free to let me know what I missed in the comments).
But here comes Black Forest with a USDA certified label and ingredients that read like every label in Whole Foods Market: Organic Tapioca Syrup. Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate, Organic Potato Starch, Organic Sunflower Oil… These folks mean business.
And ingredients matter. If you haven’t been living under a rock lately, you’ve seen the rise in the numbers of kids who need to be careful about the food they eat because of allergies, which can literally be deadly. When we first talked to Black Forest folks about these new gummies, we asked about allergens.
Usually, speaking about allergens is very difficult, because it’s not just what’s on the ingredient label – it’s what ELSE is going on in the factories that make the candy. And we should know – one of our little Gurus has food allergies.
Companies must list their food’s ingredients, but they have the option of including verbiage about whether the food (in this case, candy) is made in a facility that processes tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, and other allergens. This simple fact, that companies don’t have to include this info, means that the only way parents of kids with food allergies will know the candy is safe for their children is to quite literally call the company.
Every. Damn. Company. It’s an amazing amount of work, especially with the reality that some candies from the same company are made in different factories. Like…a small bag of yumyums might be made in a “safe” facility, but the “party size” bag isn’t. It’s confusing as hell.
Enter Black Forest’s organic candy. They literally built a new facility, all new equipment, and only make these organic candies in that factory. That means parents KNOW that these candies do not have cross contamination from the major 8 allergens, as well as many others including peas, avocados and other items.
Luckily, for most of you reading this, this information doesn’t matter to you. But for families with allergies, you have no idea how important this is, so we salute Black Forest. If you know families with food allergies, send them this review.
YEAH OK BUT HOW DO THEY TASTE?
Very good. Super solid. Fruity and ‘real’ tasting, which I expected with organic ingredients. The lemon bears have a real citrus flavor. The pineapple is good, not too strong though – I had to think about that one while I was eating it to really taste it. The cherries are overt – kinda cherry in your face. The flavors of the worms are less clear but I like the sweetness ratio. Also, all the candies were super fresh and chewy. Good if you like that, but I like mine old and chewier. A few days in the fridge cured that.
The reality is these gummies are solid. I would buy these again, and for those of us who care about our ingredients and manage allergies, these go to the top of your ‘foods I can eat and not worry about’ list.
Way to go Black Forest.
Used to eat these but the new commercial with the obese woman wearing them in her hair makes me think I’m getting hair gummies
They recently changed the recipe for Black Forest Organic Sour Heads and they now contain gelatin. 🙁
I can’t be the only one who noticed the swastika on the packaging.
Um. That. Is. RIDIC. I didn’t notice it. NOW I DO. This feels like it needs to be posted on Reddit.
The sour heads are AMAZING I am vegan and they are to die for
They’re to die for and I’m not even vegan!
I don’t thing they are allergy friendly anymore. The last packages I have seen had a warning about cross contamination with a whole slew of allergens.
Darnit. Lame. Thanks for the heads up.
I wouldn’t assume anything. I’d send them a message on Facebook and ask. If they’re a brand worth their salt (Or in this case, sugar. OH BOOOM) then they’ll get back to you. https://www.facebook.com/BlackForestGummies/
I too am in search of the assurance of a non pork based gelatin candy so my question is, would it be safe to assume an “organic” gelatin would be prescribed for these sweets and therefore most likely be non animal derived as organic hogs are surely a cost negator? No mention on the company website.
Hi, I’m Muslim and are not allowed to eat pork gelatin and does organic bunny gummies contain pork gelatin?
I don’t think they use pork gelatin. Check here and click on ingredients. http://www.blackforestusa.com/products/
PATHETIC… candy is candy it’s not good for you in anyway so get worried scumbags just eat it and shut up about … “omg omg is it natural” it’s candy you fools
Chrissy you’re an Asshat
Now that’s funny
I’ve eaten regular gummy bears for years from your company when you turned organic and changed everything to a smaller package and organic I can’t even buy this anymore it’s very disheartening to me to know that you have changed everything for just a few people in the population I guess I’ll have to go to another gummy bear company
So you want non-organic gummies from the company? They have them: https://www.walmart.com/ip/6-PACKS-Black-Forest-Gummy-Worms-Bears-11-Oz/133631561
Also, my company doesn’t make these. My company writes about these. Just FYI.
Noticed they now make Organic Sour Heads too. They are gummy yet I don’t see any gelatin listed. Does this mean it’s Vegan?! I can’t find anywhere on the packaging saying so or online. Please help.
I doubt they are vegan but mainly because that means no animal anything was used to make these candies and I simply doubt that…
Excuse me, I love gummies but don’t eat pork.
I wanted to know if the gelatin is from pork?
I’ll eat beef and kosher fish.
Not sure. I would imagine it’s a general gelatin that comes from multiple animal parts. Unless the company says specifically they are Halal, for example, assume they are not.
Thank you very much!
I have a little one with a peanut and tree nut allergy. I was trying to find information online about the Black Forest Organic Gummy Worms and came across your site. Did you get the information about their organic facility being tree nut/peanut free from calling them? Thanks for posting this -hoping to make a birthday treat involving the worms!
We asked them directly and Jonny sent this to me when I was initially writing the post:
“Black Forest literally built a new facility, all new equipment, and ONLY makes these organic candies in that factory. That means parents can KNOW that these candies do not have cross contamination from the major 8 allergens, as well as many others including peas, avocados and other items.”
Hope that helps.
Just need to know, if the Black Forest OrganicGummy Bears are made in a peanut/nut free facility?? It’s not listed on any of the packages. Can you please make this simple question clear.
Hello Matty: Great review, but what about the ingredient gelatin? It’s not organic; is this product still organic and if not, does that mean the labeling is improper?
I’m not complaining; l’m just curious. In fact, I’m a vegetarian so I try to stay clear of products with gelatin (an animal product) in them. However, I love gummy bears so much, especially Black Forest’s, that I can’t always resist them.
Good point. The gelatin in these is not organic, and definitely not vegetarian. This site (http://www.fooducate.com/app#!page=product&id=567C6C8A-3553-B7B2-4868-8643FB77364B) looked at the ingredients and gave them a B-. Not bad I guess. It IS candy. I kinda have to assume no candy would get an A from nutritionists…
Here’s what they say about gelatin:
“Horns and hooves? Not quite. The urban legend that gelatin comes from horns & hooves is not true. But don’t make a sigh of relief just yet . . .
Gelatin is made from animal skins and bones – often as by-products of the meat and leather industries. If you’re avoiding animal products, you probably want to avoid gelatin that is not clearly marked as vegan. Kosher or halal gelatin often comes from fish.”
I have looked at the organic bag in my grocery store and it says they do not contain gelatin. Am I wrong? I want a vegetarian gummy bear, I also like the organic ones from Black Forest because they are not a hard as the regular ones.
They have pork in them