Hi-Chews: Starbursts Sleeping with One Eye Open?

Think Starbursts, Mamba and Now and Laters are good? Hi-Chew is Generation Next.

Reviewed by Matty

November 20, 2020

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This article is a refresh of our initial review in 2012. Hi-Chew is still bringing the flavors and that amazing texture, and where before you might have only found them in the Big City, Hi-chews have gone mainstream. Does our initial take hold up?

The chew is my favorite candy genre. From Now and Laters to gummies, I like sweets that make my mouth burn a few calories before the final full satisfaction of eating loads more. Of course I also like the candies that just melt away, but I don’t yeaaaaarn for them.

These Hi Chews? With the name alone they got me before the word go. Still, I wouldn’t be much of a candy reviewer if I didn’t do my due diligence by stuffing loads in my mouth and giving you the blow by blow. (Wow that reads inappropriate.)

I enlisted my kids to join in the review since they’ve been bugging me for a month to eat these things and because it turns out kids like candy. ahem. 

So here’s our family take on the six flavors we tried: Peach, Mango, Melon, Green Apple, Banana and Grape.


Hi Chews Packages


Note that I cut these things in half for the kids, and I of course went full portion. Even the half portion had my kid chewing for a while. Hi-Chew: apt name.


Hi Chews Candies


The Peach: Kids liked it. Although, they had no idea it was peach. Which is ridiculous because it tastes just like peach. Ok maybe not the peach you get off the tree but every other peach taste you’ve had. Kids are weird. 

Next up, Mango: First words out of Kid 1’s mouth: “I love these.” Why, I asked? “Because this one is really good.”

I gotta veritable Shakespeare on my hands.

I will say that generally speaking mango is a great candy flavor. It’s the one fruit flavor that usually tastes like the fruit. Sure I love grape more than the next guy but I’ve rarely if ever had a grape flavor that tastes like the grapes I buy from the store. Mango candy on the other hand, they usually taste like what I buy. And Hi-Chews do mango right.

Now we’re on to melon. “It’s kinda like peach,” says Kid 1. I think it tastes like cantaloupe but the kids said not so much.

Side note: something I love about Hi Chews — they take a long time to eat. As the little one said when we told her to hurry up, “these are just really good and I want to keep eating them.”

On to banana, about which Kid 2 says “This one is really good”. Not sure I’ve ever heard a kid say that about any banana flavored candy. But this has a fruity banana taste. It’s more like heavy banana overtones of a general fruit flavor.

“Oh my god it’s so good it’s awesome. Yum.” I guess green apple is a hit. And they’re right again – these are super good. Green apple is generally always good. Can we all agree there? From Jolly Rancher to Haribo the world over, most of us agree that green apple is often the best flavor of the bunch. With Hi-Chews, the flavor isn’t muted at all. It’s strong and lasts all candy long.



And finally grape: “I don’t really like it, it kinda tastes like grape medicine.” WTF? That’s disappointing to hear, and I disagree. To me these taste like concord grape juice. Really strong grape flavor that is almost like drinking a cup of juice. As I said above, grape doesn’t really ever taste like the grapes I eat from a store, but these taste exactly like the grape you get in grape juice.

So to sum up – green apple, mango and peach was top 3 for Kid 1, and mango (“favorite favorite one”), green apple and banana were the faves of Kid 2. And I liked them all.


Hi-Chews should make millions in this country. They are like Starbursts without being too soft nor saccharine-y sweet, with flavors that are fuller and truer. The consistency is more like a Mamba right at the get go, but kinda turns to being a tougher bubble gum consistency in the middle before it breaks down and you swallow.

I can’t just eat one of these. I’m always looking at finishing the entire package. Good for them – not good for the back fat.

Finally, the flavors are the real hit here. They are strong and pervasive throughout the lifetime of the piece in your mouth. Perhaps banana is the most interesting to me since I liked it (!). I keep wanting to re-eat that one. Also, the melon tastes a tad strange when you pop it in but then it’s all cantaloupe until the end. I love cantaloupe. And how many cantaloupe candies in America have you tried?

All you Starburst, Mamba and Now and Later lovers – go forth and buy Hi-Chews. They are better. Yes, I said it.

Zolli Candy


  1. Matty

    I feel like yes, I have seen the hi-chews with a bit more grit. And even though this is an old review, my take sticks. I love Hi-Chews.

  2. Squeeb

    Hopefully you guys see this considering this post is a bit old.

    Have any of you tried the lemon ones? They have a crystalized sugar or something in them that gives them a bit of a, uh… gritty crunch. It’s an experience that I haven’t found in other candies and an enjoyable one at that.
    I never saw these particular ones outside of Japan, but if they pop up here, definitely try them out!

  3. Preston Parrish

    Send samples to :Preston Parrish
    220 Hager Street.
    Hagerstown. MD 21740 USA

    • Matty

      You are supposed to send them to US yo!

  4. Lauren

    I’ve never seen a lot of these flavors! I’ve only ever had the mango, melon, and strawberry. Not a big green apple fan, so I don’t bother with it when I see it. Peach would be amazing!

  5. The Jake

    Im all about that grape bout the grape no melon.

  6. n

    The grape one tastes just like the bubble gum grape flavor, which is great because you get to eat it.

    • Matty

      I know. I love eating.

  7. Hmm

    Your were spot on but your kids don’t know what they’re talking about. Maybe leave them out of these reviews?

    • mattycandy

      It’s true. We should. Kids are dum anyway.

  8. Jesse Nicole

    It all started when I noticed them in Walmart. I was like “Eh, why not?” So I tried one after I bought it, and it was tougher than gum, which kind of threw me off and opened up the possibility that it may have been gum. After doing a little research, most of what I scan through on Google says it isn’t gum, and after a few weeks of eating more than half of it (only one small wrapped package) I don’t feel any different. This was the strawberry kind, which is amazing by the way!

  9. Drive by commenter

    I snuck a pack of grape out of the breakroom at work. They were glorious.

  10. candymancan

    I have only tried the mango and green apple and they are both delicious. They are waaay better then starbursts and now and laters. I love that the hi chew doesn’t stick to your teeth. That’s probably thanks in part to the hydrogenated oils. Eh. YOLO!

  11. Claudia Ossa Paradise

    Does no one care that they contain hydrogenated oils? I am sure you will respond, with , “no, nobody cares”. I love me some Japan, but I am let down by the ingredients. They must be getting funded by drug lords because the marketing push for these things is ridonculous. I see HI CHEW emblazoned cars all over the place. i wanted to love them, but I can’t get past the crap ingredients.

    • Matty

      I care Claudia. But only because you do.

  12. Steve

    Hi Chews are delicious. Except mango…it tastes to me like gasoline

    • Hbvg

      Lol mango to me burns my throat

    • Maggie

      How do you know what gasoline taste like??

      • matty

        yeah good question. in other news, I’d rather not find out.

  13. Matty

    hi laurie p 🙂

  14. laurie p.

    i’m a huuuge fan of the hi chew. was ecstatic when walgreens and costco started carrying them and i could buy them en masse. one of my fave treats to bring to the ballpark, cuz they taste so good and last so long and keep your mouth busy, like seeds do, but yummier.

  15. Matty

    The Hi Chews folks sent us a note saying they are working on a few new flaves but nothing fun like Dragon Fruit. Strawberry was one of the new ones coming…eh. Ok. I’ll live. But I’d love a Durian flavor.

  16. Jonny

    these things have really grown on me in the last few years. Matty’s right, they have the flavors nailed, but they OWN the consistency. Chewy delight.

  17. Josh

    Melon is my favorite as well.. I wish they would release some of their other flavors in the U.S. already. They have cool ones in Japan like Lychee, Kiwi, Pudding, Dragon Fruit…etc.

    I mean, who wouldn’t want to try a flavor like Dragon Fruit?

    • Ali

      ordered the lychee on ebay and wow they taste amazing


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