Marks & Spencer American Hard Gums

The old saying goes "Goody goody gumdrop". BUT ARE THEY GOOD?

Reviewed by Jonny

June 20, 2017


You guys know Mike?

I’m talking about Mike, a G from England who made contact with us a ways back. We laughed, we cried-but mostly, things became real clear that we have similar candy tastes. And thus a candy trade was born. A few weeks later, and we both have massive obscenely crammed boxes of candy from that other country. If you ever see Mike chilling, give him a shout out.  You’ll know him because his name is Mike, and he wears pants.

The first thing both he and I were interested in getting to the bottom of were these “American Hard Gums” made by the upscale Brit brand Marks & Spencer.

The big question is: why American?  And the answer, I discovered, is because these are good old fashioned plain & simple gumdrops.  The history of the gumdrop is a bit hazy, but we do know they were invented here, in good ‘ol America.  Originally they were flavored with spices, and then the standard fruit flavors came into play.

The variance that these M&S candles have over tradition American gumdrops is that these include the requisite British flavor of blackcurrant.  We’re definitely not complaining about that over here, but…doesn’t that kind of shank the “American” thing?

The biggest challenge I’m facing here isn’t the name: it’s why anyone would buy these. They’re not gummies, they’re not fruit jellies, they’re not the consistency of Sour Patch Kids…no, they have something all their own going on.  And it’s immediately recognizable as “gumdrop” consistency, which is in theory a good thing to be so iconic.  The problem is that they don’t make for a pleasant eating experience.  On paper they should, because they’re hard, but chewy.  They’re sticky, but have a sugar coating on the outside, and the flavors aren’t bad.  There’s just something annoying about gumdrops-I’ve always felt that way, and apparently I still do.  Just boring enough to not be super enjoyable, yet somewhat decent.  Life is too short for that kind of candy.  In fact, that’s why we’re here: to steer you clear of wares like this.

having said all that, for fans of classic gumdrops, I’d be willing to bet that these are among the higher quality variations you can find.

I’d say these are good for nostalgia, but I’ve never once looked back fondly on candy I ate as a kid, thinking, “Ya know what? …Gumdrops need to be back in my life”.  Never.  Being a kid in the late 70’s and 80;s, we had already moved on to Nerds, so there was no going back to this crap.  These aren’t for me, but if they’re for you, click the link below to import that shit stat.


Zolli Candy


  1. Kevin

    I find the flavor of the British American Hard Gums are way superior to any candy we get here. Like most candy here in America, they are a knock off of a Brit version, case in point, M&Ms. These were a knock off of the Brit candy Smarties.

  2. Name

    The thing to get are the Morrisons or Waitrose Sour Pastilles. Same candy, but different grocers.

    • Jonny

      Good to know!

  3. mikeUK

    AMERICAN hard gums! Yee-haw, chicken-fried burgers and the Constitution. So these things are just called gumdrop(s) in US? OK, case closed. I used to kinda like these as a kid. Also, these things are actually okay, don’t listen to the candy snobs… I mean, gurus! I mean- they’re not great. I wouldn’t bother importing them or anything. It sounds like they are pretty much like regular US gumdrops. Unless you just gotta try a blackcurrant flavour gumdrop, for some reason.


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