Last Updated on March 5, 2022 by Zara R.
Gummy bears are one of the most popular candies in the world, but just how long do gummy bears last? These tasty treats come in many delicious flavors and are a favorite among people of all ages. They have been around for decades and continue to grow in popularity.
Gummy bears have a wonderful texture, however, when not properly stored, they can easily go stale. Fortunately, with the right storage, they can have a long shelf life. They are a great candy to have around the house whenever you get the munchies.
Do Gummy Bears Expire?
Many people wonder, does gummy candy expire? In general, gummy bears will last for 12 to 18 months. When unopened, they can generally last three to six months after their expiration date.
Gummy bears don’t really expire, however, they will begin to lose their flavor over time. In addition, they will also go stale and may even lose their color. When this begins to happen, it is best to just throw them away as they won’t be as good anymore.
Though rare, they may begin to grow mold if water gets trapped in the bag. If this happens, you will want to discard them immediately.
How to store gummy bears
Gummy bears should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container, such as the bag they came in. They should be stored in someplace cool and dark, such as a pantry. You want to avoid storing them in a sunny area or somewhere warm, as they will melt if exposed to heat.
You can also store them in the fridge to extend their shelf life. However, they can become extra chewy when they are cold, so it is best to let them reach room temperature before eating.
If desired, you can freeze gummy bears as well, however, it will change the texture. You can freeze them in an airtight Ziploc bag for around 12-24 months. This can be particularly beneficial if you live in a hot climate.
When you are ready to eat them, allow them to thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours. They may still have a chewier texture after you freeze them, even after they have been brought to room temperature. If possible, avoid freezing them for long periods of time to avoid an off texture.
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History Of Gummy Bears
In 1920, Hans Riegel of Bonn, Germany, became bored of his job as a confectionary worker, as it was going nowhere. So, he opened his own candy store and started off creating hard candies. By combining the first two letters of his first name, last name, and the name of his hometown, he came up with Haribo.
After a couple of years in business, he came up with the idea of a line of fruit-flavored soft, gelatin treats in the shape of dancing bears. Dancing bears were popular at street festivities and markets throughout Europe during the 19th century. Though he isn’t the inventor of gummy candies, he did improve on their recipe.
Gummy bears soon became a popular treat. After Hans’ death, his sons, Hans Jr. and Paul took over Haribo. By 1960, they were mass-producing gummy bears to the European market. The candy then soon became a hit all over the world.
In the 1970s, high school teachers would give gummy bears to their German language students as a way to introduce them to German cuisine. In addition, service members would bring home these tasty candies for their family and friends to try. They soon spread across America and became a beloved snack for people of all ages.
Then, in 1981, Jelly Belly became the first company to produce gummy bears in America. Just one year later, Haribo began selling them in America. Later on, brands such as Brach’s and Albanese began producing their own line of these popular treats.
What Are Gummy Bears Made Of?
Oftentimes, gummy bears are made of sugar, corn syrup, starch, flavoring, citric acid, food coloring, and gelatin. Gelatin is used to give them a chewy, gummy texture. Since gelatin is made of skin, tissue, and bones of pigs and cows, it is not vegetarian.
Some gummy bear recipes do not use gelatin in order to make them vegetarian-friendly. Instead of gelatin, they will use pectin or starch to give them a gummy, chewy consistency. Sometimes, the consistency of vegetarian ones may be slightly different than traditional ones.
There are some brands that are dedicated to making vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. However, vegetarian options can be hard to find as many companies use gelatin for its efficiency.
What Are The Popular Flavors?
The most popular flavors of gummy bears are raspberry, orange, strawberry, pineapple, and lemon. Other flavors include cherry, pink grapefruit, watermelon, blue raspberry, lime, grape, green apple, and mango.
Some brands even release specialty flavors as well. There are also sour flavors that give a twist to the original product. There are also options such as chocolate-covered gummy bears or even wine-flavored ones.
A Delicious And Chewy Candy
Many people like to keep a bag of gummy bears in their house to snack. Compared to other candy expiration dates, gummy bears often have more flexibility. They don’t really go bad, they will just begin to lose their flavor and can also become stale.
To keep them fresh, store them in an airtight bag in a cool, dry area. Avoid keeping them in sunlight or heat, as they will begin to melt and become a sticky mess. You can keep them in the fridge or freezer, but it will likely affect their texture.
Generally, gummy bears will last for 12-18 months when properly stored. If not opened, they can even last for three to six months past their expiration date. However, if you notice mold, they are hard or they have an off taste, throw them away.
Do you have any questions on how long do gummy bears last? If so, please ask any questions relating to these tasty candies in the comment section down below.