Monday, October 8, 2018

Trader Joe's Halloween Gummies

Never gave it much thought until recently, but there is a difference between "spooky" and "scary", isn't there? There probably are a few different working definitions and delineations floating around, but for our kids, we define "spooky" as something that's maybe a little scary but fun, like most of the Halloween decorations in the seasonal section at Target right now. I swear both my girls could spend hours just roaming through those aisles, looking at the skeletons and creepy ghost clocks and phones and whatever else, and laugh and giggle the whole time. That's "spooky" for us - bed sheet ghosts, Jack-o-lanterns, spiderwebs, etc. Scary is something else, like legitimately trying to watch The Lion King with them. Never saw either of my kids petrified as much as during the scene with the hyenas and stampede. They almost looked like me opening up our utility bills.

Somewhat similarly, there's a difference between fruit snacks and fruit-inspired gummy candies...I guess? Again, it's not a topic I gave much thought until we picked up Trader Joe's Halloween Gummies on a recent shopping trip.

Scary snacks? Spooky gummies? Something else?

In our household, we're most acquainted with Welch's Fruit Snacks due to the endless crate we have of them from our local Costco. It's a bottomless well. So it's them I'm comparing these TJ ghouly gummies to most directly. There's a decided difference, for sure.

Whereas the Welches are softer and more singularly fruit-flavored, the haunted house brand from TJ's are much firmer and more of a flavor blend. Gummy or gummier are not quite the right words...just firmer, with a bit more chew. That's not a bad touch, and is presumably because the first ingredient is glucose syrup (i.e., wheat) and not fruit puree. Hrrrr...I do like the sound of fruit puree better.

One thing definitely in TJ's favor: The respective coloring agents. Black carrot, apple, pumpkin, black currant and spirulina sound a lot nicer than Blue 1 and Red 40, don't ya think?

I also like the TJ's seasonal spooky shapes: Skeletons, skulls, bats, bones, and some unidentified glob. Nice. It does make them a little fun, although the different fruit shapes with Welches at least add to a perception that each fruit shape tastes a little different. The TJ's? Not so much. It's more of a general sugary fruit punch flavor more than anything else, which take a good chew or two to really get going. It tastes good but gets a bit dull after a few.

One other thing to love: the price! It's just $3.99 for a sack of 20 minibags. That's less than 20 cents each! For us, that makes them perfect for little lunches or snacks on the go (our girls love anything resembling a fruit snack), but man, you can load up for trick-or-treaters! Yes, that won't make you as cool as those rich folks who give out king size Butterfingers, but at least it ain't anything close to raisins. That ought to be illegal.

We like 'em, our kids like 'em, you're likely to like 'em too. Nothing to get spooked about here. Double fours.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Halloween Gummies: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. i think the unidentified glob is a jack-o-lantern

  2. Oh there absolutely a difference between fruit snacks and gummies! fruit snacks parade around as if they’re healthy- which the nutrition panel will is suspect- and gummies are just legit candy. My most favorite gummies ever are the european Haribo, they have the best flavors! These little packets are totally perfect for a mini dessert, although i’ve certainly had a whole bag of haribo gummies before it’s not recommended

  3. are they a similar texture to the scandinavian swimmers?