Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Airheads Bites

Airheads Bites FruitIt seems like most of the new products I’ve been reviewing are new morsel versions of existing items. (I’m still trying to get the trademark of Morselization.) Today I have Airheads Bites from Perfetti Van Melle.

The category of candy known as Airheads has always been a bit of a curiosity for me. If you’ve never had them, they’re small, flat bars of tangy chew. They’re not taffy or a chew in the same sense as Starburst or Mentos. One of the main constituents is dextrose, which is the same stuff you find in SweeTarts. They really are just soft, chewy SweeTarts.

They come in watermelon, blue raspberry, cherry, orange, and lemon.

The ingredients are interesting:

Sugar, glucose syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, hydrogenated coconut oil, and less than 2% of: citric acid, modified food starch, gelatin, sorbitol, artificial flavors, glycerol, carnauba wax, beeswax, shellac, gum arabic, red #40, yellow #5, yellow #6, blue #1

Airheads Bites

I had to wonder, after looking at them, what makes them different from Skittles or Starburst? Well, they just are.

The pieces are rounded and rather flat, so they don’t roll around. The coating is shiny but more like a jelly bean’s grainy sugar coating that’s polished than the crunchy sugar shell of a Skittle. The real difference here is the center. It’s pure Airhead. The chew is stiff and grainy but immediately flavorful.

Orange is sweet at first then very tangy and descends into a pleasant and consistent grain before dissolving quickly.

Watermelon is green and quite vibrant. Again, it starts sweet and then gets tart and slightly more artificial. They all dissolve away very quickly.

Blue Raspberry starts very floral and doesn’t get as sour as they others, but is more like a bubble gum flavor.

Lemon is yellow and is weird at first, with a strong household cleaner note that then becomes a rather standard lemonade mix flavor.

Cherry is quite normal and reminded me a lot of Life Savers. It reminded me that I’m getting to like cherry more than I did 10 years ago.

Overall, they are tasty little bits and far easier to eat than the ordinary Airheads bars. I liked the flavor diversity in the single package. I found mine at 7-11, so they’re out in stores now. They come in another version called Airheads Bites Berry.

I was sorry to see that these were not for vegetarians (gelatin). I was also a little surprised to see that they’re made in China, as the factory for Airheads is in Kentucky. Maybe they’re just trying out the product and will make them locally if they’re a hit. There was also no mention of allergens on the label, so I don’t know about gluten for those concerned.

Related Candies

  1. Rowntrees Tooty Frooties
  2. Airheads Pink Lemonade
  3. Mentos Rainbow
  4. 12 European Licorices
  5. Chewy Sour Extinguisher
  6. Head to Head: Chewy SweeTarts vs Chewy Tart n Tinys
  7. Airheads
  8. Airheads Xtreme Sour Belts

Name: Airheads Bites - Fruit
Brand: Perfetti Van Melle
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.49
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 110
Categories: Candy, Perfetti van Melle, Chews, 6-Tempting, China, 7-11

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:02 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyMorselizationReviewPerfetti van MelleChews6-TemptingChina7-11

  1. Another great review, Cybele.  I wish the bites included pink grapefruit and grape though- my two fave Airhead flavors along with orange.  These do look good though…

    Comment by Jonny on 6/26/13 at 4:09 pm #
  2. White Mystery is the trademark of Airheads! Why they didn’t include those in the packs?! At first glance I thought they were peanut M&Ms;

    Comment by Alek on 6/26/13 at 5:18 pm #
  3. I always love your reviews - even for the candy I never eat! Two little typos above: “Overall, they *are* tasty…” and “I found mind at 7-11, so *they’re* out…” Thanks and keep up the great reviews!

    Comment by Lesley on 6/26/13 at 10:13 pm #
  4. Just wondering what your rating is for these candies, I think it’s missing!

    Comment by Faith on 7/07/13 at 4:57 am #
  5. The shiny coating you speak of is shellac also known as confectioner’s glaze. It is made from the secretions of the Kerria lacca insect from Asia.

    Comment by Ben Grimm on 8/19/13 at 4:40 pm #
  6. Cybele's avatar

    Ben - yes, it says shellac on that ingredient list I put up there. Are we supposed to be alarmed by that?

    Comment by Cybele on 8/19/13 at 5:09 pm #
  7. why dont you actually go get REAL chinese candy at asian stores… they’re much better… I don’t think these candies even exist in China

    Comment by JD on 9/12/13 at 11:44 am #
  8. Cybele's avatar

    JD - I have had “real” Chinese candy, and covered some of it on the blog.

    I agree that it’s unusual to see many of the candies sold in the US by major that manufacture them in China actually sold there. I’ve come to understand that the Chinese tastes for candy and confections are quite different from Americans (they like it less sweet).

    Comment by Cybele on 9/12/13 at 11:53 am #
  9. officially think this is candy crack. Highly addicting they should put a warning label on these lol

    Comment by jpops on 2/20/14 at 2:41 pm #
  10. Which animal is the gelatin used from in this product?

    Comment by Omar on 1/15/15 at 11:21 pm #
  11. I’m really enjoying these tasty candy’s - Just a note, the package I bought at a local RiteAid today is labeled Product of Holland, and now contains Gellan Gum which is vegan safe

    Made by Perfetti Van Melle Holland
    for Perfetti Van Melle USA Inc.
    Elanger KY, 41018

    Ingredients: Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil; Contains less than 2% of: Citric Acid, Glyrcerol, Rice Starch, Artificial Flavors, Beeswax, Shellac, Carnuba Wax, Gellan Gum, Sucrose Esters of Fatty Acids, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1.

    Comment by LCS on 8/25/15 at 6:27 am #
  12. Wouldn’t have purchased had I Known they were not made in USA.

    Comment by Bob on 9/11/15 at 8:08 pm #
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