Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bissinger’s Pink Grapefruit Gummy Pandas

Pink Grapefruit Gummi PandasLast week I told you that pandas have berry flavored noses. This week I’m telling you that all natural pandas are pink grapefruit flavored.

Bissinger’s Naturals line has an excellent array of exotic flavored & nutritionally enhanced gummy pandas. I was frustrated for many years because the only place I could get them was on their website and you had to order 4 packages of each flavor ... I’m more of a grazer than a consumer. So I would visit their booth at trade shows. I’d always arrive and they’d say “oh, we’re not tasting the gummys today.” Or if they were, I’d be directed to go visit a counter where the staff is dressed in white lab coats like they work for Clinique and I would be given one single gummy to try and no access to the packages & labels.

Finally at the Whole Foods by the coffee counter I found a whole display of Bissinger’s Naturals Gummy Pandas. They come in two package sizes, the little 4 ounce stand up pack shown here and some flavors were available in 100 calorie packages for a smaller taste. They come in Goji Guava, Blueberry Acai, Green Tea, Pomegranate White Tea and Pink Grapefruit with Grapeseed.

Bissinger's Naturals Pink Grapefruit with Grapessed Gummy Pandas

I was a little aghast at the price - $3.99 for four ounces, but it’s not like I don’t splurge on candy from time to time. (Yes, $16 a pound for gummi bears.)

These gummies are quite soft and a little greasy (coconut oil & beeswax keeps them from sticking together). They’re darker than I would have expected for a grapefruit flavored candy, but the coloring is all natural, from black carrot juice.

When I opened the package I found they smelled very nice - sweet and with a strong note of grapefruit oils and a little like the powder for Country Time Lemonade. It certainly made my mouth water.

They’re quite gummy & bouncy bears. The chew is stiff but squishy (I think gummi fans know what I mean). The flavor is tart, a slight bitter note of the grapefruit and a not too sweet base. The texture is ultra smooth.

The ingredients are interesting. The product is all natural, gluten/wheat free as well as containing no artificial colors or sweeteners. The main sweetener is tapioca syrup (organic) instead of corn syrup ... so if you shun corn this might be the perfect gummi for you. Later on the list is grapeseed extract. That’s supposed to add some antioxidants, but I don’t much care one way or the other if my candy gives me that sort of stuff.

The flavor is well rounded and doesn’t have any of that weird aftertaste that some all natural candies that are fortified can have. They’re a cute shape and the ability to buy just one flavor instead of a mix is often a bonus.

The bottom of the label does say that they’re produced in a facility that processes milk, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and eggs. So I don’t know what to say about that Gluten Free statement. Then there was a strange little K over at the edge of the back of the package. Last year Bissinger’s announced that they were going Kosher ... could this be their Kosher symbol? I couldn’t be sure and their website was no help. So I emailed them. A helpful woman named Jenney replied quite promptly to my question with this: The gummies are definitely certified kosher, and the gelatin is kosher and does come from pork. You are free to make of that what you will, I find those statements in conflict. Unless there’s something new in pigs that I’m not aware of.

Besides the price and the incongruity of their claim of gluten free with their allergen statement and this newfangled pork-is-Kosher I like ‘em a lot.

FOLLOW UP 10/10/2009: I continued my correspondence with Jenney at Bissinger’s. She insisted again that the product was both Kosher and porcine. She presented me with a certificate from the ingredient company, Gelita, that shows its status. With that I contacted Gelita who refused to tell me what’s in their Kosher gelatin, as they were bound by their confidentiality agreements with their clients.

I emailed again, telling Gelita that I was referred to them by Bissinger’s for more information but have heard no reply after a week of waiting. So folks who avoid pig products can take this to mean what they wish. I do not feel confident calling this a pork-free product and am extremely uncomfortable with a company that says their products are Kosher yet insists they contain porcine gelatin with no twinkling of acknowledgment of that incongruity.

Related Candies

  1. Wonka Puckerooms
  2. Gourmet Gumdrops
  3. Jelly Belly Sunkist Citrus Mix
  4. Dr. Doolittle’s Pastilles (Lemon, Grapefruit & Wild Berry)
  5. Kasugai Pineapple Gummy
  6. Pink Grapefruit Mentos
Name: Pink Grapefruit with Grapeseed Gummy Pandas
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Bissinger's Naturals
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Park La Brea)
Price: $3.99
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: Gummi, United States, Bissinger's, All Natural, Kosher (?)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:02 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I have not tried pink grapefruit gummi bears. I want to try them!  They look like Ewoks from star wars smile

    Comment by ian on 9/24/09 at 2:14 pm #
  2. I think Jenny meant that the gelatin, which is kosher, “does [NOT] come from pork” - she probably just accidentally left out the “not” in her statement…! smile

    Comment by trixi on 9/24/09 at 3:17 pm #
  3. Aside from black carrot juice, are there any other colorings? This look delicious, but I am allergic to “annatto” which is commonly used as a dye.

    Comment by taylor on 9/24/09 at 3:47 pm #
  4. i received a bag of the blueberry ones from my sister.  they were delicious.  i’ve been thinking that the grapefruit were the next ones i’d like to try.  the scent of the blueberry ones when you open the bag was positively intoxicating.  you must try them.

    Comment by amy on 9/24/09 at 4:03 pm #
  5. I really like the pomegranate and the blueberry gummis. I agree that the price is outrageous but I am all over ‘em.

    Comment by Nani on 9/25/09 at 9:39 am #
  6. Many, many gluten free products also say in their allergen statement that they are made in the same facility as products that do contain gluten. All that means is that the ingredients in your product are gluten free, but they may have come in incidental contact with something that’s not. Some people choose to avoid even these products anyway, but I don’t think there’s anything incongruous about it.

    Comment by Annie on 9/26/09 at 4:04 am #
  7. some (soon to be most if not all) bissingers chocolate products are certified kosher by the OV-from St. louis. the gummi bears are not certified kosher-they put the K on it themselves.

    Comment by alyssa kaplan on 9/26/09 at 3:15 pm #
  8. Sera's avatar

    I LOVED these when I tried them at the FFS. Too bad they’re so pricey. :/

    Comment by Sera on 9/27/09 at 3:54 pm #
  9. Today 1-28-10, I too contacted Bissinger’s in regard to the kosher issue. To reply to #2 , the man on the phone at Bissinger’s (who was incredibly patient with me and tried to be as helpful as possible) told me the same thing the first person heard that the gelatin from Gelita group (company where they get their gelatin from)may be kosher but that it definately comes from pork. He very honestly admitted that I should check into it further.

    Comment by Lana on 1/28/10 at 6:00 pm #
  10. gelatin that comes from pork is not kosher-the big kosher agencies OU, CRC, V, Kof K rule that pork gelatin is not kosher gelatin.

    Comment by alyssa kaplan on 2/07/10 at 8:32 am #
  11. Cybele's avatar

    alyssa - could you explain that to Bissinger’s? They didn’t seem to understand that there is no way that pork products can be Kosher.

    Comment by Cybele on 2/07/10 at 8:33 am #
  12. I just found this on the Gelita website. I guess we can all safely assume this product is definitely not Kosher: “Gelatine from GELITA Group is manufactured from selected collagenous raw materials from pigs (pigskin), cattle (split) and their bones. These materials are taken only from animals that have been released for human consumption by the relevant veterinary authorities.”

    Comment by jean on 4/02/10 at 2:27 pm #
  13. I just went out to the Gelita website and if you go to the brochure section, the first listing has a US flag and is about the O-U kosher certification.  The kosher product seems to be made separately from specifically sourced kosher animal parts.  There are large kosher slaughterhouses in S.A. so they can get what they need through them.  If O-U certifies them, the animals the gelatine is made from has to have been both slaughtered kosher and healthy enough to pass kosher inspection.  The only question that remains is if this is the product from Gelita that Bissinger’s is using.

    Comment by Rocky G on 12/06/10 at 10:09 am #
  14. All that kosher means is that a rabbi oversees the process of making the product. Some Rabbis have different criteria on how to judge this. It probably just means that the animals were killed in a more humane way.

    Comment by Molly on 9/02/11 at 11:16 pm #
  15. Cybele's avatar

    Molly - pork products cannot be Kosher.

    Comment by Cybele on 9/02/11 at 11:28 pm #
  16. The grapefruit ones are the best tasting gummies ever! I haven’t tried the other flavors though. Too bad there so pricey:(

    Comment by Sarah on 9/13/11 at 3:18 pm #
  17. I got the grapefruit and blueberry packages at Whole Foods yesterday (they were between the front register and the gellato bar). The grapefruit were hardened on the outside, but the blueberry were soft (both had the same freshness date). We first tried these because they were in the mini-bar at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. super cute. very tasty.

    Comment by Denise on 2/16/12 at 12:41 pm #

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