Monday, October 17, 2011

Bissinger’s Lemon Ginger Yuzu Gummi Pandas

Bissinger's Lemon Ginger Yuzu Gummi PandasBissinger’s now makes six different varieties of gummi bears with exotic flavors and extra vitamin enhancements.

The Lemon Ginger Yuzu Gummy Pandas are described on the little gusseted stand up bag as exotic yuzu paired with invigorating ginger and lemon rich in vitamin C.

Like many other Bissinger’s candies, these are quite expensive. Some American made gummis sell for as little as $2.00 a pound (the Albanese World’s Best Gummis at dollar stores) where these are about $16.00 a pound, however, Bissinger’s does offer a bit more in the way of unique flavors and premium ingredients. As part of their naturals line, the Lemon Ginger Yuzu Gummy Pandas are made from organic sweetners. They also use all natural ingredients including natural colors and flavors. They’re also advertised as gluten free. The only weird thing in the list was fractionated coconut oil, which is the second to the last item, which means it’s probably the coating that keeps the gummis from sticking together.

Bissinger's Lemon Ginger Yuzu Gummi Pandas

They smell quite citrusy, like a combination of key limes and grapefruit. The Yuzu is related to grapefruits and has a definite pomelo note to it, bitter and a little bit on the pine side. The ginger provides a wonderful woodsy and warming note to the cold bitterness of the oily citrus. Lemon kind of mellows it all out.

The gummi texture is soft and bouncy, moist and overall rather sweet and smooth.

I love yuzu, citrus in general and ginger. Plus, these are nicely made gummis. But I’m still not able to love them. Partly because of the price and partly because of the brand. So as a candy taken in a vacuum without any other information, they’re an 8 out of 10, with all the other baggage, they’re barely more than a 6. (Continue reading if you like for more support for that, or just move along to the specs box at the bottom.)

On the whole, my confidence level in Bissinger’s is rather low. I’ve tried contacting them multiple times over the years and got conflicting answers about the gelatin origin and kosher status previously, and in the past month I’ve only gotten a reply to a tweet, neither of my emails with simple questions have been answered.

One of my concerns is with accurate labeling. They sell a variety of foil wrapped hollow “chocolates” around the holidays, including Halloween. They have them on their website and at Whole Food stores, so I’ve seen them in person. I believe that these are not actually made by Bissinger’s, but by Confiserie Riegelein of Germany. (Previous review of their Halloween Chocolate.) Bissinger’s affirms on their website that they use fair trade cocoa. Riegelein will not be fair trade until 2012 and there is no fair trade markings on the package in stores (just mentioned on the website). The biggest issue is that they’re calling this confection chocolate. By US FDA standards, it does not meet the definition because it contains whey, considered a filler ingredient. So it is labeled inaccurately. I’m really surprised that Whole Foods permits this sort of liberal misuse of the word chocolate and the addition of fillers in a product like chocolate. Also, if this is made by Riegelein, it’s made in Germany and there’s no indication of that on the packaging - again other violation of Whole Food’s policies and standard labeling in the United States. Finally, back to the product at hand, the package says Gluten Free and then says it’s packed in a facility that also handles wheat (and eggs, soy, milk, peanuts and tree nuts). So is it gluten free or not?

Related Candies

  1. Tea Forte Minteas Lemongrass Yuzu
  2. Bissinger’s 100 Calorie Bar
  3. Bissinger’s Pink Grapefruit Gummy Pandas
  4. Dr. Doolittle’s Pastilles (Lemon, Grapefruit & Wild Berry)
  5. Candy Dump 2008 part 2
  6. HiCHEW Yuzu & Valencia
  7. Ginger Bears

Name: Lemon Ginger Yuzu Gummy Pandas
Brand: Bissinger’s
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Park La Brea)
Price: $3.99
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Bissinger's, Gummi Candy, 7-Worth It, United States, Whole Foods

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:47 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyReviewBissinger'sGummi Candy7-Worth ItUnited StatesWhole Foods

  1. I’ve seen these in stores, and was kind of put off by the paper-thin marketing speak as well. (Well, that and the fact that I generally avoid gelatin.)

    The packaging seemed to have a lot of handwaving about the fruit content, tea antioxidants, etc—but when all of that stuff shows up in the ingredient listing *after* natural flavours and citric acid, it’s pretty clear we’re talking about a drop in the barrel.

    Let candy be candy, I say. When I want healthy food, I eat it. “Functional candy” is for marketing people and folks in serious denial about how nutrition works.

    Comment by Clay on 10/17/11 at 5:22 pm #
  2. Cybele,
    this post is another reason why your candy blog is the greatest.  Your attention to detail regarding origin, ingredients, etc is amazing. I LOVE candy and would love to be able to write about it the way you do.
    Rock on.

    Comment by Andy on 10/18/11 at 8:57 am #
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