Friday, September 1, 2006

Head to Head: Chewy SweeTarts vs Chewy Tart n Tinys

imageThere are a lot of candies that are not unique, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good to have choices. But usually there are similar products on the market becaue they’re made by different companies. I ran across these recently: Chewy Mini SweeTarts and Chewy Tart n Tinys. SweeTarts and Tart n Tinys used to be nearly identical products, except for the shape of the little pieces. And that was fine because one was made by Sunline (SweeTarts) and the other was made by Wonka (Tart n Tinys). Then Tart n Tiny’s were glazed in a bright candy shell and they were suddenly a vastly different product and coincidentally now owned by the same company (Nestle).

But here we are again with the same thing?

Chewy Mini SweeTarts are little spherical versions of the larger Chewy SweeTarts which, in turn, are like the original SweeTarts. They come in five flavors: grape (purple), cherry (red), orange (orange), lemon (yellow) and apple (green). There are also Giant Chewy SweeTarts, which have been around since I was a kid.

They have a little glaze on them to keep them from sticking together and their colors are a little mottled, but not unattractively so. The chew is soft but grainy, with a nice cool feeling to it and a quick dissolve. The flavor is about what you’d expect from a SweeTart - a lot of tart at the beginning with a round, chemical flavor and then it finishes sweet and grainy.


Somewhere back in the distant past Tart n Tinys were not colorful - they were plain and chalky, like SweeTarts only pellet shaped. Then someone gave them a shiny color coating. They have little character versions of the candies on the package, but I’ve never paid much attention to them, but I guess that’s what sets them apart from SweeTarts.

imageThe Chewy Tart n Tinys are little chewy pellets of tartness, a bit of flavor and a grainy chew all coated in a thin, crunchy shell. They come in five flavors: grape (blue), cherry (red), orange (orange), lemon (yellow) and apple (green). Sound familiar?

Besides the colorful coating and the difference in the color of the grape flavor, and the slight difference in size (the Tart n Tinys are 11% smaller than the Chewy SweeTarts Minis) they’re the same candy.

SweeTarts come in a handy dispenser tube (but I’ve seen them in the bags before, too), which is kind of fun for sharing and saving for later. There’s a little more in the Tart n Tinys package (1.6 ounces vs 1.75 ounces) but I guess it all comes down to how you want your candy to look. Chewy SweeTarts Minis look kind of like tiny Trix and Chewy Tart n Tinys look like little beads. Chewy Tart n Tinys have fewer calories per ounce, I can only guess this is because the tartness ingredients are higher on the list and perhaps there are more colorings in the Tart n Tinys, which take up mass but have no calories. Both deliver a lot of variety and a consistent product. Why they both exist from the same company is beyond me, but then again they stopped making Wacky Wafers because they said they were too similar to Bottle Caps, and I really miss Wacky Wafers.

In the end, the Chewy Tart n Tinys win out by a very slight margin. I’m not sure why, I think it’s just that I like the look of them better, and when the taste is the same, that’s just about all it comes down to.

Name: Chewy SweeTarts Minis vs Chewy Tart n Tinys
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: samples from CandyWarehouse
Price: retail $.85 each
Size: 1.6 ounces vs 1.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113 vs 95
Categories: Sour, Chew, United States, Nestle, Head to Head

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:41 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I just wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying this blog! I found it by accident, when I looked up “peanut chews” on I was looking for nutrition information. This site rocks!

    Comment by Andrea Feeser on 9/01/06 at 6:52 am #
  2. awwww, dang, i was totally rooting for the chewy sweet tarts! oh well. smile

    Comment by Pam on 9/01/06 at 8:46 am #
  3. remember the giant sweet-tart twins?  they were available in the late ‘60’s to early ‘70’s.  two different flavors came in one package.  they were about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.  the inside of my mouth is feeling raw at the very thought of them!  i loved ‘em, though!

    Comment by anne on 9/01/06 at 11:29 am #
  4. I love your site and I check it daily. You are great at writing descriptive and entertaining reviews. I had to write in to say how much I miss the old tart n tiny’s. They were my favorite of the pressed sugar genre of candy when I was growing up and I still periodically crave them. On another subject I consider myself an expert at pairing drinks with candy jsut like you would wine with certain dishes. Chewy sweet Tarts are wonderful with a cold Dr Pepper. The flavors complement each other exquisitely. The sweet tart enhances the sweetness of the normally bitter Dr Pepper while the Dr Pepper truly kicks up the fruit flavors of the sweet tarts. Let me know if you need any other pairings for your candy reviews.

    Comment by Maurice Johnson on 9/01/06 at 12:18 pm #
  5. I’m currently auditioning this type of candies to replace the Runts that I used to like.  They removed lime (one of the best) and replaced it with watermelon (gag).  I only really liked the citrus and strawberry ones (cherry=children’s Tylenol, banana=Donnagel, ruining those flavors for me).  I can’t buy candy that I like less than half of.  I’ll try some of these.

    Comment by Dave on 9/01/06 at 5:09 pm #
  6. I saw these sweetarts at this place;= does anybody know anything about them. I would like to buy them but do not know who they are? I love this candy and have not been able to find it anywhere.

    Comment by Wayne on 9/02/06 at 3:14 pm #
  7. I’m with you on the Wacky Wafers! That’s one of the things I used to get at the swimming pool the summer after 1st grade (that or pixy stix or chick-o-stix). Wasn’t there a banana flavor? [Or is it just Runts that have a banana? Since I have no idea what donnagel is, I like the banana runts. :^]

    Comment by Tricia on 9/02/06 at 4:06 pm #
  8. I just got back from a local grocery store and saw a Hershey’s Brownie [in packaging, nothing homemade] at the check-out. Their site doesn’t mention them.. have you ever heard? I’d have picked it up, but I’m vegan.

    Comment by Julia on 9/02/06 at 5:00 pm #
  9. “the Tart n Tinys are 11% smaller than the Chewy SweeTarts Minis” - how the heck did you figure that out? Do you have some precision calipers or soemthing? smile


    Comment by Brian on 9/05/06 at 5:56 am #
  10. Cybele's avatar

    Andrea - thanks for the kudos!

    Pam - I wouldn’t turn down the SweeTarts ... but I usually dump them out on my desk and sort the colors, so the Tart n Tinys win on aesthetics.

    Maurice - yeah, I miss the old chalk pellets too! I also liked the old dispenser box it came in. I might need to do a “candy and drink pairing” post one of these days!

    Dave - I definitely agree with you about the Runts ... though I’ve always been a fan of the Banana ones, I don’t like the watermelon or raspberry ones and I’m not that keen on the “improved” green.

    Wayne - I don’t know much about Nationwide, they’ve applied to advertise on Candy Blog, which is a good sign that they want to be around for a while. It definitely looks like a good price. Let us know how the order goes, I like to hear about people’s real world experience!

    Tricia - donnagel is like kaopectate. (Yeah, at first I thought Dave was talking about an exit off the PA Turnpike!). Runts have a banana flavor (and shaped that way too) but Wacky Wafers also came in banana, but without the colored glaze.

    Julia - I looked for them yesterday at the stores but didn’t see them. I’ll keep looking!

    Brian - I was lucky enough that the serving size was identical on the package (15 grams) but used the count of pieces to calculate the difference. So really the “size difference” is based on mass not volume. But they appear to be of similar density. This is what they should tell kids in school that math is good for!

    Comment by Cybele on 9/05/06 at 6:38 am #
  11. I’ve rediscovered runts (it’s been awhile since I’ve had them, but the last time was definitely after the flavor change). I like the raspberry ones (they’re not like other blue raspberries I’ve had). The watermelon ones are okay, but has anyone noticed they have a spicy hit? I’ve no idea where that comes from. Watermelon is not supposed to be spicy.

    Comment by Trish on 11/17/06 at 1:38 pm #
  12. Can you get tart n’ tiny’s in individual colors? I want all red…..

    Comment by Mike Brown on 6/14/07 at 8:58 am #
  13. The original Tart N Tiny’s that were “plain and chalky” were the best! The chewy SweeTarts aren’t bad, but I’ll take original TNT’s any day.

    Great review! Keep writing!

    Comment by John on 9/04/07 at 5:05 am #
  14. I loved Tart N’ Tinys when I was a kid, but I can’t find the anymore!

    Comment by Sara Em on 10/29/08 at 3:49 pm #
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