Monday, July 7, 2008

Organic Zootons

ZootonsEarlier this year I attended ExpoWest, a trade show which highlights natural products. It’s actually a great place to find candy, though most of the time the products were advocating what they put in them. There were candies with added vitamins, minerals others fortified with omega3 fatty acids, exotic gums & algae and still others made from completely raw ingredients or buying carbon offsets. Instead, Zootons are highlighting what they don’t put in them.

Zootons is a line of soft, chewy jelly candies that are organic and vegan. That’s it.

I know that many parents (and adult candy fans) can be frustrated with sweets that say they’re healthy but then fail to match the appeal of the unnatural counterparts that are so ubiquitous (and let’s face it, less expensive).

At first glance Zootons seem to narrow the gap. The packaging is kid friendly - black boxes that each have a different big-mouthed monster icon on them. They also have a little window that lets you see the candy. Inside the box are two sealed packages (50 grams each) which counts as a full serving.

While I hesitate to call them healthy, they’re certainly easy to add to a kids diet as a treat.

Zootons - jelliesOrganic Zootons Jellies

Cute little star shapes with a coating of coarse granulated sugar. They come in four flavors: strawberry (pink), pineapple (yellow), blackcurrant (dark red) and lemon (also yellow).

The distinction between the flavors wasn’t that significant. I was able to tell the pineapple and the blackcurrant from the others, but it all kind of blended together. They’re not terribly tangy, just sweet and fruity.

The texture is fun, the sugary coating gives them a little crunch and the smooth jelly center is moist.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Zootons - sour moons Organic Zootons Sours

I was hoping the Sours would give me the pop that I was looking for in the Jellies.

The Sours come in strawberry, orange, raspberry and lemon. Again, not easy to tell apart visually.

These were much moister than the Jelly stars. The sour started with the sugary coating. Not super-tangy, just a little sizzle of flavor on the tongue.

The lemon was quite nice, not as zesty as I might have liked, but very authentic tasting, like a lemonade jelly. Strawberry was amazingly vivid, both fragrant and tangy, it was like an intense slice of strawberry jam. Raspberry felt very flavored and less like distilled fruits. But it was tingly-tart and satisfying.

These are quite a winner. They’re not too sour for littler kids, I think the only ones who would be disappointed are older kids who are obsessed with the tongue-blistering-super-dare sours.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Zootons - fruit moonsOrganic Zootons Gummies

This was where things went a little strange. I’m kind of a purist when it comes to using the word gummi. Gummis should have a jelling agent in them like gelatin or agar-agar. In this case, they do not have either of those. I was hoping there was some innovation or technique not evident in the ingredients that would give them that inimitable bouncy gummi texture that any child who has had the real thing will expect. Sadly, no. These are just fruit jellies.

The surface is a bit dry, but not covered in the granulated sugar like the other Jellies and Sours. They say they come in four flavors: pineapple, blackcurrant, orange and raspberry. Honestly, I had a hard time telling them apart visually. They were sweet and fruity, but not terribly tangy. Soft and quite moist once I bit into them, they did have a bit of a bounce. Of the set, I think they were my least favorite. Just not enough zip for me.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Zootons - cola starsOrganic Zootons Colas

This was the most exciting concept of the whole line. I’ve had organic jelly candies before (and have written about Surf Sweets). But so few companies - traditional or organic - make anything cola flavored. I just had to try these.

The little stars don’t look like much in the package, but take them out and they’re quite lovely. The dark amber is spot on correct for Cola.

The flavor is absolutely cola - it has that tangy, almost lemon flavor at first, then that ... whatever cola flavor is ... a bit of cinnamon a bit of rum and a bit of caramel. They’re not intense, none of the Zootons are, but they’re pleasant.

Rating: 6 out of 10

I’m not sure where these are being sold so far, but keep your eyes peeled if you have a picky kid or are trying to get only candies with natural colorings in them. They don’t wow me like some pate de fruits, but they’re not intended to ... it’s just a fun candy treat.

Candy Addict also did a taste test of these last month.

Related Candies

  1. Fairhaven Candy Crumblz!
  2. Super Sour Worms
  3. Crispy Cat
  4. St. Claire’s Organic Mints & Tarts
  5. Pure Fun Candy Floss
Name: Organic Zootons Fruit Jellies
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Zootons
Place Purchased: samples from Zootons
Price: unknown
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 85
Categories: Jelly, United Kingdom, All Natural, Organic

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:37 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. That name alone makes them worth trying. I’ve never had much luck with cola jellies.

    Comment by jMo on 7/07/08 at 4:36 pm #
  2. They don’t look that good to me

    Comment by Candy Lover on 7/10/08 at 5:10 am #
  3. Wow, I never knew so much about Organic Zootons. That?s pretty interesting…

    Comment by Michael Grey on 10/06/08 at 12:11 am #
  4. Please email me with information pertaining to organic candy suitable for a gum ball style vending machines!!!
    t.

    Comment by Tessa Partridge on 11/02/08 at 5:48 pm #
  5. These look very interesting, shame they didn’t live up in terms of taste. I’ve never seen them in the UK though, though they may well be floating around somewhere lol

    Comment by alan on 12/30/09 at 12:33 pm #

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