Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Twizzlers vs. Jujyfruits


Everyone knows Jujyfruits' flavors are determined by the color of the candies and not by their shapes.  The same is true of a new product offered by Hershey: Twizzlers.  Twizzlers are all shaped the same.

Everyone knows that Twizzlers are licorice ropes and traditionally they came in black or red: licorice or cherry (possibly strawberry?).  There's a new Twizzler twist on the shelf: Rainbow.  These come in a bag packed with patently artificial, neon-inspired colored ropes of 'licorice.'  What's the jujy-connection?  Like Jujyfruits, Twizzlers' flavors are defined by their colors.  Like Jujyfruits, the flavor is hard to discern if you don't know what to expect beforehand.

An informal sampling took place in the Jujy Dreams laboratory recently and I'll spare you the details of the methodology.  The conclusion was that Rainbow Twizzlers taste like chemicals.  They feel like congealed chemicals on the palate and their gum-sticking quotient is high, if not quite on par with Jujyfruits.  For the record, the flavors are: strawberry, orange, lemonade, watermelon, blue raspberry, and grape.  Grape was the most easily recognizable in blind tests but even that required crosschecking the purple color of the candy to confirm the flavor.

This Twizzler taste test wasn't performed with any reference to my Jujy Dreams but one participant quickly noted, "These are like Jujyfruits.  I can't tell what they are supposed to be beyond gummy."  High praise.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where do you keep your Jujyfruits?

I'm traveling by motorcycle from Boston to New Orleans, all back roads.  I stop for gas every hundred miles or so.  When I stop, I make it a point to look to see if Jujyfruits are for sale at the various gas stations and convenience stores.

I've stopped in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, several times in Virginia, Tennessee and now Alabama.  This is the end of day four.

Jujyfruits were sold in Hartford, Conn. and Harrisburg, Penn.  Since then, I haven't been able to find any of America's favorite gummi movie candy.  Are Jujyfruits less popular south of the Mason Dixon Line?  I find that hard to believe.  My theory is that I tend to stop in very rural, out of the way towns where shelf space is at a premium.  While there is plenty of room for potato chips and Budweiser beer and chewing tobacco, there may not be enough room for a tasty sweet treat that sticks to your teeth.

There's a whole market to be filled if Farley's and Sathers knows how to exploit it.  They have a new CEO.  Hopefully Liam Killeen will be able to build on his reputation and get Jujyfruits to the masses in Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jujyfruit corn

Even though I know all the Jujyfruit shapes and what they are supposed to represent, even I get confused, especially when the shapes are matched with Jujyfruits’ random color assignment.  I often see references to jujyfruit corn when surfing the internet and one of the popular search terms that lead to this site is “jujyfruit corn.”

There is no corn jujyfruit.  The asparagus is often confused with corn because it has little nodules on one end that can be confused with kernels, but they are supposed to represent the leaflets that run along aspargus stems.  Jujy asparagus ends in a few fronds that are supposed to look like the stalks as they reach the leafy vegetable tips.  People mistake this part for corn silk and, I agree, the whole candy does look like corn if you use your imagination to struggle to find something recognizable.  It’s tough to sculpt convincing asparagus out of a jelly mold that’s a hair short of an inch long.  It’s asparagus.
I pulled out a yellow grape bundle and I thought it was corn until I realized that Jujyfruits don’t come in corn shapes.  The grapes look like kernels though they are more rounded than corn kernels would be.  They are also elongated, that is, only the top of the candy is rounded.  It’s a three dimensional sculptrure of a grape bunch.  It only resembles grapes if put on a table top and veiwed straight down.  
As usual, I would like to point out that Jujyfruits contain no vegetable flavorings.   Green aspagaus tastes like lime.  Yellow grapes taste like lemon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A new jujyfruit flavor?

I was musing about the possibility of cinnamon jujyfruits the other week and I'd like to explain why.  A friend had dropped off three boxes of cinnamon flavored candy to sample and clear my palate of my usual jujy diet.

One box was Good and Fiery, a Good and Fruity variety that is, itself, a Good and Plenty knockoff.  I'm big fan of Good and Plenty and I thank Hershey's for not ruining the original recipe.  I can't say the same for Good and Fruity.  This recipe changed sometime in the late 80s early 90s and I much prefer the original.  I've never had Good and Fiery before but it's Good and Fruity with a cinnamon candy inserted into the mix.  The candy is strongly flavored but overly sweet for my taste.  Hardly fiery but they have a good enough cinnamon bite.  I would be happy with just the cinnamon ones, but the others added some variety to what is basically a one-note candy.

One box was Mike and Ike's Hot Tamales.  There's not much to say about these.  They taste like cinnamon but hardly in a "hot" sense.  There's no variation in this box, they all taste the same.

The third box was Chewy Atomic Fireballs.  I like the original hard ones, naturally, but these had a robust punch.  Trust Ferrera Pan to make the perfect cinnamon candy.  The company invented Atomic Fireballs and you can trust them to deliver what they promise.

If Heide would take a lesson from Ferrara Pan, a cinnamon jujyfruit would be worth the R&D.  Of course, Jujyfruits are probably making fine profit margins with no advertising as they are.  The last flavor  change didn't do the candy any credit (green candies from mint to lime) so there's probably little point in changing the red candies from raspberry to cinnamon.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jujyfruit taste lingers


A recent informal study of pipe and tobacco smokers conducted over the last month at local Boston tobacconists and cigar bars shows that Jujyfruits are the second most preferred candy among upscale tobacco connoiseurs.  
More cigar and pipe smokers prefer Jujyfruits over Altoids, Mentos, Life Savers, or sugarless gum products.  The Number Two slot might be surprising to people who think of Jujyfruits being old fashioned candy.  Pipe and cigar smoking are old fashioned ways of enjoying tobacco so it might be expected that people who enjoy tobacco in anachronistic ways may likewise enjoy thier candy in a form that isn’t exactly up to date. 
In fact, 40% of the random sample interviewed where men under the age of 45.  It is physically and mentally impossible for them to associate Jujyfruits with nickel matinees, which is how the jujyfruit became popular: as a movie treat.
The most oft cited reason for prefering Jujyfruits over hard mints was that Jujyfruits stick between smokers‘ teeth and thus have a long lasting breath tinting effect until the candies fnally dissolve. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cinnamon Jujyfruit


Remember, green jujyfruits used to be spearmint flavored not lime.  Some purists bemoan the fact that this change was made, but then owner Hershey polled consumers and it was decided spearmint had to go.  It wasn’t very popular.  
I don’t remember spearmint jujyfruits though I’m old enough that I must have eaten them at some time.  I don’t think the lime is much of an improvement.  If there’s lemon, why lime?  It’s not like the food scientists at Jujy-HQ have poured a lot of research in perfecting their flavors.  Aside from licorice (black) every things tastes sweet and vaguely fruity but it’s hard to tell exactly what fruit.  That’s why I think spearmint was a good choice: like licorice, it wasn’t citrus.
I’ve been sampling some cinnamon flavored candies recently.  Jujyfruits don’t come in cinnamon.  The red is cherry, I believe, but it may be raspberry.  If you read the earlier taste test posts, you know I always get it confused even if it’s a blind taste test and I can’t see the color for a hint.  Imagine a cinnamon Jujyfruit.  I’m in. 

Would a new flavor be a hit with the public?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I love Jujyfruits


I admit I don't have a sweet tooth yet, for whatever reason, I have chosen Jujyfruits as an inspiration.  While I don't have a sweet tooth, I have tasted candy.  I wouldn't normally buy it but I've developed my preferences.  I live with someone who loves chocolate but I would be content if I never had another bite of chocolate again.  I prefer harder, more sugar and talc based candies: Sweet Tarts, Shock Tarts, Gobstoppers, even Good 'n' Plenty.  I'm not a big fan of gummy candy and even though Jujyfruits predate Gummi Bears by a half century, they both fall in the same class of candy.  As for the gummy sharks, the gummy worms, the yogurt based gummy candy and the gummy raspberries et. al., you can keep them.  Jujyfruits were first.

Though gummy candy isn't my favorite, it is slowly turning out that I love Jujyfruits.  I am not paid by Farley's and Sathers to say this and, in fact, I have some misgivings about how the company conducts it business and markets its candy.  If I am not a friend of the owners of the Jujyfruit brand, I am a lover of the Jujyfruit recipe.

Jujyfruits grow on your tastes.  We have a box in our house that contains mixed candies.  Sometimes we'll want a little sweet after a meal or at tea time so we'll bring out the box and indulge our appetite.  For the past few months, the box has been stocked with jujyfruits left over from my investigations among other things which don't involve me but run the gamut of the candy spectrum.  We noticed last night that the jujyfruits are the things we pick out of the mix and when the box was given a shakeout census, jujyfruits are the least common items on the top layer of the box and the most common at the bottom...as if they settle if neglected too long.  Or, perhaps our jujy-hunger has grown the longer they've been available.

Another sociological Jujy thought experiment.  Before I begin this soul searching though, I would like to state for the record that I love Jujyfruits.  Red, Yellow, Orange, Black, and even Green.
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