PEZ Hedz Bearz - Dollar Tree - Cherry Hill, NJ
Looking at this item, it's packaging, and the flavor variety, my gut told me, "do not buy it." I went months without ever seeing this on the shelves, and yet, here we are.
When I was buying some other items for our Candyology101 podcast, I saw this hanging in the candy aisle at Dollar Tree, and after passing it by a few times, I finally decided to give it the benefit of a doubt. Maybe my original assumptions were wrong and this will turn out to be a miraculously awesome candy. It's happened before, but today is not one of those days.
This packaging definitely looks like something you would find at a dollarstore. I'm not trying to pick on cheaper products, I'm a very
cheapfrugal consumer, but everything about this design makes it really unappealing. The color scheme, which reminds me of Barney the Dinosaur on acid, is really obnoxious and it distracts me from being able to read any of the information on the bag. Plus, the ultra thin plastic allows me to see the text on the other side which is even more distracting. I'm just going to come out and say it. This bag is ugly. It's such a shame, because I felt like PEZ had some great packaging in the 90's, but these days they've gotten really lazy. Their lack of effort really shows in this one, both in the candy concept, and the package design.
Sidenote: What do bears have to do with anything anyway? I get that "hedz" refers to the famous toppers of PEZ dispensers, but why bears? They looks so generic and random, like you had a bear mold left over from another candy line somewhere.
Well you can't judge a book by it's cover, right? Sure the concept isn't great, and it's not pretty, but maybe it'll taste really delicious and I'll end up eating my words by the end of this review. (Ha! Food blog. Eating words. I'm so funny.) I opened up the bag, and it smells strongly of artificial peach flavoring. Not a terrible start.
Inside there are supposed to be three different versions of the bear-shaped soft candy, each with three different flavors.
Peach with raspberry & strawberry ears - Oh wow, this is way softer than I expected. I've had creamy gummies in the past, but this is completely different. It's not a gummy at all. It's so soft and foamy, kind of like a really fresh gumdrop. For the most part, this tastes just like gummy peach rings, and since I like peach flavored candies I think this tastes pretty good, but that texture took some getting used to. As for the differently flavored ears, I tried to eat them on their own to see if they had any flavoring to them, and they did, but it was extremely mild and easily overpowered by the peach-base. The raspberry has a really faintly authentic aftertaste, and the strawberry ear is very slightly different, but neither ear-flavoring is all that strong. I feel like the added ear flavorings are just a novelty, and that they don't contribute much to the taste at all.
Grape with lemon and strawberry ears - We have the same bizarrely soft texture as before, but this time it tastes like a foamy grape Laffy Taffy. I really really didn't like this flavoring, and after two or three bears it started to make me feel a little sick. I've mentioned this before but concord grape flavored candies always remind me of childhood medicine, and the flavoring of this is somewhere between cough syrup and the Bertie Botts vomit-bean. (At least that's how it tastes to me. Grape lovers might feel differently.) Thankfully the ears made more of a difference this time around. The green strawberry ear was sweet and mild, just like before, but that little lemon ear packed quite the punch. Thankfully that citrus flavoring made this grape bear-able. (Get it?) Out of the two, this was my least favorite, but I did like the lemon ears.
Cherry with blueberry and strawberry ears - What a ripoff! There were none of these in my bag. I'm curious about the blueberry ear's flavoring, but I don't think I'm curious enough to ever buy a second bag of these to find out how it tastes.
Pointblank, I did not like these. They weren't completely awful, but this candy felt more like a chore than a treat. There are so many better soft candies and gummies on the market that I could never see myself reaching for this over any alternative. I wanted to give it a chance, but it left me wanting less, not more. Thankfully there aren't too many candies in this bag, so once I polish it off, that'll be the end of that. I won't be repurchasing, and I can't say I recommend it to anyone unless you need a cheap candy that's vegetarian. These aren't awful, but like I said, there's definitely better soft candies out there.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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