Sunday, October 29, 2017

Ghost-less Ghostly Gummies?

Haribo Ghostly Gummies - The Dollar Tree
Mischief night is upon us, which is apparently a New Jersey-specific term for what the rest of the nation calls, "Devil's Night." Kind of strange that the home of the Jersey Devil would miss the opportunity for a devilish holiday tie-in, but that mystery'll have to wait.
(Wait, Vermont and New Hampshire call it, "Cabbage Night?" What's the deal with that?)
Today's mystery is...why are there no red gummies in this bag? 
I picked these up at Dollar Tree for a few reasons:.
Reason #1: I'm a sucker for all things bat-shaped.
Reason #2: Even Haribo's seasonal novelties tend to be decent quality.
Reason #3: I have NOT taken enough Halloween candy pictures!  
So, here we are! Seasonal sweets that won't break the bank and leave me disappointed. At least, I hope not...
The bag's design is playful, but not great. Haribo's color scheme has shifted to a ghastly orange, purple, and green color palette with some seasonal clip art sprinkled in there for good measure. The spooky sucker I am loves the green ooze illustrations, but the critical designer in me has seen way better. In the end, I'm torn. I appreciate that Haribo took the time to make a seasonal bag with spooky shapes but I feel like they put forth minimal effort to do so. 
Once opened, I noticed that this was the second Dollar Tree candy purchase I've made that completely lacks one of the promised colors/flavors. Where are all the reds? 
Red tends to be my favorite gummy flavor, whether it's cherry, raspberry, or strawberry, red is just the best! Second best would be Haribo's green, which is technically red because it's strawberry flavored. Sadly, there are no red in sight! After a quick search on google I discovered that there is no red? That red skeleton on the bag is a lie! False adverting, Haribo!  
So, it turns out that we have three flavors/colors and 4 different shapes: skeleton, bat, skull, and pumpkin. Having a skull and a skeleton is a bit redundant, especially when your variety only has 3 flavors, and that's coming from someone with skull-decor year round. I would have liked to see an actual ghost in this ghostly mix, and a fourth flavor, but I'll take what I can get. 
Yellow: When compared to a classic yellow Haribo gummy bear, this has a much softer chew and instead of being a bright, zesty, lemon, this is more pineapple? If the lemon Haribo Bear and the translucent Pineapple bear had a skull-shaped baby, this would be it. It's surprising, since I expected it to be the same as traditional Haribo yellow, but pleasant. Sweet, mild, lemon start with a slightly tangy pineapple-like finish. 
Orange: Looks like it's the same exact orange as the classic bears, but it has a softer, more substantial chew, and a milder flavor. The bears have a bold orange juice-like flavoring. These Halloween gummies? These are more sweet and mandarin-like. Again, it's a surprising change, because I figured the yellow and orange would taste the same as the classic versions, but they're different. It's refreshing, but I don't find these new variations to be as satisfying. 
Purple: The only "new" color, since the classic line up doesn't offer purple. If I had to guess, I would think this was black cherry. A technical red! There are some deeper berry notes, and a slightly tart finish. Easily my favorite of the three and a breathe of fresh air after two sort-of-copycat flavors.
For a dollar, this isn't a bad bag. The shapes are cute, and the candy quality is decent, but the traditional mix is bolder and offers more variety. If they made a stand alone bag of black cherry bats, I'd be in love, but as a trio, these ghastly gummies just don't have what it takes to haunt my tastebuds year-round. 
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