Gummi vs. Hard Candy: Which Is Better?

in Candy Blog

Which would you pick: gummi candy or hard candy? 

If you had to only eat one for the rest of your life, which would it be?

Would you go with the stable and flavorful hard candy that has always held it down when your sweet tooth came calling?


Would you side with the sweet gummi treat that brings dynamic texture and flavor to your pallet in every single sweet bite?

That’s the big confectionery question of the day, and we’re about to tackle it right now.

This is the battle between Gummi Candy and Hard Candy.

Where did hard candy come from?

Hard Candy Mix

Hard candy history goes back hundreds of years all the way to early Egyptian times. Back then, they didn’t have Jolly Ranchers and Reed's Root Beer Rolls, but instead honey. That’s right, honey. Honey was often harvested from bees using a smoking out method, in which they would collect honey and harden it into small chunks like lozenges.

The term “candy” actually comes from the Indian Sanskrit “khanda” which means a piece of sugar. Over time, this word was interpreted by Arabic culture as “qandi” which eventually became “candy” in modern English.

While hard candy was around back in the early 1400-1600s it wasn't until roughly the 1800s that candy became a staple in the English-speaking diet. In the UK, products like Altoids and Peppermint Pez were taking over store shelves, meanwhile in the US products like Lemon Drops and Stick Candy were on the rise quickly.

The only problem was the limited amount of production. Back then, workers could only mold so many pieces, package them, and send them out to stores. What took hard candy from an anomaly to the mainstream was the industrialization of the confectionery industry.

Once machines were introduced, the production of hard candy jumped up dramatically, leading to what would develop into the modern-day candy hard candy industry.

Hard candy rises to confectionery fame. 

WWI Candy Rations


In the early days of modern hard candy, products like Charms, Peppermint Life Savers, and Cinnamon Disks were popular amongst candy fans. People loved having these treats stuffed into their pockets or inside a purse where they could bring them out for a sweet treat whenever they wanted.

During WWI and WWII, hard candy, specifically Charms, became a staple of the American soldier's diet for a few reasons. First, hard candy could withstand the various climates that soldiers would find themselves in during battle.

Unlike chocolate, the melting point for hard candy is significantly higher making it a perfect packing treat that soldiers could snack on. The second reason for adding hard candy to war rations was that at the time, the government and army saw the candy as both a nutritional asset and morale boost for soldiers who needed that extra edge while out in the field. 

When these soldiers came back from war, their taste buds were conditioned to love hard candy, and guess what they started eating again once they got home. You got it, hard candy!

Today, hard candy continues to be one of the most popular types of candy on the planet. From the old stuff all the way to the new, Peppermint Rolls to Sprees, there’s a never-ending list of hard candies you can get your hands on, and with the constant development of new hard candies, folks who truly love hard candy can always find something to snack on.

Hard candy we love. 

Where did gummi candy come from?

Gummy Bear Assorted

Gummi candy was first developed in the late 1800s by the UK-based brand, Fryers of Lancashire. An immigrant working for the company developed a recipe using a secret mixture that was then placed in molds and hardened into a jelly-like substance. These molds came in the shape of small babies with tiny smiles. 

These first gummi candies were called Unclaimed Babies which were eventually renamed Peace Babies in 1918 until their suspension of production during WWII. After a short hiatus, they returned to stores in 1954 under the name Jelly Babies. 

This UK candy would go on to become one of the more popular early gummi candies. What took the world by storm was when Hans Riegel of Germany founded his own candy company in 1922 and popularized the fruit-flavored gummi candy with gelatin as the main ingredient that we now know as gummi bears.

This combination of corn syrup, sucrose, gelatin, starch, and water would create a mixture that when combined with flavoring would result in a variety of different-tasting gummi treats.

This would go on to become the Haribo Company—one of the most important brands in confectionery history. Their development of the iconic Goldbears would set the tone for the next 50 years of gummi combinations and creations. Now, the Haribo Company produces somewhere around 100 million bears daily and distributes them to over 100 different countries.

Gummies take over candy culture. 

Haribo Vintage Advertisement


The ‘90s was a time filled with innovation and new ideas, one of which was the expansion of the gummi candy industry. During this time, gummi brands like Trolli and Harbio witnessed continued success on the shoulders of ‘90s kids who loved sugar.

Between the new candies flavors like super sour and extravagant packaging that caught the attention of every store goer, gummi candy was catapulting to the top of the confectionery charts.

Today, you can find almost any kind of gummi candy your sweet tooth craves. Whether it be classic gummi bears, gummi worms, gummi peach gummi rings, or even those mini gummy hot dogs and burgers, if you want it in gummi form, you got it! 

Gummi Candy we love. 

Which candy is the best? 

Here’s the thing: both of these kinds of candy are wonderfully different.

On one side you have hard candy and all the sweet characteristics it brings to the table. The fact that there are hundreds of different hard candy flavors and tastes to choose from and it won't melt if you leave it out in the summer sun for 5 minutes, makes it a great choice.

Not to mention that hard candy is the sweet treat that keeps on giving—it lasts quite longer than most candies, especially if you suck on them.

On the other side, you have gummi candies and all their chewy goodness. Gummi candy is packed with loads of juicy flavors and often has multiple types of flavors in each product. It also brings an insane mouth feel that is unmatched by almost every other candy, besides Pop Rocks of course.

And let’s not forget that gummi candy can make a great dessert topper on other sweet treats like ice cream and baked goods.

So which one is better?

This debate is tough—asking a candy company to decide whether they love hard candy or gummi candy is like asking it to pick a favorite child: pretty much impossible.

That’s why we’ll leave you with this—we love both.

We love hard candy and gummi candy for many reasons but the number one reason is that both bring back that sweet sensation you get as a kid when candy is placed in your hands. We love the feeling of biting into a piece of candy and going back to a sweeter time in life and both of these candies do it in every single grain of sugar.

So it’s up to you to decide—gummi or hard candy? You can indulge in both by heading over to our digital aisles right here.


Tyson Donald Gwin

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