Sour Patch Kids Rule!

Photo: Kang Kim

In a 1994 episode of Seinfeld, Elaine loses her boyfriend over a concession-stand box purchased at the movies. (Why couldn’t she resist? “Because they’re Jujyfruits,” she protests. “I like them.”) But today’s sweet-toothed filmgoer won’t find old favorites in many city theaters: Junior Mints and Whoppers aren’t at UA/Regal or Clearview; Sno-Caps aren’t at UA/Regal or AMC/Loews. Instead, there are mysterious brands like Sour Jacks. What happened? Let’s take Jujyfruits as a case study. Hershey’s bought the brand in 1995, after its Seinfeld star turn, but sold it seven years later to Farley’s & Sathers Candy Company, which area distributors say doesn’t have the same muscle, and soon Jujyfruits disappeared. So which current residents of the candy counter make the grade? We gathered twelve staffers to rate the options in five categories:

CATEGORY: Fruit chews
TASTING NOTES:Dots (“the grossest of all”) and even the classic Jujyfruits (“very, very sticky”) fell short of Welch’s (“the right fruit flavor”).
WINNER:Welch’s Fruit Snacks

CATEGORY:Sour fruit chews
TASTING NOTES:Fresh-tasting Kids handily defeated Watermelon Sour Jacks, which were deemed “more rubber than candy.”
WINNER:Sour Patch Kids
AVAILABLE AT: AMC/Loews, Clearview, National Amusements

CATEGORY:Chocolate-covered raisins
TASTING NOTES:Raisinets, tasters carped, are “prune-y” and stale. They were far kinder to Sun-Maid’s “buttery” morsels.
WINNER:Sun-Maid Milk Chocolate Covered Raisins

CATEGORY:Gummi Bears
TASTING NOTES:Buddy Bears Gummi Bears? “Oily and greasy.” Care Bears Gummi Bears? “Rubbery.” But P.J.? “Outstanding.”
WINNER:P.J. Gummi Bears
AVAILABLE AT: UA/Regal and National Amusements

CATEGORY:Candy-covered chocolate
TASTING NOTES:Tasters called Hershey’s Kissables “bitter and powdery,” but rhapsodized over M&M’s “perfect crunch.”
WINNER:Plain M&M’s
AVAILABLE AT: Everywhere

Sour Patch Kids Rule!