Brand Spotlight is a new feature where I take a closer look at a Free From brand and give my verdict on a few of their products. This has replaced the way I used to review products on a more individual basis. If you would like your brand to be featured and want to send me some samples, get in touch: email@example.com. Please be aware I currently live in the Netherlands, but I blog about both UK and Dutch/European products.
About the company
Goody Good Stuff was founded by Melissa Burton in 2010. As a vegetarian she missed one thing most of all – sweets, but especially gummy bears, so she set out to develop a vegetarian/vegan-friendly alternative. Melissa is a native New Yorker who runs the operation from the head office in Lancaster, UK. They retail in 8,000 outlets in 25 countries.
Goody Good Stuff currently make 8 different types of gummy sweets:
- Cheery Cherries
- Summer Peaches
- Cola Breeze
- Koala Gummy Bears
- Sour Mix & Match
- Sour Fruit Salad (Not available in NL)
- Tropical Fruit (Not available in NL)
- Strawberry Cream (Not available in NL)
The sweets are free from:
They contain only natural colours and flavours. They are also Halal and Kosher (if you fancied being both at once). It’s the ultimate Free From product. One thing on the packaging caught my eye:
This got me curious and I had a poke about on their website, which seems to state wheat starch as an ingredient in some of the flavours. I was interested to clear this up with them and got the following reply:
The wheat starch declared is actually a processing aid rather than an ingredient. Wheat starch is used in the moulding of the product in the manufacturing process.
There is a synergy between Europe, USA and Canada with regards to gluten allergen labelling. The law states that for a product to be deemed ‘gluten free’ the product must contain no more than 20ppm of gluten (this again is a small amount). Our manufacturer is third party tested for all allergens and as a quality policy the manufacturer will not accept gluten free labelling on any product with more than 3ppm of gluten present. We have regular third party tests on our products for all allergens and we have had a negative on gluten for all results (with limit of detection as 1.6ppm).
I hope this clears things up a little. I can confirm that Goody Good Stuff is completely safe for those with gluten intolerances or coeliacs disease [sic].
So I reckon if you get a poorly tummy from this, you might want to blame the fact that you’ve eaten an entire bag of gummy sweets and not the miniscule trace amount of gluten in them 😉
I’m not sure whether this would also apply to those with a wheat allergy, as I don’t know how much wheat would typically cause a reaction in a very sensitive individual. My gut instinct (ha! get it?) tells me it would be a similar level for coeliacs, as it would have to be detectable by the body.
The sweets are stocked in a wide range of supermarkets and shops across the UK including: Superdrug, Waitrose, Asda, Whole Foods, Planet Organic and Amazon.
Goody Good Stuff is ook verkrijgbaar in de volgende supermarkten: Jumbo, Albert Heijn, C1000 en Plus.
*End of Dutch*
I was sent 4 of their flavours to try: Sour Mix & Match, Summer Peaches, Cola Breeze, and Koala Gummy Bear (tastes of orange, not koalas). Full disclosure here: I used to hate gummy sweets in every form. Seriously, as a youngster, if it wasn’t chocolate it wasn’t going in my mouth. And when I grew out of being a major fusspot I just never really got into eating gummy sweets – something about the texture just wasn’t right to me. That said, I readied myself for an exploration of taste and texture as a grown up…
And it turns out your palate does change as you get older.
Summer Peaches was my favourite. The texture was sort of soft and marshmallowy with a nice zingy taste of peach. I ate about half the bag and then remembered that I needed to take pictures for the review. So I left the rest, but I unwisely told my boyfriend he could try some and when I got back, I was faced with this:
He left me a single, solitary summer peach. Bah. “Ah well, at least I can photograph the Sour Mix & Match flav…. oh no wait, that’s gone too.” These were very popular in our household! I have discovered that I really like sour sweeties. The sour ones were a little bit tougher, but still a pleasant texture.
I was a little less keen on the cola bottles and gummy bears – the gummy bears reminded me a bit too much of my childhood hatred for gummy bears and I’ve always been wary of cola. I was just about to write “what even IS cola flavour?” and then I remembered that Google, as always, is sitting right there.
a brown carbonated drink that is flavoured with an extract of cola nuts, or with a similar flavouring.“a warm can of cola”
a small evergreen African tree which is cultivated in the tropics for its seeds (cola nuts).
So you learn something new every day!
I should point out that the cola bottles and gummy bears were as enthusiastically devoured by the boyfriend, until I stuffed all the bags together and hid them. He clearly doesn’t have my childhood hang ups about food texture. 😉
So I finally got a picture of the sweeties. They are cute, as well as yummy, and even fare well when reviewed by a former gummy bear hater.
What’s with the koala?
I saved the most important bit until last – the cute little koala on the packaging. Since the founder is American and lives in the UK, it seemed a bit of a strange mascot for the brand, so I asked them about it:
Kobi was ‘born’ in 2009 when the awful Australian bushfires made international news. Our companies founder and MD, Melissa Burton, was touched by [a] particular photograph and hence decided that the brands advocate would be the koala (a vegetarian bear no less). Since then we have supported various animal sanctuaries and charities including specialist koala sanctuaries in AUS.
So I hope you’ve found this very first brand spotlight interesting (at least a bit more interesting than the usual product review) and I can highly recommend Goody Good Stuff. They would be great for handing out in a classroom environment or at birthday parties where there may be one or more allergic children present. Or for trick or treating! That they are so successful and they cater to such a broad spectrum of allergies and dietary needs shows how strong the demand is for more allergy-friendly products. Most people really don’t have just one thing they can’t eat. I’m a coeliac, but also can’t eat gluten-free oats and have a mild lactose intolerance. What about the dairy-allergic vegetarians? The muslim vegans? The nut-allergic jews? People have complex dietary needs and it’s great to know that pretty much everyone can enjoy these sweets.