Do Gummy Bears Expire? Chewy Treats and Their Shelf Life

- Thursday, May 9, 2024

Those delicious and chewy gummy bears we all love to eat never seem to run out. However, like most foods, gummy bears eventually succumb to the hands of time, heat, moisture and air.

do gummy bear expire

The good news is that it has a relatively long shelf life! This article will delve into the shelf life of gummy bears, and give you the knowledge you need to savor these chewy treats for months to come.

Can Gummy Bears Go Bad?

Gummy bears are a delicious combination of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, and sometimes flavors and colors. Here, sugar and corn syrup are natural preservatives, but the key ingredient is gelatin.

Gummy bears

Gelatin is a kind of protein. So like all proteins, it breaks down over time. This breakdown will cause changes in texture and flavor, which can make the original chewy gummy bears less tasty. So, yes, gummy bears do go bad. But they take a little longer than other foods to expire.

How Long Does Gummy Candy Last?

How Long Does Gummy Candy Last

The shelf life of your gummy candy depends on a few key factors.

1. Packaging

Packaging plays a big role in ensuring the shelf life of gummy candy. Compared to flimsy bags, sealable pouches or airtight containers are better at keeping moisture and air out, thus slowing the deterioration of gummy bears.

2. Brand

Different brands may produce their gummy candies with slightly different formulas. Some gummy manufacturers may use additional preservatives or different types of gelatin, which can affect the shelf life.

3. Storage Environment

Heat, light and moisture are the worst enemies of gummy bears. High temperatures cause gummy bears to melt and lose their shape. They also become sticky and hard to eat. Direct sunlight can cause the bright colors of gummy bears to fade. Moisture can cause gummy bears to become sticky and lose their unique chewy texture.

4.Opened vs. Unopened

Once a gummy bear bag is opened, gummy bears may become hard and brittle due to increased exposure to air and moisture. Resealing the package after each use helps slow this process.

Opened gummy bears

Generally, unopened gummy bears can be stored for six months to one year. Once opened, time will begin to move a little faster. If they are resealed and stored properly, their shelf life can extend by three to six months.

How Do the Ingredients in a Gummy Candy Affect Its Shelf Life?

Gummy candies are made up of a variety of ingredients. Each component affects the shelf life of gummy candies more or less.

  • Sweeteners (sugar, corn syrup)


Sugar and corn syrup are both sweeteners and natural preservatives. High sugar content helps prevent bacterial growth and extends the shelf life of gummies.

  • Gelatin


Gelatin is the main structural component of gummy bears that gives them their chewy texture. While gelatin gives gummy bears a pleasant texture, it is also one of the causes of gummy bear expiration. Over time, gelatin breaks down as a protein, causing changes in the texture and flavor of the gummy.

  • Flavorings and Colorings

Flavorings and Colorings

Flavorings and colorings usually have little effect on the shelf life of gummies. However, some of them are naturally derived and may have a shorter shelf life than man-made ones, which can potentially affect the overall shelf life of your fudge.

Can You Eat Expired Gummies? What if You Do?

Can You Eat Expired Gummies

We generally don't recommend eating expired gummies. They probably won't make you terribly sick like other foods. But expired gummies still have one major safety concern which is mold. Mold produces toxins that cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What Will Happen If I Eat Expired Gummies?

In most cases, eating small amounts of expired gummies may not cause serious harm. The high sugar content in gummies inhibits bacterial growth, making them less likely to cause foodborne illness than other expired foods.

If your gummy bears are exposed to moisture for too long or have been stored improperly, they may harbor mold or bacteria. At this point, eating them may cause mild stomach upset, nausea, or indigestion. These symptoms are usually short-lived and will resolve on their own.

How Can You Tell If It's Time to Say Goodbye to Your Gummy Bears?

Say Goodbye to Your Gummy Bears

The following are some signs that your gummy bears have gone bad and it's time to say goodbye.

  • If mold appears on your gummy bears, discard them immediately because mold can cause illness if you eat them.
  • If your gummy bears have become dull, faded or discolored, they are past their best before date.
  • If gummy bears become hard, crunchy or sticky, that means they have lost moisture or gone bad and should be thrown away.
  • Fresh gummy bears usually have a pleasant fruity flavor. If your gummy bears smell bad, it's probably time to throw them out.

What Should You Do To Better Keep Your Gummy Candy Fresh?

Keep Your Gummy Candy Fresh 1

The key to keeping your gummy candies fresh is to create the perfect environment for them. This will prevent the gummies from drying out, sticking together or losing their chewing pleasure. Here's what you should do.

First, you need to find a cool, dry storage place for the gummies where the temperature remains at room temperature. In addition, this place should be away from heat sources such as ovens or direct sunlight. Remember, light can fade the original vibrant color of your fudge!

Once you open the gummy candy package, you should transfer the gummy candies from their original packaging to an airtight container. Here, it's best to choose an airtight container made of glass or BPA-free plastic. Glass is ideal because it won't absorb odors or leak out chemicals.

Why do you need airtight containers? Because they are effective in keeping out moisture and air, which are the biggest enemies of fresh gummy candies.

airtight containers for gummy candy

Bought a super big bag of gummies and worried they'll go bad if you can't eat them all? Don't worry! Gummy bears can be frozen in the refrigerator for up to a year without spoiling. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you'll want to make sure you store them in an airtight container to prevent freezing.

Final Word

It is impossible for gummy bears to stay fresh forever. But if you understand the factors that affect the shelf life of gummy bears and ways to store them, then you may be able to comfortably enjoy your gummies longer than others.

Always remember, when you are wondering if your gummy bears are still good to eat, a quick sniff, a gentle squeeze, and a closer look at your gummy bears are all ways to tell if they are fresh or not, and you can't go wrong.

Interested in learning more about gummy bears? Please feel free to check out our related posts.


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