Gummy bears are so much fun. They come in different colors and flavors and even different sizes.
You can make your own gummy bears at home or you can buy them from the store. Candy stores are known for offering varieties but you can also find them at most grocery stores.
You simply can’t go wrong with choosing gummy bears to satisfy that sweet tooth. If you keep them properly stored away, they should last for quite some time. You don’t have to worry about them rotting or molding for the most part. But, we’re curious.
Do gummy bears go bad? The recommended shelf-life for gummy bears is up to 1 year when properly stored. However, even after this point, store-bought gummy bears should be safe to eat. Homemade gummy bears may not last as long but will still be good for as long as 6 months or more.
For the most part, your gummy bears will likely never go bad, but just know if you find some stuffed away on a shelf and you have no idea how long they were there they are probably still just fine to eat.
In this guide, we will walk you through how to know if your gummy bears are no longer edible as well as providing you with some helpful storage tips and tricks. Your gummy bears may just last forever if you follow this guide.
Keep reading to learn about proper gummy bear care and more.
Do Gummy Bears Go Bad? A Complete Guide
Gummy bears require very little care and maintenance to keep them good. Realistically, they will probably never go bad. If anything, you’re more likely to experience gummy bears drying out or getting hard over time.
Why is this though? And what are some ways you can store your long-lasting yummy gummy treats? Let’s find out!
How Long Do Gummy Bears Last?
Ultimately, gummy bears are not going to go bad. No matter how they are labeled or stamped, they are designed to last for an inordinate amount of time. Almost any food item that you purchase is stamped with a “best-by” date.
This concept is also true of gummy bears. But if there’s one thing we know to be true, it’s that this date is typically for the store to know when the product should no longer be on the shelf.
It does not always mean that after that date, your item is considered spoiled. There are some instances where this date should be used as an expiration date and other products where this is simply a recommendation to be aware of.
In the case of gummy bears, what you should know is that as long as you store them properly, they could potentially last indefinitely. In terms of how long they last according to the best quality, they can last 6-12 months.
Keep in mind that storing your gummy bears properly can have a significant impact on quality. If you store them out in the sun and heat or in a humid environment, they are likely to melt and this may affect their overall quality as well.
It is recommended that you store your gummy bears in a cool, dry location. You should also store them in an airtight method. If you open a package and need to store them, be sure to seal them into something airtight to preserve them.
You can put them in the fridge or even the freezer or you can toss them into your closed pantry that is not hot and humid. It’s pretty ingenious and there are so many different options. You really can’t go wrong.
Can You Freeze Gummy Bears?
You can absolutely freeze your gummy bears and it’s very simple to do. We recommend using the fridge or the freezer if you live in a hot and humid climate. This is just an added step that can preserve your gummy bears and keep them from melting or drying out.
Here are the best steps for freezing gummy bears:
- Place gummy bears into an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Even if you have an unopened package of gummy bears, we recommend still placing it into a freezer bag or some other means of storage just to be sure it’s packaged properly for freezing.
- Label and date your packaging for reference purposes.
- Gummy bears will last indefinitely in the freezer if these steps are followed. We recommend using them within 12 months if possible for the best quality.
Freezing your gummy bears does not make them frozen if that makes any sense. It simply keeps them chilled for preservation methods.
Frozen gummy bears will be chewier than typical room temperature gummy bears. Frozen gummy bears are very tasty.
There’s just something about them that makes them really flavorful and delicious. You don’t have to thaw gummy bears to enjoy them; you can eat them straight from the freezer. Honestly, you might even decide that you like them chilled or frozen best!
You can thaw them at room temperature or in the fridge if you prefer to eat them at a “normal” temperature. There are no special thawing requirements since it is not a product that is going to spoil or go bad if you thaw it out wrong.
How to Preserve Homemade Gummy Bears
Homemade gummy bears are different than your typical store-bought treats. They can’t just be thrown in the pantry and forgotten as easily as the processed store-bought bears, because you’re making them at home with different machines and processes.
In this case, you’re probably using gelatin or something similar to make your homemade gummy bears. Homemade gummy bears can mold, which sets them apart vastly from traditional gummy bears that you purchase at your local grocery store.
You can store homemade gummy bears at room temperature for up to 5 days. Be sure that you are storing them in an airtight method of some sort and that you have them in a cool, dry space. Don’t leave them sitting in the window or in a warm spot.
Otherwise, we recommend that you store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze homemade gummy bears (we have special steps for this below).
Just know that your freezing time may be less for homemade gummies of any kind. You can expect 3-6 months instead of 6-12 months for the best quality. For homemade gummy bears, we actually recommend a pre-freeze process to get them properly set.
You can do this by laying them out on parchment paper and freezing in that manner for about 2-4 hours. Then proceed with the freezer storage procedures previously provided for you.
Here is a quick review of the overall freezing process, including the freezing time for your reference:
- Pre-freeze homemade gummy bears. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the gummies out. Freeze for 2-4 hours, or until frozen. This will help set them so they don’t stick together in the freezer later.
- Place gummy bears into an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Leave about an inch of headspace and be sure to release all extra air from the bag.
- Label and date your packaging for reference purposes.
- Homemade gummy bears should last 3-6 months in the freezer for best quality recommendations.
What In Gummy Bears Makes Them Last So Long?
Gummy bears are a unique candy. Just like any other gummy candy, they can be flavorful and colorful. When gummy bears are purchased from the store, they have a slightly different makeup because of the difference in machinery and processing steps in a plant.
For the most part, gummy bears are gelatin-based. You can expect them to contain gelatin, sugar, glucose syrup, start, food coloring, various flavoring, and citric acid.
It doesn’t seem like much, but most of these are preserving ingredients. This helps lead to an extended lifespan for gummy bears when they are properly stored.
We hope that you find this guide to understanding whether gummy bears go bad and how you can properly preserve them to be a valuable resource. Gummy bears are very easy to work with, just remember that the rules do vary slightly for homemade gummies.
We invite you to review the following question and answer section for some additional information that could be helpful to you.
What Do I Do if My Gummy Bears Are Hard?
If your gummy bears are hard, they have most likely just been exposed to air. You can rehydrate them by tossing them in a bowl of warm or hot water to soften them. This takes about 20 minutes. The results are long-lasting if properly stored after they dry.
Will Gummy Bears Mold?
If stored properly, in an airtight method with no moisture, your gummy bears should not mold. However, it is possible that if they are stored in a moist environment that you will have to fight the issue.
You are more likely to experience mold with homemade gummy bears just due to the difference in processing compared to store-bought gummy bears that are not as easily affected.