Do Gummy Bears Go Bad or Expire?

Found an old package of gummies and wondering if you can still eat them safely? Do gummy bears go bad or expire?

Or maybe you’ve bought some gummies in bulk, and you want to know how long do gummy candy last.

Either way, this article is what you’re looking for. In it, we’re going to talk about:

  • gummy bears spoilage (do gummies go bad or not?)
  • the shelf life of gummies
  • storing gummies so that they last the longest (for those that don’t finish them in a day or two)

Interested? Let’s dive right in.

Gummy bears package

Do Gummy Bears Expire or Go Bad?

Gummy bears don’t really expire, but they lose quality over time. If yours are opened for more than a couple of months, they might become dry and grainy. That’s when you discard them.

Gummies can go bad (e.g., grow mold), but that’s only possible if water gets to the candy. And I mean more than a drop or two. If you store them properly, that’s highly unlikely.

Can you eat expired gummy bears? Sure, assuming that they don’t show any signs of spoilage (are safe to eat) and the quality is good enough. It’s pretty much the same as with almost any expired candy.

Gummy bears candy
Gummy bears candy

Here’s when you should assume your gummies are done for, and you should throw them out:

  • the candy is dry or grainy
  • they are sticky
  • gummies smell off in any way
  • there’s something off about the way they look, e.g., there’s mold, the color has changed, or sugar crystallized on the surface
Info

Gummies with sugar crystals aren’t technically spoiled, but they’ll taste subpar at best. It’s best to get rid of those.

Finally, if your gummy bears pass all the tests above with flying colors, but they are stale, difficult to chew, or taste kind of weird, you should get rid of them anyway.

Four gummies
Four gummies

How Long Do Gummy Bears Last?

Unopened gummy bears should last for at least a few months past the date on the label. Once you open the package or buy gummies in bulk, they should retain quality for up to half a year.

Unless you buy gummy candy in bulk in the supermarket, there’s a date on the package. That date is only an estimate of how long the candy will retain quality, not an expiration date.

In other words, your gummies most likely will be okay quality-wise for at least a couple of months past that date (just like Oreos), assuming you’ll do a good job of storing them.

How long past the date can you eat gummy bears? It’s impossible to say. It all depends on how you store them, the ingredients used to make the gummy candy (they vary a bit brand by brand), and your taste buds.

Gummy bears: date on label
Gummy bears: date on label
CounterFridge
Gummy bears (unopened)Best-by + 3 – 6 monthsBest-by + 3 – 6 months
Gummy bears (opened, or bought in bulk)3 – 6 months3 – 6 months
Please note that all the periods above are for the best quality. Your gummies might retain quality for months longer or lose it a bit faster.

How To Store Gummy Bears

Store gummy candy in a cool and dry area. If you live in a warm and humid climate, or you’re in the middle of a hot summer, consider storing gummies in the fridge. Once you open the pack, keep them sealed tightly.

In most cases, a cabinet in the pantry or kitchen (at room temperature) is good enough for gelatin-based chewable candy. But if it’s hot (and you don’t have air conditioning), tossing your gummies in the fridge will help them retain quality for longer (the same goes for caramels).

Of course, that only makes sense if you expect that pack to sit in storage for a couple of months, or you bought it on a sale because it was approaching its date.

Wrapped gummy bears package
Wrapped gummy bears package

Once you open your gummies, the only thing you should worry about is to keep them sealed. You can just wrap the plastic package, but you can also transfer gummy bears into an airtight container or a freezer bag to keep them away from any moisture.

Tip

If you know you’re going to eat your gummies within a couple of days of opening (that’s the usual scenario for most of us), leave them tightly wrapped in their bag. Their quality won’t change that much in such a short period, so there’s no point in going the extra mile.

Sources