What Makes a Great Gummy Vitamin?

Many parents and caregivers face a challenge getting children to eat balanced, wholesome meals. Children’s vitamins—especially the gummy variety—provide a supply of essential vitamins in a perfectly disguised, fruit-flavored treat. Our tasters define a high-quality gummy vitamin as not too large; a child should be able to chew the vitamin with a few simple chews. As a parent, you don’t want your child giving up on the vitamin and handing it back half-chewed. The product’s shape should be recognizable because animal-shaped vitamins are even more appealing to kids. In the taste profile, sweetness and tartness should be at equal levels. These basic tastes, at the right levels, will create the appropriate taste balance. Overall, gummy vitamins should have distinguishable fruit flavors; orange should be orange-flavored, red should taste like cherry or strawberry, etc. Also, there should be no medicinal or vitamin off-notes, which our chefs define as “inappropriate flavors” that detract from the overall flavor. The best gummy vitamins taste almost like fruit candy, and most children shouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The texture should not be soft and mushy like a gumdrop, but it should have a firm, edible and appetizing chew. Gummy vitamins are supposed to be fun to eat, so the experience shouldn’t be over too quickly. The product should dissolve after a number of chews, as opposed to being cohesive or adhesive. In other words, it shouldn’t stick too much to itself or to the inside of the mouth. Finally, the overall impact of the product should be high, similar to a piece of candy. It’s the sign of a great children’s vitamin when kids want a whole handful.

Tasting terms

  • chew

    The texture of a food as it is being chewed, as opposed to the texture of the first bite. Example: High-quality beef jerky should be tender but have a long chew.

  • taste profile

    The expected levels of each basic taste in any given food; defines the overall taste balance. Example: The taste profile of baking chocolate is led by bitterness that is balanced by a low amount of sweetness.

  • basic tastes

    Tastes that are experienced exclusively by the tongue, and not in conjunction with the sense of smell. The basic tastes are sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. Example: If a raw onion is tasted while one’s nose is pinched, only the sweet and sour basic tastes will come through.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.