Smart Sweets Review
Table of Contents
About Smart Sweets
Whether you’re a kid, teen, adult, or a person enjoying your golden years, everyone loves a sweet treat now and then.
We all have our favorites – gummy bears, licorice, lollipops – but not everyone is keen on the amount of sugar these treats contain.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults and children should limit the daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of the total calorie intake. The recommendation is based on substantial evidence from clinical studies that link sugar consumption with obesity, insulin resistance, and oral cavities.
In addition, a recently published literary review by N.U. Dewi and R. Diana explored the association between sugar intake and cancer. The authors concluded that excessive sugar consumption leads to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of cancer development.
With that in mind, these days, many of us are trying to avoid processed sugar and artificial additives in an effort to eat healthier, or keep our food choices a little closer to nature. But that doesn’t have to mean giving up on the good stuff. If you want to lose the sugar without sacrificing your favorite snacks, check out this Smart Sweets review.
Smart Sweets is a Canadian confectionary brand looking to “kick sugar, but keep candy” with classic candies made from natural ingredients with no added sugars, sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
Smart Sweets has blown up in recent years on social media with 13k TikTok followers, 60k Facebook followers, and over 499k Instagram followers. They’ve also been featured in the BBC, CNBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and Inc., and managed to get $100k in backing from Jim Treliving on Dragon’s Den, for a 5% share.
The brand and their founder, Tara Bosch, have also been the recipients of some major honors, including a 2017 Thiel Fellowship, a 2018 Whole Foods Market Supplier Rookie of the Year award, and BC Business Entrepreneur of the Year 2019.
The brand is a hit with candy lovers and the industry alike, but is Smart Sweets really a candy lover’s ticket to low-sugar sweets?
By checking out their philosophy, their best-selling products, and feedback from all the sweet tooths who’ve put their products to the test, I’m about to find out in this Smart Sweets review!
Overview of Smart Sweets
Smart Sweets founder Tara Bosch grew up with what one might call a bit of a sugar addiction. She ate sugar-heavy treats on the regular, and when she wanted to change up her way of eating, found it tough to give up sugar and on the idea of enjoying a sweet snack.
When she got into university, she began hunting for healthier alternatives to her favorite snack that would help her keep fit while still satisfying her cravings.
After finding a market full of processed sugar substitutes and products that were more punishment than pleasure to eat, she started researching sugar, dropped out of school, took out her savings, and began testing recipes in her kitchen circa 2015.
After some experimenting, she locked in on recipes for low-sugar candy that was both enjoyable to eat and good for your body. She officially launched her brand’s first line of gummy bears in 2016, making local deliveries from her van.
In 2018 she managed to not only break into the US market with the help of Whole Foods, but also created a few candies that were completely plant-based. By 2019 Smart Sweets were sold in over 20,000 stores across North America.
In 2022, Smart Sweets is still going strong, making candy in their Vancouver, British Columbia headquarters, with Bosch leading research to further improve her creation.
This brand really focuses on “passion, focus and innovation” with regards to erasing the preconception that candy is and has to be bad for you.
Smart Sweets ingredients include no added sugars, sugar alcohols, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, or common allergens. What they do include are natural flavors and sweeteners, and quite a bit of plant fiber (such as corn and tapioca fiber) to make a sweet treat whose ingredients are a healthier alternative to refined sugar.
As described in a review article published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, artificial sweeteners stimulate the desire to consume sugary foods. Although artificial sweeteners lack calories, they may increase the appetite and contribute to weight gain.
Fibers, on the other hand, are carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the gut enzymes. A preclinical study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that tapioca and corn soluble fibers stimulate the growth of the gut microbiota and may reduce intestinal inflammation.
Smart Sweets candy isn’t entirely sugar-free. But to Smarts Sweets nutrition facts, you’ll be pretty darn close with only about 3-4 grams per bag. The brand also continually adapts their recipes to minimize carbs and improve taste, with the goal of eventually creating a candy that is entirely sugar-free.
Now that my Smart Sweets review had covered the brand’s history, let’s take a look at the highlights of shopping with this unique candy brand:
- Familiar candy with no added sugars, sugar alcohols, GMOs, or common allergens
- Made, flavored, and colored with all-natural ingredients
- Includes an average of 10 g of plant fiber per bag
- Ships to Canada and the US
- Takes customer feedback into account in product development
- Constantly innovating to improve product sugar content and ingredient profiles, with a goal of becoming entirely sugar-free
The brand has built up quite the selection over the past few years. For this Smart Sweets review, I’ll be looking at some of the candy gummies and the lollipops.
Smart Sweets Candy Review
There are lots of flavors and textures to be found in the cream of the crop of Smart Sweets’ candies. For this Smart Sweets Review, I looked at the Sourmelon Bites, Fruity Gummy Bears, Peach Rings, Sweet Fish, and Sour Blast Buddies gummies, and the Lollipops.
I even had the chance to taste test the gummies to give you a better idea of their flavor profile (and because I really wanted to try them).
Smart Sweets Sourmelon Bites Review
These Sourmelon Bites joined the Smart Sweets lineup by popular demand! When the brand heard customers were looking for an alternative watermelon sour, Smart Sweets got to work on a low-sugar version of this bulk candy classic.
The result is a candy with a strong melon flavor and a sour kick that stops just short of the intense pucker of a Sour Patch Kid, or some of the more acidic candies out there.
These mouthwatering bites deliver big summer sweetness with the help of natural watermelon flavor, monk fruit and allulose (in the US version). They’re also totally plant-based and allergen-free, which also means they have a texture that’s a bit denser and chewier than conventional candy.
A 50 g bag of Sourmelon Bites contains only 3 g of sugar, 100 calories and a major 13 g of plant fiber.
Order Smart Sweets Sourmelon Bites as a 6-pack for $20. You can also get a 12-pack for $40 or get them for $38 if you subscribe for regular deliveries.
Smart Sweets Fruity Gummy Bears Review
The flagship gummies that got Smart Sweets started, the Fruity Gummy Bears are a classic for a reason and a great intro to the brand’s sweet treats.
Coming in at 4 g of sugar, 9 g of fiber, and a mere 110 calories, you’ll find plenty of chewy goodness when you bite into these bears with their four unique flavors.
The red raspberry bears pop in your mouth. The orange bears are peach, leaving a splendid taste of mild stone fruit and even a hint of citrus on your tongue. The yellow lemon bears have that classic juicy brightness you get from the best traditional lemon candies. And, the white bears have a rich apple flavor with a good kick.
Smart Sweets Fruity Gummy Bears are sold in a 6-pack of 50 g bags for $20, a one-time 12-pack for $40, and a subscription for $38 per shipment.
Smart Sweets Peach Rings Review
If you enjoy the mild peach flavor of Smart Sweets’ orange bears and want to try an even punchier peach, give the Smart Sweets Peach Rings a try.
Peach Rings have a strong, long-lasting peach flavor in a candy that combines both sweet and sour. Every bag of these morsels gives you 3 g of sugar, 13 g of fiber, and just 100 calories.
Peach Rings are also totally plant-based, made using a combination of soluble corn and chicory root fibers, potato starch, rice flour, carnauba wax, and other natural ingredients.
Peach Rings are also unique among vegan candies, with a softer, lighter texture even though they don’t contain gelatin! They’re a great option if you aren’t fond of chewing denser candies.
Smart Sweets Peach Rings are sold in a 6-pack of 50 g bags for $20, a 12-pack for $40, and as a subscription 12-pack for $38.
Smart Sweets Sweet Fish Review
There’s a reason why the plant-based Sweet Fish are considered the most popular Smart Sweets snack – they’re absolutely delicious.
Sweet Fish are packed with a blend of red berry flavors and have a palate-pleasing chew. The blast of berry flavor has great lasting power, and their great mouth feel means you can really sink in and satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s so easy to savor that you might even find you can satisfy your craving with less candy.
Sweet Fish is sweetened with natural berry flavor and monk fruit. One 50 g bag contains just 3 g of sugar, 13 g of fiber and 100 calories.
Pick up a 6-pack of Sweet Fish for $20, or get a 12-pack for $40, or $38 as a recurring subscription (with free shipping).
Smart Sweets Sour Blast Buddies Review
Enjoy the fruity sourness of Smart Sweets’ Sourmelon Bites but want more pucker power? If you’re on a quest to find a healthier, yet equally intense, cousin to brands like Sour Patch Kids, check out Smart Sweets Sour Blast Buddies.
Another plant-based innovation–made from the brand’s signature gummy formula of soluble corn and chicory root fiber, potato starch, and rice flour, Sour Blast Buddies are sweetened with stevia and monk fruit.
Unlike artificial sweeteners that have been shown to be carcinogens in animal studies, stevia (extracted from the stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant) is considered a safe option to replace sugar.
Each bag contains a mix of 5 tongue-tingling sour flavors. You’ll get delicious berry and blue raspberry, orange with a hint of bright citrus, and the extra sourness of lime and lemon.
A whole 50 g bag of Sour Blast Buddies comes in at 3 g of sugar, 13 g of fiber, and 100 calories.
Pick up a 6-pack for $20, a 12-pack for $40, or a recurring 12-pack subscription for $38 per delivery.
Smart Sweets Lollipops Review
Does anyone else hear the sweet sounds of the Chordettes every time they hear the word lollipop? If the thought of this iconic treat makes you want to burst into four-part harmony, but you’re just not in sync with all that sugar, then you’ll love Smart Sweets Lollipops.
If you thought low-sugar, plant-based gummies were impressive, just wait until you see what this brand can do with their Lollipops. While these don’t have any of the fiber contained in the brand’s gummies, they’ve been reduced to an impressive 1 g of sugar and 60 calories for every 2 plant-based lollies.
Each pack contains 12 pops in both blue raspberry and watermelon flavors. They have the same texture as a traditional lollipop, but are sweetened with stevia and fruit juices.
At the time of writing this Smart Sweets review, the special edition 2-pack of Lollipops was sold out on the brand’s site. But, you can still click through the Smart Sweets site and nab individual bags of their Lollipops on Amazon for $10 each.
Who Is Smart Sweets For?
Smart Sweets is a brand for anyone who enjoys a sweet snack. Whether you’re already hooked on gummies and lollipops and are looking for a new way to experience your favorite snacks, are looking for a healthier alternative to your faves, or are serious about kicking sugar but miss your sweet treats, Smart Sweets has you covered.
This brand’s candies have familiar shapes and flavors – think cola, pink lemonade, peach, and blue raspberry – that are more than just a substitute for the “real thing.” Smart Sweets is still candy for candy fans, celebrating everything there is to love about it while trying to make it better for our bodies.
Smart Sweets is also a great brand for people looking for Kosher, non-GMO and vegan options – which aren’t always easy to find in a world of commercial candy relying on gelatin for texture.
Anyone who indulges in candy can benefit from an alternative that tones down the sugar and forgoes all the artificial ingredients, while still delivering on all the joy of a traditional candy experience.
Smart Sweets Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
While writing this Smart Sweets review I wanted to know what real customers were saying about this fast-growing snack brand. Any time we consider food products in our reviews, it’s important to note that no two sets of taste buds are alike – what satisfies one customer’s sweet tooth might not please the palate of another.
That being said, I found that many people who’ve put this low-sugar candy to the taste test have been really pleased with their flavors.
First, I checked out Amazon, where you can buy many of the brand’s best-sellers. Customers seem to appreciate the lack of saccharine, chemical taste they might find in typical low- or sugar-free candies.
One Amazon shopper’s Smart Sweets review of their Sweet Fish says: “I was pleasantly surprised how good these tasted and there was not a funny “fake” sugar flavor to them.”
I also noticed that a huge number of Amazon customers have awarded the brand with high ratings. The star ratings on Amazon for Smart Sweets are as follows:
- Sourmelon Bites – 4 out of 5 stars based on 3,978 reviews
- Fruity Gummy Bears – 4.3 out of 5 stars based on 2,906 reviews
- Peach Rings – 4.1 out of 5 stars based on 4,374 reviews
- Sweet Fish – 4.3 out of 5 stars based on 6,981 reviews
- Sour Blast Buddies – 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 2,525 reviews
- Lollipops – 4.2 out of 5 stars based on 811 reviews
Some people have even found they prefer Smart Sweets to traditional candies, a response I saw frequently come up on the brand’s official website.
One reviewer of the Sweet Fish from the Smart Sweets site says: “I discovered these little dollops of wonderfulness a while ago and I have been absolutely obsessed since. “Regular” candy cannot compete with these.”
Star ratings from the Smart Sweets site also seem to echo this satisfaction:
- Sourmelon Bites – 3.9 out of 5 stars based on 50 reviews
- Fruity Gummy Bears – 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 488 reviews
- Peach Rings – 4.1 out of 5 stars based on 326 reviews
- Sweet Fish – 3.9 out of 5 stars based on 798 reviews
- Sour Blast Buddies – 4.2 out of 5 stars based on 271 reviews
- Lollipops – 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 187 reviews
While writing this Smart Sweets review I did find a few reviews mentioning the occasional quality issue (which is nothing unusual for a brand of this size), and some people voicing concerns pertaining to the overall carb intake of these candies and some specific diets.
Smart Sweets provides detailed explanations about carbs and other such subjects on their FAQ page, to help educate their customers on the brand’s nutritional information so they can make informed decisions and be confident in their purchases.
In general, customers from around the web also appreciate that these candies are a healthy alternative that have allowed people to indulge in a treat even while sticking to their own healthy eating plans.
One reviewer on Trustpilot, where the brand has a 3.8 out of 5-star rating, says of Smart Sweets snacks: “Can’t believe these are actually healthy! they taste delicious and let me stay on my diet while enjoying a little sweet.”
Is Smart Sweets Worth It?
Based on what I’ve learned in the process of this Smart Sweets review, this brand has my definite recommendation. Their product delivers on the promise of providing a satisfying candy with better-for-you ingredients.
Smart Sweets’ candies have less sugar (with no sugar alcohols), a good dose of fiber, and are made and flavored with a myriad of natural ingredients. They also have a chewier texture than conventional candy, which can help sate your sweet tooth by letting you savor each piece just a little longer.
Plus, this brand is still working to become better all the time. Smart Sweets listens to what customers are saying and are committed to adapting and adjusting their products to make the most satisfying snacks.
They’re also still working towards a goal of making an entirely sugar-free product. If you’re on the lookout for the holy grail of sugarless sweet treats then keep an eye on Smart Sweets. With their commitment to their products and customers, the sky’s the limit for this innovative candy brand.
Smart Sweets Promotions & Discounts
If you want the “sweet deets” on promotions and new products, and to score a free shipping promo code, your best bet is to sign up for the brand’s newsletter.
Where to Buy Smart Sweets
Smart Sweets are available through their official site, as well as at a number of major retailers. You can find Smart Sweets at Walmart, Amazon, Target, Whole Foods Market, Albertsons, Costco, and more.
To find Smart Sweets near you, check out their searchable store finder.
Who owns Smart Sweets?
The firm TPG Growth bought Smart Sweets in 2020 for around $360M. However, founder Tara Bosch remains their largest individual shareholder.
Does Smart Sweets ship internationally?
Orders placed through the official Smart Sweets site can’t be shipped outside of Canada and the US.
However, during this Smart Sweets review, I found their FAQ page does mention two sites, Vitasave.ca and Vitacost.com, that sell Smart Sweets products to international destinations. .
Is Smart Sweets vegan?
Aside from a few items like the Fruity Gummy Bears, yes. You can tell which are vegan by the plant-based stamp on the top right corner of the bag.
What is Smart Sweets’ Shipping Policy?
Shipments typically take 2-3 business days to process, with a 1-5 business day wait time for delivery. Once you’ve placed your order, you should receive a confirmation email with shipping info.
Smart Sweets can only ship to Canada and the continental US. If you’re in Alaska or Hawaii, I’d recommend following up on the other sites mentioned in the previous section.
What is Smart Sweets’ Return Policy?
Smart Sweets will provide refunds on orders that meet certain criteria:
- It’s your first order and you don’t enjoy the product.
- There is a quality issue or problem with your order.
- The product was purchased from the official Smart Sweets website.
- You contact Smart Sweets by email within 7 days of receiving your order for first purchase satisfaction refunds, or 14 days for other quality issues.
For product issues, you can also reach out through the Smart Sweets Contact Form on their site – just be sure to select “I have a product issue” from the dropdown menu.
How to Contact Smart Sweets
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