Bare Bears - Vegan Gummy Bears

Designing my own vegan gummy bears!

As part of Matthew Kenney Cuisine Academy, we were required to produce a final shop project. The task was simple - create your own recipe, product, design the packaging, labels and prepare to take it to market. This post shows the product, as well as a video describing it.

The assignment was a lot of fun. I did market research to look at the gummy market in the EU/UK. I learned that 500 tonnes of fruit gellies (gummies) are comsumed weekly, with an annual market of £80 million (source: Haribo, 2016).

Yet there are few vegan gummies on the market, and those I found had a lot of preservatives, food colourings and other additives. I wanted to create something from nature "wild and free". This is where the idea of BARE BEARS arrived in my mind - gummy bears stripped of nothing but what nature intended!

THE LABELS

bare-bears-front.jpg

THE VIDEO

We were required to produce a video explaining our product. This is mine! It responds to specific questions for my assignment, more about costings and lessons learned - the recipe is below the video! (note, I say the market is £80 billion, I meant £80 million, apologies). Source: Haribo, 2016.

THE RECIPE - MAKE YOUR OWN VEGAN GUMMY BEARS

This is a really easy recipe, that you can do with children, as they are ready in minutes! Choose your own flavours of fruit juices, or mix with nut milks for a fun alternative. Agar agar is an alternative to gelatin (which is animal based). It's healthy and cruelty-free.

INGREDIENTS

  • Silicone gummy molds (I got mine on amazon here!)
  • Fruit juice or puree (1/2 cup for each flavour, makes about 130-150 gummy bears)
  • 4 tb agar agar (tip - try to get the flaked kind, if you use the fine powder, use only 2 tablespoons, and I find even then they are a bit gritty. Clearspring in the UK is a good option)
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (depends how sweet your juice is, and your sweet tooth)
  • Optional: use natural food dyes to brighten your gummies, for example a pinch of turmeric powder for yellow, spirulina for green, beet juice for red or pink. You could also add a capsule of probiotic as the LAST STEP for probiotic gummies, or vanilla bean powder for vanilla. So many ideas!

METHOD

In a small saucepan, add the liquid (either 1/2 cup juice/puree or milk, or 1/4 cup juice and 1/4 milk). Add in 2 tb maple syrup. Bring to a simmer on low heat continuously stirring. Wait for 4 minutes and the mixture will thicken. Add in the probiotics, vanilla or other colouring at this stage (optional). Put into silicone gummy molds. Freeze for 10 minutes and they are done, popping out easily. Store for 1-2 weeks in the fridge (best eaten right away of course!)

*Tip, you can also make drunken gummies, using gin/tonic, prosecco, rum, absinthe. Not for the faint-hearted! You can add them as the last step to the thickened sauce (so the alcohol doesn't burn off) - only add 1 shot worth for each 1/2 cup liquid!