Wine gums are chewy sweets similar to gumdrops but without a sugar coating. They come in fruit flavours including orange, lemon, lime, blackcurrant and either strawberry or raspberry. The most common brands are Maynard's or Bassett's but most supermarkets produce their own version of the sweet as do other confectionery companies.
Wine gums were first developed by Charles Gordon Maynard in 1909. His aim was to introduce a new sweet specifically aimed at grown ups to add to the range of confectionery already being produced and sold by the family. The wine gums he created bore the messages Port, Sherry, Champagne, Burgundy and Claret and he had problems convincing his teetotal father that they didn't contain any alcohol at first. His product soon took off thanks to the distinctive flavours and has remained a favourite with both adults and children.
Maynard's Wine Gums are made using natural colours. They contain glucose syrup, sugar, modified maize starch, gelatin, water, malic, acetic and citric acids, vegetable oil, concentrated vegetable extracts (black carrot, spinach, stinging nettle and turmeric), flavourings, glazing agent and colours (vegetable carbon, paprika extract and lutein.) The packet warns that Wine Gums contain Sulphur Dioxide and Sulphites and they may contain traces of milk and wheat.
Maynard's Wine Gums are available in packets and boxes suitable for sharing and individual snack-sized rolls. A single sweet from a packet contains 20 calories. It provides 4.1g of carbohydrate, 3g of which are sugar and 0.3g of protein. A Wine Gum sweet does not contain any fat, saturated fat, fibre or salt. If you opt for the roll of sweets you will consume 170 calories. The roll also offers 39g of carbohydrate, 29.2g of which comes from sugar, 3.2g of protein, 0.05g of salt and 1g of fat, of which 1g is saturated fat. The roll of wine gums also does not provide any fibre.
The Maynard's Wine Gum brand is now owned by Cadbury's and is worth approximately £56 million. According to Cadbury's, Wine Gums are the leading fruit sweet on the U.K.'s confectionery market. Black and red gums are the most popular flavours accounting for 80 per cent of people's favourites. As a result of this, special limited edition packets of red and blacks have gone on sale at various points.