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Which Will Win? Red Vines or Twizzlers?

In addition to being grilled cheese day, this Sunday is also National Red Licorice Day. To help us celebrate, the folks at Red Vines recently sent us a care package of various flavors. The Sugar HQ is actually full of die-hard Twizzler fans, so I decided to see what they thought of my fave Red Vines. I took the three Red Vine flavors — pink strawberry, red cherry and original — and strawberry Twizzlers and put them into unmarked bowls.

I then asked folks to come taste them, and rank them from fave to least fave. With 21 taste testers, the results were more or less split down the middle. However there were a few surprises with the Red Vines strawberry option. To see what happened in our oh-so-scientific taste-test,

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To begin, the votes were broken down as follows:

9 for original Red Vines
7 for strawberry Twizzlers
4 for red cherry Red Vines
2 for pink strawberry Red Vines

While this wasn't that interesting — nearly split down the middle like I expected — the surprising part was in the comments. Overall, we decided that Twizzlers have a plastic texture, while Red Vines have a rubbery texture. We also learned that if you were a Red Vines fan, then you ranked Twizzlers last, and vice versa. It was the difference in texture that seemed to be what people used as a ranker. Those who grew up with Twizzlers thought it tasted "more authentic" while Red Vines people thought their choice was the real deal.

The intriguing part came from the two die-hard Twizzler fans who ranked strawberry Red Vines as favorite. They thought the flavor was great — I thought the two were really close in flavor — and wondered how they could swap their loyalty so easily.

To follow up on this, I did a blind-taste test with a few other folks. They agreed that the flavor of the two were quite similar. Yet I was surprised that it received such few votes. Turns out it was the bright pink Barbie color that really threw everyone off. Folks told me they thought it should taste like Starburst, or something "tropical" and a few folks even swore it had to be pink lemonade.

In the end, it really comes down to texture, flavor and what you grew up with. What do you think? Have you ever forced yourself to do a licorice taste test? Do you think your results would change?


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