Red Vines Vs. Twizzlers: What's The Difference?

We all bleed red. That goes for red licorice too – competitors Red Vines and Twizzlers have been battling it out since 1977 when Hershey bought the latter candy brand, per Hersheyland. Luckily, we are just here to point out the differences, not try to convince you which red twist to twizzle.

To be clear, there isn't really such a thing as "red licorice." Licorice comes from the licorice root, or Glycyrrhiza, a Greek term meaning "sweet root" (via It is naturally sweet and has been used for centuries as a sweetener and candy and even claims some health benefits, although the FDA warns that eating too much can cause some serious harm. "Too much" meaning a bag a day for weeks. Red licorice, however, is just red candy that's usually sold in the same shapes as its black counterpart, and is normally fruit flavored, explains Huff Post. While there are many candy makers on the market, the two red giants that dominate the red licorice market are Twizzlers and Red Vines, according to Statista.

Red Vines are a classic candy

Red Vines originated in 1950 when the American Licorice Company started using raspberry flavoring in a new licorice. Originally called "Raspberry Vines," they were renamed Red Vines when fans repeatedly compared the red licorice to the company's well-loved black licorice. This unique raspberry flavor may be what differentiates them the most from Twizzlers, which most commonly are strawberry flavored, via Hersheyland. But not everyone totally grasps that raspberry flavor.  Sporked describes it as "old piece of gum stuck underneath a middle school desk," while Tastemade describes them as having a "nondescript berry flavor." 

Sporked points out another key difference in the two types of candy, explaining that Red Vines are tubular and hollow — so lucky for flavored-milk lovers and five-year-olds everywhere, you can bite off the ends and use them as a straw. In texture, they have been described as many things — waxy, chewy, and melty. 

Red vines have simple ingredients — corn syrup, wheat flour, citric acid, artificial flavor, and red 40. These simple five ingredients have led many Red Vines fans to tout them as "better for you" than Twizzlers, according to Delish. You might think these simple ingredients could lead Red Vines to become stale quicker than Twizzlers, but according to The Takeout's freshness test, neither of them survived a night out in the open. They're a few less calories than Twizzlers too — 35 vs 40 per straw, per Delish.

Twizzlers came on the market in the '70s

If a definitive strawberry flavor is what you crave, then Twizzlers are decidedly more potent, confirms Tastemade. Twizzlers ingredients are more than double that of Red Vines: Corn syrup, wheat flour, sugar, cornstarch, palm oil, salt, artificial flavoring, mono and diglycerides, red 40, mineral oil, glycerin, citric acid, and lecithin, via SmartLabel. Some of those ingredients have led descriptions of the taste being referred to as "plastic," according to Mashed.

As texture goes, Twizzlers have an entirely different mouth feel than Red Vines, explains Tastemade. Described as gelatinous, many candy lovers can confirm scraping bits of candy from their teeth. Eating Real Food attributes the corn syrup to that definitive texture of Twizzlers.

Like we said, we are only here to point out differences, not make a claim as to which candy is better. Both candies can claim celebrity fame. The Takeout informs us that the company behind Red Vines made a pair of licorice shoes that Charlie Chaplin ate in his film "The Gold Rush." And Twizzlers claims that Neil Armstrong, when landing on the moon, was quoted as saying, "I could go for some Twizzlers right now." That's ending on a sweet note.