All 32 Hi-Chews Flavors Ranked From Worst To Best

The breakthrough Japanese candy Hi-Chews, first appeared on the market in 1956 when its inventor, Taichiro Moringaga sought to make gum-like candy consumers wouldn't have to spit out.  After a stint in the U.S., Moringaga, returned to his homeland of Japan to create confections that boasted the chewy quality of gum, but that dissolved slowly in the mouths of their consumers, so they could sidestep the awkward (and in Japanese culture, rude) moment of disposing of used gum.

Now, over half a century later, Hi-Chews has become a crossover hit within the states and the sweet-tooth afflicted can pick up a pack of the (mostly) fruit-themed candy anywhere from a gas station's candy aisle to the checkout stands of conventional grocery stores. Possibly second only to the coated Pocky sticks, Hi-Chews enjoys mainstream popularity thanks to their unparalleled mouthfeel and a seemingly endless trove of flavor offerings.

Expanding far from the simple strawberry of its origin, the brand now produces specialty packs including "Soda Pop," something called "Infusions," and the ethereal and promising "Fantasy." To untangle the growing cannon Hi-Chew flavors, we taste-tested all 29 variations available within the U.S. and ranked their viability as candies we crave.

32. Blueberry Yogurt

Like so many of the most flawed Hi-Chew flavors, blueberry yogurt's failure feels needless and avoidable. Not only does the brand already produce a (middling) blueberry flavor, but the addition of yogurt does nothing for the tastebuds. Blueberry yogurt sincerely tastes like putting fragrant doll food in your mouth and attempting to eat it. Only as the candy begins to finally break down were we convinced that it was even edible.

The yogurt element of the candy endows the blueberry flavoring with a bleak plastic quality that made us grimace. The "Yogurt Mix" bag of Hi-Chews needed an editor brave enough to nix both of the fruit-infused additions.

31. Açaí

To be fair, we don't like açaí bowls or any of the other açaí-flavored items that we've ever encountered. We find it tastes like a bland grape from a school fruit salad, and açaí's glow-up feels like a trendy, false step we'll be able to laugh at later, like crimped hair or leg-warmers. So, it's no surprise that Hi-Chew's attempt to seize upon the fruit-du-jour also falls short of our adoration. Açaí tastes like generic candy and could pass as everything from grape to pineapple or even blackberry. Unremarkable in every way, açaí High-Chew is as dull as a candy can be.

30. Blueberry

We don't know why, but in the candy universe, blueberry has never (to our knowledge) achieved even satisfactory results and Hi-Chew Blueberry is no different. For some reason, whenever a candy company is tasked with recreating blueberry flavor, they lean into a blueberry muffin's tasting notes as opposed to the freshly picked, azure berry.

Lacking the snappy tart notes of fresh blueberry, this Hi-Chew flavor falls into the age-old trap with heavy, baked, warm-tasting notes resulting in a candy that recalls Nutri-Grain Bars instead of fresh fruit.

29. Black Cherry

A flavor we'll never understand — from candy to soda pop — is black cherry. Void of all the bright tones of red cherries, black cherry lurks in the shadows of the red package of Starbursts, old-timey sodas, and now the "Berry Mix" bag of Hi-Chew (although, black cherry is considered one of the best White Claw flavors).

Not even technically a berry, black cherry accompanies raspberry and blueberry to assemble the trio of a promising but ultimately wasted-themed bag of Hi-Chew. Smelling closer to a cough lozenge than a piece of candy, Black Cherry Hi-Chew, like other black cherry treats, presents pungent, flat, and without any dimension.

28. Juicy Peach

One of the more high-concept themed packages of Hi-Chews is last year's Hi-Chew Infrusions release containing juicy peach, juicy strawberry, and juicy blood orange. The members of the Infrusion baggie all contain a "double layer with pockets of flavor," according to the bag's copy.

With juicy peach, not only does the peach flavoring arrive syrupy and a little rotten, the flavor pockets dual with Hi-Chew's signature munchable texture. A misfire all around, we'll be surprised if the Infrusions make it for the long haul.

27. Banana

Banana candies are kinda like the edge lords of the sweets world; it's the flavor favored by rebels and intentionally polarizing. Banana devotees make themselves known whenever the topic of artificial banana flavor arises like someone who can't help but tell you they read the book before they saw the movie adaptation.

So, in the vein of classic banana candies, Hi-Chew Banana tastes more like the peel than the sensation of eating the banana's flesh. Just as with Runts, we find Hi-Chew Banana entirely skippable, but we respect its existence because it is somewhat of a fan-service flavor for any hardcore banana-heads.

26. Sweet & Sour Watermelon

Hi-Chew's Sweet & Sour pack brags its contents boast a "true-to-life fruit flavor with a tangy twist." In the instance of the watermelon inclusion, the candy tastes overly artificial and with barely any sour notes. A white center encased in a bright coral band of watermelon candy, the watermelon entry in the Sweet & Sour Hi-Chew pack is easily the collection's dud. An ambitious flavor to attempt, Watermelon Hi-Chew borrows the cloying, heavy, syrupy notes that we associate with Jolly Rancher's Watermelon endeavor, which we aren't our favorite (even if it is one of the most popular Jolly Rancher candies).

25. Pineapple

Tropical flavors in the candy realm are hard to nail down. The fruits the confections are based on are often incredibly juicy and impossible to capture within a sugary morsel. Pineapple, in the wild, carries a pleasurable musky quality difficult to assign in artificial form. Hi-Chew nearly achieves the impossible with its pineapple entry but falls just shy of capturing the prickly fruit's essence.

Slightly over-perfumed with the saccharine notes, Hi-Chew forgets that the spiky, citrus edge we still haven't found a candy capable of replicating. Not an overall flop, Pineapple is strictly for folks searching for a tropical flavor.

24. Juicy Strawberry

Whatever Hi-Chew aimed for while conceptualizing its 2022 Infrusion bag was sorely missed upon execution. Though the packaging boasts "pockets of flavor," and the triptych of fruity flavors inside comes with a "juicy" modifier, once bitten down on the aforementioned pockets slip out of the chewy candy and escape into your mouth, immediately deserted by the hunk of chewy candy. The Juicy Strawberry Hi-Chew flavor doesn't taste bad, but it adds very little to the original Strawberry Hi-Chew besides the off-putting spurt of candy flecks.

23. Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit Hi-Chew, perhaps along with açaí, may be one of the only flavors wherein the audience may never have experienced the original fruit that inspired the candy's taste. While dragon fruit can be found in many Asian markets (and inspired one of the High Noon hard seltzer flavors), it is still unfamiliar to many Western shoppers. The other-worldly-looking fuchsia fruit contains stark white flesh and is freckled with black seeds.

Hi-Chew's interpretation of the dragon fruit tastes something like a fragrant pear with the sweetness of lychee fruit. If tasting blind, we might assume the Hi-Chew Dragon Fruit to be striving for an elderflower flavor due to its floral, perfumed notes and while we appreciate the stretch, it's not a contender for our top 10 in this ranking.

22. Strawberry Yogurt

Strawberry Yogurt Hi-Chew is not terrible but entirely nonessential in the ranking when considering the entirety of the Hi-Chew catalog. Strawberry yogurt tastes like a Strawberry Hi-Chew with the volume turned down. Muted and murky, the strawberry flavor only makes itself known after several chews and by that point the yogurty texture takes over, making the candy bite more creamy than is agreeable to our liking.

Only for candy audiences who like White Rabbits or Creme Savers, strawberry yogurt lacks the intensity of fruit-themed Hi-Chews in exchange for a niche mouthfeel.

21. Orange & Tangerine

Available only in a "Plus Fruit" pack, Orange & Tangerine Hi-Chew is one of only two Hi-Chew flavors that managed to hybridize a pair of compatible fruits into one chewy trifle. The smell, however, is a little like citrus cleaning supplies, similar to citronella spray intended to detour dogs from rummaging. Despite a middling flavor, Orange & Tangerine can't quite shake the overpowering quality of cleaning spray.

Overtly orange and overly fragranced, we couldn't detect any zesty tangerine notes that could've brightened up the morsel of weight candy. A miss for the brand's library, Orange & Tangerine Hi-Chew drags down the average of the "Plus Fruit" bag making it skippable overall.

20. Juicy Blood Orange

The only flavor in the Infrusion pack we're (partially) willing to overlook is the odd inclusion of "flavor pockets." Blood Orange Hi-Chew nearly saves the brand's mostly wasted endeavor experimenting with the mouthfeel.

Juicy blood orange, though not noticeably juicier than any other Hi-Chew, is sharp, acidic, and pithy just like actual blood orange, and without any cloying syrupy aftertaste. Though we're still confused by the Infrusion's sub-label of "Orchard Mix" assigned to the blood orange, strawberry, and peach bag, we'd happily walk along the blood orange orchard any day.

19. Plain Yogurt

Yogurt Hi-Chew mix, a rare theme pack to find in the wild, contains three milky flavors: strawberry, blueberry, and plain yogurt. Out of the trio, only Plain Yogurt Hi-Chew feels necessary, while the remaining two taste superfluous considering the pre-existing strawberry and blueberry flavors.

Plain Yogurt, however, tastes like a yogurt beverage like the Japanese Calpico, not like a cream soda or the confounding and frankly disgusting Smoothie Skittles. It's light, bright, and a welcome addition to the party.

18. Mango

Mango, another tropical fruit Hi-Chew uses for inspiration, embraces the flavor of the mango's ripe flesh. Unlike pineapple or banana, this Hi-Chew veers closer to a raw bite of fruit than a fragrant, pungent hit of how the candy world interpellates tropical flavors.

One of the higher bars to cross flavor-wise, Hi-Chew Mango reminds us of enjoying bites of mango sticky rice, largely a textural pleasure based on softness, while still conveying the brand's signature tacky, stiff, and chewy candy.

17. Sweet & Sour Lemon

We found Sweet & Sour Lemon Hi-Chew very similar to a lemon Starburst thanks to an extra kick of citric acid. Hi-Chew's lemon contender is sour enough to cause us to pucker but still sweet enough to encourage another reach into the Sweet & Sour mixed bag.

Nowhere near a blunder, Sweet & Sour Lemon's only real fault is feeling derivative of another candy brand and, therefore, uninspired. With all of the varied fruits now represented in the Hi-Chew lineup, we wish we could trade in lemon for the more aromatic and tart yuzu citrus fruit.

16. Tropical Smoothie

Our main issue with Tropical Smoothie Hi-Chew (one-third of the Hi-Chew Fruit Combos bag) is how it blends the existing Mango Hi-Chew flavor with passionfruit, a non-existent flavor we'd love to try on its own. Upon the initial bite, we noticed sharp, cutting notes of passionfruit that can be deciphered but are quickly displaced by the ripened tones of mango. Nothing about Tropical Smoothie is unpleasant. Still, we would've preferred to linger into perky notes of passionfruit for a little longer before the familiar mango took over.

15. Piña Colada

Polarizing but with a distinct personality, Piña Colada Hi-Chew will please the devotees of La Croix Coconut can and upset anyone who finds artificial coconut's taste too close to sunscreen's scent. Unapologetically coconutty, Piña Colada Hi-Chew delivers exactly what you'd expect: nutty notes of coconut sweetened by back notes of pineapple. While a handful of Hi-Chew flavors bleed into each other (most notably any berry-driven flavor), we have to hand it to piña colada for embracing a personality of its own.

14. Blue Hawaii

The only morsel we're not completely on board with from Hi-Chew's Fantasy Pack is the Blue Hawaii Hi-Chew. We admire that it swings for the fences, and we tip our hats to its eccentricities. Attempting to ape a cocktail comprised of rum, pineapple, and Blue Curaçao, Blue Hawaii Hi-Chew's maximalism is ultimately its downfall. 

Crowded with sweet notes, the flavor would probably please fans of the overblown cocktail but little else. It is admittedly the most visually pretty of the entire Hi-Chew catalog due to a glowing, pale blue candy wrapped around a soft canary yellow center.

13. Kiwi

Not a fruit we often see represented in the candy world, we're happy for Hi-Chew's jaunty kiwi entry into the brand's expanding canon. The Hi-Chew manages to be able to illustrate kiwi's contradictory tropical and snappy appeal. We can't imagine another candy coming this close to articulating kiwi's specific flavor. The package misleads its consumer to believe Kiwi's signature seeds would be represented entwined in the candy, but their presence is muted. 

Maybe not appealing enough to hunt down an entire pack of Kiwi Hi-Chew, its presence in a bowl of assorted Hi-Chews is a welcome sight.

12. Strawberry

Merely pulling the foil strand and opening a pack of Strawberry Hi-Chews releases a sweet, soft aroma into the air, reminiscent of fruit-laced chapsticks and candy-themed dolls of our youth. The first flavor that founder Morinaga ever made still satisfies; though maybe not immediately identifiable as strawberry per se, the pink-centered candy is undeniably pink-tasting and appeals to both seekers of irresistible red and pink-hued candies and folks looking to start their Hi-Chew journey from square one. 

Strawberry is somewhat of a baseline for the Hi-Chew brand, and by comparison to newer flavors, it's restrained, delicate, and slightly creamy. While we'll always scoop one of the blush-colored treats from a candy dish, out in the wild, we seek Hi-Chews with a bigger personality.

11. Sweet & Sour Grapefruit

For the most part, Hi-Chew can be separated into two categories: the ones attempting to mimic the sensation of a specific fruit and the ones that manage to ape an established artificial flavor (like banana). Grapefruit Hi-Chew, available only in the Sweet & Sour bag, succeeds in duplicating the flavor of grapefruit and somehow captures the pithy, acidic pucker of an actual grapefruit.

This Hi-Chew delivers pink-hued candy wrapped around a white center. Grapefruit brings to mind brunches of our youth coupled with a glass of white grapefruit juice. Not sour enough to grimace but noticeably acidic, grapefruit wades near the top of the Hi-Chew pile for understanding its muse.

10. Raspberry

Somewhat of a crowd-pleaser, Hi-Chew Raspberry is the only member of the trio of fruit-inspired treats in its Berry Pack that we would actively search for. Sure, it doesn't reinvent the wheel. Ultimately, it's a red/pink flavor that tastes decidedly "red/pink." Sometimes you just need a bop of flavor. Reminiscent of a Mamba Fruit Chew's raspberry flavor, the Raspberry Hi-Chew also banks on the ripe notes and avoids interacting with the berry's occasional tartness. We find it tastes a little more like a Jamba Juice smoothie than a bite of raspberry, but we've been known to stop by the smoothie chain for a quick fix of nostalgia.

9. Blue Raspberry

The top dog of Hi-Chew's Fantasy Mix pack, Blue Raspberry Hi-Chew is able to hit the notes missing from the brand's more run-of-the-mill red raspberry flavor. We find this to be the most dimensional candy in the brand's lineup. Blue Raspberry pleasurably transformed during chewing from an almost cotton candy-like confection to a linty, fruit-forward treat. Though we'll never completely comprehend how Hi-Chews chooses to classify its Fantasy Pack (the other two flavors are Rainbow Sherbert and Blue Hawaii), we're forever grateful for the sublime Blue Raspberry Hi-Chew release.

8. Strawberry Lemonade

On sight, we judged the Hi-Chew Fruit Combos pack as a lazy cash grab to win over flavor completists like ourselves. With additions like tropical smoothie, piña colada, and strawberry lemonade, the aforementioned theme bag of Hi-Chews seems poorly named since the fruit hybrids all strive at replicating beloved beverages.

This Hi-Chew is an eye-catching pale pink candy wrapped around a canary-yellow center. Strawberry lemonade soars past both Hi-Chew's singular strawberry and lemon flavors with the soft tones of berry bleeding into the gentle sweet-yet-acidic notes of lemonade.

7. Red Apple & Strawberry

We're fans of both Hi-Chew's green apple and strawberry flavors, so the "Plus Fruit" pack's Red Apple & Strawberry Hi-Chew appeared promising at first sight. Pale pink with flecks of muted red (presumably strawberry bits?) Red Apple & Strawberry Hi-Chew succeeds in smelling specifically like a crimson-colored apple, as opposed to the brand's tarter green counterparts.

Bright and lively, Red Apple & Strawberry tastes like a sweeter, fruit leather and has the appeal of an original Hi-Chew and snacks made from real fruit. We'd love to see an individual pack of Red Apple & Strawberry Hi-Chew outside of the "Plus Fruit" bag they're currently relegated to.

6. Rainbow Sherbet

Rainbow Sherbet Hi-Chew is a member of the most ethereal of the brand's running list of theme packs: Fantasy. Rainbow Sherbet Hi-Chew started as a flavor we initially side-eyed, but we quickly realized our skepticism was unwarranted.

Thankfully not reminiscent of the frozen dessert's creamy texture, Rainbow Sherbet Hi-Chew relays the joyful note of the multi-colored confection — though we admit we can't completely nail down what flavors create a classic rainbow sherbet. Though not a candy we yearn for an entire pack of, we enjoy the entire Fantasy Mix pack as a collective whole.

5. Ramune

You may have encountered Ramune, the popular Japanese soda whether the drinker pops a glass ball into the neck of the bottle before indulging in its melony, citrus, and berry liquid. Hi-Chew perfectly articulates the soft, cheerful beverage. Part of a duo inside its "Soda Pop" pack, the baby blue morsel tastes like amped-up bubblegum flavoring, and most importantly, exactly like the soda that inspired it. Along with cola, the Hi-Chew Soda Pop bundle remains the brand's brightest specialty pack since its 2020 release.

4. Orange

Bright, barely sour but with a nudge of acidity, Hi-Chew Orange exists as one of the brand's flavors that proves the candy's success. Evocative of the greatest orange candy of all time, the orange Tic-Tac, one of Hi-Chew's most commonplace packs is also one of their finest. Though the brand's other citrus outputs are mostly middling, Orange Hi-Chew overstates the specificity of a sun-drenched navel orange and brings a leisurely walk on a summer's day to the palette.

3. Cola

One half of the Hi-Chew Soda Pop bundle, the candy company nails the landing with its cola flavor. Intensely herbal, Cola Hi-Chew might be the most balanced of all the Hi-Chew candies. We find the caramel-colored chunks of chewy treats taste both sweet and vanilla-esque, as well as botanical and sasaparilla-y in tandem.

We suspect that the cola flavoring is fashioned to taste like Coca-Cola but is legally forbidden to state as much. We find it is so convincing that, upon initially biting down on the trifle, we imagined a psychosomatic expectation of carbonated fizz while chewing.

2. Grape

Immediately flavorful, Grape Hi-Chew is one of the only handful of Hi-Chew flavors we're certain that we could identify blindfolded. While lesser grape candies veer too near the edge of tasting like cough syrup, Hi-Chew's grape flavor tastes specifically like muscadine grapes — those thick, circular grapes you can squeeze the inner slippery flesh out of the skin. Bold, fragrant, and hefty, Hi-Chew Grape enjoys not only a position as one of the brand's finest flavor explorations but one of the greatest grape candies of all time.

1. Green Apple

The absolute pinnacle of the Hi-Chew universe, Green Apple Hi-Chew will always be the wrapper we reach for when we encounter a bowl of the candies. A dazzling midpoint between sweet and sour, green apple captures the cheery promise of biting into a granny smith apple with perfectly crisp flesh. We've heard the buzz that Hi-Chews has already discontinued its greatest flavor in the brand's home country of Japan, according to Yahoo News. We pray the company doesn't continue this ill-fated ideation overseas in the Irvine facility.