Bookmark and Share January 8, 2011 - Dave Mulder

What’s in a Twizzler?

Twizzlers is a brand of candy made by Y&S Candies, a subsidiary of Hershey. A few decades ago, Twizzlers was licorice. The ingredients have changed, and the licorice foundation has melted away. I’m not sure what to call it now.

Strawberry is the most popular Twizzlers flavor. There are others: Chocolate, cherry, rainbow, and black licorice. (Ahh, there’s the licorice!) A variation of the Twizzlers Twist, known as Pull N’ Peel, has also been successful. Pull N’ Peel is only sold in cherry flavor.

Ingredients in Strawberry Twizzlers Twists

Corn syrup, wheat flour, sugar, cornstarch, contains 2% or less of: palm oil, salt, artificial flavor, glycerin, citric acid, potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial color (red 40), and soy lecithin.

Ingredients in Black Licorice Twizzlers Twists

Corn syrup, enriched wheat flour (flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mono nitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid), sugar, cornstarch, contains 2% or less of: licorice extract, palm oil, salt, natural and artificial flavor, glycerin, potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial color (red 40, blue 1), caramel color, sulfur dioxide, to maintain freshness, mineral oil, soy lecithin.

Like other high-markup candies, Twizzlers is loaded with sugar and spruced up with artificial flavoring and coloring.

Twizzlers Twists

Corn syrup

Corn syrup is the top ingredient in licorice. It acts as a sweetener and helps retain moisture, but is often used in licorice because it is important to the texture of the final product.

Wheat flour

Gluten in wheat flour binds the other ingredients together. It’s difficult to tease out the wheat flour taste in Twizzlers — but you can easily pick it out in natural licorice.


Glycerin is used in Twizzlers to maintain water content. The molecule forms the backbone of fat and oil molecules. You can find glycerin in fudge and other candies, or in many soap products.

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