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What candy is red?

Red is a popular candy color, used in many classic and iconic sweets. Red candy comes in a range of hues from bright cherry red to deeper crimson shades. The red color usually comes from ingredients like red dye, but some red candy gets its color naturally from things like strawberries or raspberries. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular red candies out there!

Red Licorice

One of the most iconic red candies is red licorice. These long, chewy candies are often strawberry or cherry flavored, but don’t actually contain any licorice root. The red color comes from Red 40 dye. Twizzlers is probably the most popular mass market red licorice brand in the US. Red Vines is another well-known brand. You can also find specialty gourmet red licorice at candy shops. These are often flavored with real strawberry or raspberry puree to give a more natural fruit flavor and color.

Red Fruit Candy

There are lots of fruity red candy options, often flavored and colored with real fruit. Gummies, jellies, and fruit snacks come in red fruit varieties like cherry, raspberry, strawberry, pomegranate, and watermelon. Sour Patch Kids are a popular soft, chewy red candy shaped like little characters. Swedish Fish are chewy fish-shaped red gummy candies. Red fruit rings, berries, and other shapes are also common. These get their color from natural colors like beet juice or turmeric, as well as Red 40 dye.

Cinnamon Candy

Cinnamon candy is often red thanks to the natural color of cinnamon oil. Red Hots are small, hot cinnamon imperials. Fireball Cinnamon Candy is another popular brand that makes hot, spicy, red cinnamon candies. Candy canes are also traditionally red and white striped with a peppermint and cinnamon flavor. The red color comes from Red 3 and Red 40 dyes.

Cherry and Strawberry Candy

Cherry and strawberry flavors are very common for red candies. Maraschino cherries are a popular candied fruit used in chocolate, ice cream sundaes, cocktails, and more. The cherries get their bright red color from Red 4 dye. Chocolate covered cherries have a liquid cherry center with sweet cherry syrup. Wild Cherry Jolly Ranchers and Runts are chewy cherry candies. Strawberry candy flavors are also common like Strawberry Twizzlers.

Raspberry Candy

Raspberries give a natural pinkish red color, so raspberry candy is often tinted red. Razzles start as a candy tablet that fizzes into tart raspberry flavored chewing gum. Brach’s makes red raspberry candy corn and jelly birds. Chocolate raspberries combine chocolate with a raspberry cream center.

Watermelon Candy

Watermelon candies are made to mimic the bright red color of watermelon flesh. Jolly Rancher makes a sweet watermelon flavored hard candy. Watermelon sour strips have a puckering sour sugar coating. Watermelon PEZ, Ring Pops, and salt water taffy are other examples.

Coconut Candy

Shredded coconut and coconut flakes are often tinted red. Cherry coconut chocolate bars have a red exterior with shredded coconut in the interior. Coconut Red Hots have a red coconut flavored exterior. Red coconut M&Ms feature a red chocolate shell surrounding the chewy coconut center.

Holiday and Seasonal Candy

Red is a popular color for Christmas and Valentine’s Day candies. Candy canes, red foil chocolate coins, and red heart candies show up around the holidays. Red gummi bears and jelly beans are also seasonal. Santa Clause shapes, reindeer corn, and more all come in red versions for Christmas.

Spicy Cinnamon Candy

Cinnamon candy is often red thanks to the natural reddish color of cinnamon oil. Red Hots are small, hot cinnamon imperials. Fireball Cinnamon Candy is another popular brand that makes hot, spicy, red cinnamon candies.

Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks are tiny hard candy that pop and fizz when they dissolve. The original red Pop Rocks were one of the first big Pop Rocks flavors. Today you can still find traditional red Pop Rocks, along with new flavors like cherry and watermelon that are also red.

Fruit Punch Candy

Fruit punch flavor is common for brightly colored red candy. Airheads makes a red fruit punch taffy bar. Fruit Punch Life Savers are red ring-shaped hard candies. Laffy Taffy and Now and Later both come in fruit punch flavors too.

Red Dye Ingredients

While some red candy gets its color from natural sources, most mass market red candy is colored artificially with dye. Here are some of the most common red food dyes and their numbering codes:

Dye Code Dye Name
Red 3 Erythrosine
Red 4 Allura Red AC
Red 40 Allura Red AC

Popular Brands of Red Candy

Here are some top brands and companies known for their red candy:

  • Twizzlers
  • Swedish Fish
  • Red Hots
  • Jolly Rancher
  • Brach’s
  • Starburst
  • Hot Tamales
  • Mike and Ike
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Skittles
  • Life Savers
  • Airheads
  • Runts
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Now and Later
  • Pop Rocks

Popular Red Candy Flavors

These are some of the most popular candy flavors that often appear in red candy:

  • Cherry
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Cinnamon
  • Fruit punch
  • Watermelon
  • Pomegranate
  • Coconut
  • Peppermint

Red Candy Based on Texture

Here are the most common red candies in different texture categories:

Hard Candy

  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Dum Dums Lollipops
  • Life Savers
  • Candy Canes
  • Lollipops
  • Mints

Chewy Candy

  • Red Vines
  • Twizzlers
  • Swedish Fish
  • Fruit snacks
  • Airheads
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Mike and Ike

Chocolate Candy

  • M&Ms
  • Dove chocolate strawberries
  • Chocolate covered cherries
  • Red foil chocolate coins

Gummy Candy

  • Haribo raspberries and cherries
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Fruit snacks

Sour Candy

  • Sour strawberries
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Warheads

Health Concerns

While red candy often contains appealing flavors and dyes, there are some health concerns to consider:

  • Red dye may cause allergic reactions in some people
  • Too much red dye may cause focus and hyperactivity issues in children
  • Many red candies are high in sugar and should only be eaten in moderation
  • Some red licorice contains the sweetener glycyrrhizin which can cause high blood pressure if over-consumed
  • The ingredient erythritol in some sugar-free red candy may cause gastrointestinal issues

Talk to your doctor about how enjoying red candy in moderation fits into a healthy lifestyle and diet. Look for red candy options made with natural flavors and colors if you are concerned about synthetics dyes.


Red candies have a special place in candy culture. The variety of red candy flavors and textures is remarkable. Classic favorites like Red Hots, Swedish Fish, and cherry flavored treats have stood the test of time. Specialty gourmet red candies made with real fruit are also growing in popularity. Whatever your favorite, red candy is sure to keep your tastebuds happy!