Candy Fight: Red Vines vs Twizzlers

Much like our earlier Candy Fight between Nerds and Runts, you're either a Twizzlers person or a Red Vines person.  I have yet to meet someone who likes both.  I'll just say up front that I'm a Red Vines person, although I do experiment with the occasional Twizzler.  I'm Twizzler-curious, I guess.

Red Vines are a candy which I prefer "properly ripened."  This to some people would be a state described as "stale."  I once worked in a small office where we would occasionally buy a big plastic tub of Red Vines from Costco.  

Everyone in the office had the same opinion on Red Vines, so by collective consent when a new tub arrived we would open it and leave the lid off for several days.  You just can't eat raw Red Vines!  I mean, you COULD, but why would you?

The pack of Red Vines I bought for this comparison test were thoughtfully pre-ripened.  Although the package was a seemingly impenetrable plastic, and although the "best by" date is well into next year, the candy inside is nearly rock hard. So hard that after eating two or three I have to take a break, because my jaw muscles ache.  It's like a red licorice version of beef jerky.

And I love it.

Red Vines are not only vegan and vegetarian friendly, they also follow Michael Pollan's dictum about only eating things with five or fewer ingredients.  Red Vines contain no preservatives, which is why they get tough in the first place.  They have no fat, and only five ingredients: corn syrup, wheat flour, citric acid, artificial flavor, and Red 40.

Red Vines are also one of the few candies which are manufactured by a small, privately owned company.  In this case, the American Licorice Company.  The company was founded in 1914 in Chicago, with a West Coast processing facility in Union City, CA.  

Red Vines were originally called Classic Raspberry Vines, so I guess that answers the question "What flavor are these?"  

Twizzlers are smaller and far more tender, and are made by Hershey.  They also come in a bewildering variety of flavors, although for this test I chose Strawberry for maximum similarity.  Twizzlers have the same ingredients as Red Vines, plus sugar, corn starch, palm oil, salt, glycerine, potassium sorbate (as a preservative), and soy lecithin.  Michael Pollan would not approve!  (Actually he probably wouldn't approve of Red Vines either, so there's that.)

Twizzlers have a much more definite flavor compared to Red Vines.  In addition to being smaller and glossier, I might actually have guessed "strawberry" without reading the package.  They also stay soft, thanks to the preservatives.  

The texture of a fresh Twizzler is a little too smooth and plasticky for my taste.  A Red Vine, even when fresh, has a much more food-like texture.

It should be noted for the record that neither Twizzlers nor Red Vines is really "licorice" in any meaningful sense of the word.  They contain no extracts from the licorice root, and therefore have none of the health benefits.  They're darned tasty, though!


Thanks!  I'll have to try out the Natural Vines, those sound tasty!


Bluemeanie9's picture


No comparison, red vines win hands down...unless you like eating plastic, then go with twizzlers, or just chew on the back of a pen and save some $.  I just wish RV had the markting hereshey does because it is hard to find RV; whereas twizzler is everywhere. 


Craig 's picture


I like them both each is different....


Craig 's picture


I like them both each is different....


Anonymous's picture


i honestly can go both ways. I know most people pick sides, but I enjoy both. Some days I prefer twizzlers, and others redvines.


Luke's picture


Okay, I gotta admit this... I only bought some Redvines since I saw AVPS by Team Starkid. And I must admit, I was disappointed. 

I live in central Minnesota, a land where Twizzlers rule above all others. So, naturally, I grew up eating them. And I love them to death!

So, when I bought my first Redvines, I could hardly contain my excitement. I ate my first one on the way home. I wasn't sure what to think of it at first; it sure wasn't a twizzler. It wasn't particularily sweet, and had a waxy texture.

The rest of my family tried them, and it was by anonymous vote that Twizzlers were better. 

But I still have a Redvine every now and then, just to mix things up a bit. :)


If you're used to Twizzlers, Red Vines would definitely be a bit of a surprise! To me, Twizzlers are way too sweet and not chewy enough.

Interesting to learn that Red Vines aren't very common in the Midwest... it's hard to argue with those childhood candy experiences!


DeeLee's picture


We will excuse you for your opinion - your taste buds were destroyed as a young age since you grew up eating Twizzlers.


cloe's picture


never actually tried a redvine, really really want to because of AVPS and i plan on trying them at the HP7 premiere! Twizzlers are great, but truthfully, they taste a little plastic-ish, hoping redvines will live up to my expectations!!! "Redvines. what the hell cant they do?"


dianne sherlock's picture

dianne sherlock

I hope you have tried them by now. I can't believe how many out there that have not tried red vines or twizlers. I can't remember the first time I had a r.v. I was too little I guess..:)


Ms. Thomas's picture

Ms. Thomas

I Love them both, some days red vines other day twizzlers! So I wont pick which one is better.


debbie's picture


I am from the Northwest where it seems that Red Vines RULE!  however, I have just recently moved to Florida and cannot find Red Vines to save my life.  In fact, I came across this blog in search for ways to order them online...  it's unfortunate that I now find myself living in a world where licorice tastes like plastic!

oh well, I will continue the hunt!


DeeLee's picture


Try Target and Walgreens if your in Central Florida. I can find Red but not Black vines anywhere. I have found them on-line at


Art Carnage's picture

Art Carnage

Red Vines win, simply because Aimee Mann will never sing a song about Twizzlers.


epicentere's picture


Duh red vines rule twizzlers or wat ever suck im octavia friddle every one and i love to watch


Zippy Vine Girl's picture

Zippy Vine Girl

I'm with the author on this one, with the exception that I like my Vines nice and soft; as fresh as they come. 

Twizzlers are a nice diversion, but I'm a Vines girl.



Cristin's picture


I used to be a red vines girl, but I hate how they stuck in my teeth, and then twizzlers started getting popular, and I had one and never went back! I love how they actually have flavor to them. And if you're waiting for red vines to go "stale" before you eat them, just have a twizzler!


TB's picture


Twizzlers are more flavorful as I type I have next to me a bag of Red Vines and A bag of Twizzlers. I've always heard of RV but Could never find them. I recently hunted down a pack in CVS and was shaking with excitement. But like the other person wrote RV were disappointing. I expected more flavor and I hate wasting food so I'm dreading forcing myself to finish the pack of RV I bought.



I think I'll try letting them go stale.


Gatsby's picture


I have to admit I only tried them because of AVPS but when I got them I loved them. By the way you seriusly can't find them anywhere but CVS. HOW DARE ANY OF YOU INSULT REDVINES YO OTHER PEOPLE!!!!!!!


DAW's picture


I've had Twizzlers my entire life, so I'm more used to them. However, after watching AVPS, I really wanted to try RV. A person I know found a pack and bought them, and I tried one. I didn't think it was too great, but they were in AVPS, so I made myself eat them. I don't really care for them, but I'm going to buy a few packs of my own just so I can say every quote involving them in AVPS. :D


Cindy Jeffery's picture

Cindy Jeffery

I LOVE Red Vines...Black is my favorite but I have not been able to find the black in all the stores that carried it. Is there something going on with the black ones? I'm jonsing for some back Red Vines!!!!!


Kayleigh's picture


i love them both! they both have their own unique taste. love them!


hchattin's picture


i grew up on twizzlers and can honestly say i can swing both ways per say. but ive never tried stale red vines. I have always put my twizzlers in the freezer ever since i can remember i guess its bc i like chewy candy and twizzlers are sweeter. I will deff try stale red vines though, firsttime for everything


Dora's picture


I like both red vines and twizzlers. I'm not a big fan of the pull and peels from twizzlers but all of the others are pretty good. I do agree that you cant find red wines as much as twizzlers.


Nadia's picture


I just bought and tried my first Twizzlers today after reading this blog post and many other rewievs on the topic.
I actually wanted to buy Red Vines, too but couldn't get them because they are not sold in Denmark
I must say I agree with you. I didn't really like the consistency which reminded me a bit of modelling clay and they taste very sweet which I didn't like that much.

I hope to find some Red Vines soon, without having to pay to many taxes for it when ordering it on the internet. I would really like to try them!


Funkzillabot's picture


Ugh. Red Vines taste like Wax. Twizzlers taste like plastic strawberry flavored lip gloss.