There are so many things I could write about today: the President's State of the Union Address (hallelujah for a mandatory 90 minutes of carefully choosing his words, protected from making foolish statements on Twitter), the Super Blue Blood Moon (try saying that 3 times fast; I rolled out of bed at 6 am to view it before totality ended at 6:08 am, it was stunning), the decades-long USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal (sickening). But, I've decided to write about gummy bears. Why? Because I sniffed out a pricing disparity you'll want to know about. Read on:
I first began shopping at Sprouts Farmers Market a few years back. They have a wide selection of bulk bins with nuts, candy, flour, etc. One day, their gummy bears were on sale, so I indulged my weakness. I've always loved gummies; friends make fun of me, saying gummies are for kids, but there's something about a chewy gelatin bear that delights me to this day.
Up until Sprouts entered my life, my favorite gummies were Haribo. They are a bit hard to chew, which this forces me to eat them slowly and extend the pleasure. But then I tasted Sprouts' bears and I couldn't believe my buds; long ago I'd mentally written off grocery store bulk bin gummy bears, but these little guys were scrumptious. The crown jewel was the light pink bear, flavored grapefruit, my favorite gummy flavor ever. How did they know?! I was hooked.
The story got even sweeter when I discovered that Sprouts often puts their bears on sale, about every 6 weeks. Full price, they are $3 per pound. Sale price, $2 per pound.
Now this is where the story gets interesting. Do you know of Lolli & Pops, the fancy chain candy store in downtown Los Gatos? Recently, my kids were each gifted a jar of gummy bears from there. I'm pretty much a gummy bear sommelier and my experience came in handy. I held the jar: they sure looked like Sprouts gummy bears. I smelled the jar: they sure smelled like Sprouts gummy bears. I tasted a light pink bear: yep, they were definitely the same as Sprouts'. Oh boy, oh boy, I was onto something.
I grabbed my detective hat and visited Lolli & Pops and Sprouts in-person to complete my investigation. Here is what I uncovered:
- Yes, they sell the exact same gummy bears: Albanese Gummy Bears, click here to go to the Indiana candy company's website. The "A" stamped on each belly identifies authentic Albanese bears.
- At Lolli & Pops, they are sold for $11 a pound, if you buy at least a pound. They are $15 a pound if you buy less than a pound.
- At Sprouts, they are $3 a pound, $2 a pound when they are on sale every 6 weeks or so, AND sometime in March there will be a 72-hour bulk bin sale when they will cost $1 a pound.
The case has been cracked. What a disparity! Up to a $14 price difference, at best an $8 gap. Now that you're in the know, celebrate by getting yourself some fancy Albanese Gummy Bears at Sprouts—they went on sale today and will be on sale through next Wednesday. While you're at it, why not put them in a pretty jar so they look like they're from Lolli & Pops? If you don't live near a Sprouts, you can order the gummy bears directly from Albanese for a good price.
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- I just saw that Albanese makes chocolate covered gummy bears—might sound gross, but only if you've never tasted the combination. I can't wait to try Albanese's version. Click here to admire Albanese's vast array of gummy options.
- I look the liberty of rounding Sprouts' prices up by 1 cent, to have easily comparable whole numbers and to be fair to Lolli & Pops. I'm sure their gummy bear price mark-up contributes significantly to their downtown Los Gatos rent, but I need to focus on paying my rent, not theirs.
- Since I've declared Albanese the Queen of Gummies, henceforth I will submit to their spelling: GUMMI.