The Sweet Freeze: Exploring Freeze Dried Candy


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Feature art caption: SowGood Foods’ Alexandria Gutierrez is excited for the future of freeze dried candy, noting that it shows no signs of slowing down.

Indiana Convention Center — In the ever-evolving world of confectionery, a new trend is capturing the taste buds and imagination of candy consumers: freeze dried candy. Spotted throughout the show floor last week at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, this innovative method of preserving and enhancing the flavors of sugary treats is offering a crunchy, airy texture that elevates the snacking experience.

Freeze drying, also known as lyophilization, involves removing the moisture from food while preserving the flavor and nutritional value. While this technique has been utilized in various industries for decades, its application in candy is a relatively recent phenomenon that has quickly gained popularity. Heather Anderson, owner of Andersen’s Crazy Candy told Candy & Snack TODAY that freeze dried candy has risen in popularity because it creates an experience for the consumer. 

“It’s taking the candy you know and trying it in a different way,” she explained. “When you freeze dry, you’re pulling out the water so the flavors can be heightened, and it creates an entirely different eating experience.”

The team at TrendyTreats said that TikTok videos they made featuring freeze dried candy get over 100 billion views a month.

Along with offering the standard varieties of freeze-dried treats such as fruit chews and gummi worms, Crazy Candy also offers seasonal varieties like peppermint puffs and peanut brittle. Anderson revealed that there will also be a s’mores SKU released within the next few weeks. Reclosable standup bags are available in 3.3- and 4.2-ounce sizes with an SRP range of $7.99 to $9.99. They pack in 12-ct shippers. 

Many freeze dried candy companies start off on a smaller scale by experimenting with at-home personal freeze-drying machines. Megan Steck, founder of SweetyTreaty Co. revealed that this has created a more accessible way to create the candy without having to rely on bigger commercial equipment that had been previously reserved for other freeze-dried products such as pet food or soup. 

“What made it accessible was when they started making machinery that was more affordable,” Steck expanded. “Once you get to this scale obviously you aren’t using that same at-home freeze dryer but that is what made people want to start trying it themselves.” 

SweetyTreaty carries a variety of products including taffy, Sour Fizzy’s, and gummi hamburgers. Pack sizes range from 1.2 to three ounces and have an SRP of $3.99 per pack. 

“What people are most into is seeing an iconic candy that they’ve seen their whole life turn into something new,” Steck said. “It turns an already identifiable candy into a completely new product.” 

Vendors agree that freeze dried candy has seen a steady rise in sales largely in part to popularity on social media platforms such as TikTok. 

“They call it food porn,” Andrew Pedregon, TrendyTreats social media director joked. “It creates a lot of ASMR sounds and content. We began posting our candy processes in 2020 and we get over 100 billion views a month.”

Because food entertainment and social media go together, the target demographic for freeze dried candy is young kids and teenagers. 

Crazy Candy said that freeze dried candy is gaining popularity because it creates an experience for consumers.

“We started off purely by just creating content — primarily prank videos,” Pedregon said. “We started to notice that kids in particular loved it and so we decided to sell it.”

TrendyTreats carries a wide variety of both wholesale and direct-to-consumer freeze dried candies including its own original variety called Globo’s. These individual puffed candies are available in a blue razz flavor and have an SRP of $3.30 per 1.15-ounce bag.

Alexandria Gutierrez, director of sales and marketing at SowGood Foods said another driving force behind the popularity of freeze dried candy is convenience and shelf life. Unlike traditional candies that might melt or become sticky in warm environments, freeze-dried versions are shelf-stable and resistant to heat, making them ideal for on-the-go. 

Starting off in the freeze dried pet food industry, Gutierrez explained that her family noticed the business in the sector start to pick up again during the pandemic due to its shelf-stability. Because of those previous experiences, she added, they were able to fully transition into the candy space. 

Freeze dried peach rings, sweet worms, crunchy bears, and cookie bombs are all available from the company in 1.3-. 1.5-, and 4.2-ounce bags depending on the volume of candy. Gutierrez also explained that SowGood makes all of its own products, so it does not have to outsource from other distributors. Each bag has an SRP of $6.49. 

She added that as the demand for innovative snack options continues to grow, the freeze dried candy trend shows no signs of slowing down. 

“Freeze dried is the revitalization of the candy industry,” Gutierrez told Candy & Snack TODAY. “There is so much love across the customer base. I get 12-year-olds calling me saying that they brought our candy to school and now they’re the most popular kid in their class. That’s what keeps me excited.”