HI-CHEW Dessert Mix review: Pie oh my, we have a winner

How do the three new flavors --- Candy Apple, Strawberry Ice Cream, and Key Lime Pie -- stack up?
HI-CHEW Dessert Mix - credit: HI-CHEW
HI-CHEW Dessert Mix - credit: HI-CHEW /

HI-CHEW is a highly underrated candy. I don’t think I’ve personally ever gone out of my way to buy HI-CHEW in a store, but any time I’ve seen them offered (usually at comic book conventions weirdly), or if they’re given out at Halloween, I’ll greedily gobble them up. And now the brand has three new flavors with the HI-CHEW Dessert Mix: Key Lime Pie, Candy Apple, and Strawberry Ice Cream. But how do these flavors match up with their namesakes? And more importantly, how do they work as HI-CHEW?

Thanks to HI-CHEW, Guilty Eats received two packages for review of the new collection: a peg bag; and a stand-up pouch. The peg bag contains about 18 pieces of candy and is available exclusively at 7-Eleven and Speedways nationwide. Meanwhile, the stand-up pouch contains about 66 pieces and is available everywhere.

"Through our Chew Crew, we've learned that consumers want more unique flavor offerings that are unlike anything they've experienced before," said Teruhiro Kawabe (Terry), Chief Representative for the USA & President, CEO of Morinaga America, Inc. via a press release provided to Guilty Eats. "The unveiling of these exciting three flavors follow the tremendous success of the HI-CHEW® Fantasy Mix in 2022, which satisfies consumers' desire for more non-traditional chewy candy flavors. We're confident that the HI-CHEW® Dessert Mix mix will become an instant favorite among brand fans."

Okay, thanks Terry, that’s all well and good. But how do these flavors actually taste?

The good news is: pretty great. One of the joys of a HI-CHEW is that you have the rubbery give of bubble gum or taffy, without any of the stickiness. So you get that nice, satisfying bite, followed by a burst of light, non-overwhelming flavor that continues while you chew. All three of these flavors, of course, have that as well.

That said, to break them down individually – and full disclosure, I taste-tested these with the three other members of my family to get some alternate takes – let’s start with the lesser of the three, the Strawberry Ice Cream. While this is totally fine as a HI-CHEW, it only had a light strawberry taste, a “whiff” as one of our faithful taste testers described it. And in fact one took it a step further, noting they expected something creamier a la a Strawberry Cream Chupa Chup, but this brought none of that.

Coming in strong at number two was the Candy Apple. This is one that right off the bat, smelled exactly like a candy apple, which is kind of wild. On first taste, though, it was a little more like regular apple flavor than specifically candy apple. Good thing we tried a second one of these, though, because on second taste it revealed a little more of a burnt caramel flavor underlying the apple, which was tasty and surprising.

But the number one flavor of the three was easily the Key Lime Pie, which smells and tastes exactly like Key Lime Pie. I don’t know how they pulled off this sorcery, but biting into the HI-CHEW didn’t just give “lime” flavor, you can also get notes of the crust and the distinctive creaminess of key lime pies. A big winner that I went back for seconds (and thirds) for.

Overall, what works here is that HI-CHEW isn’t reinventing the wheel… They’re doing what they do best (make HI-CHEW), and then adding on some surprisingly delicious and complex flavors. They may not replace real key lime pie, candy apples, or strawberry ice cream, but are well worth seeking out – rather than just waiting for someone to hand you one at Halloween or a comic convention.

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