The story behind SpaceSweets

The story behind SpaceSweets

Our super sour sweet story.

One of the main reasons why I decided to start SpaceSweets was my love for sours sweets. I always loved that mouth puckering squinty eye reaction they gave me. I always got frustrated when I bought a pack of so called sour sweets and they weren’t even close to being sour, they were more like sweet tangy. I’m sure a lot of you have experienced this, so I decided I wanted to make my own.

Like a lot of great idea’s there is a reason why these sweets done exist! 

The concept.

The journey first started with the idea of creating my own SUPER SOUR coating that delivered the punch I wanted. I tested this coating by taking a base sweet, usually a strawberry liquorish strip, removing the sugar dusting that came with it and then applying my own. I had amazing results and the next step was finding a manufacturer.

The supply issue.

The sweet industry is notoriously hard to break into if your a small guy, this quickly became apparent. I appraoched confectionary manufacturers across the UK and Europe with my idea of taking their existing base product e.g. a pain old boring gummy bear and adding my sour coating recipe. Many of them did not do any kind of collaboration projects or required minimum orders of millions of items. The only option was to order my sweets from China but I didn’t want to eat sweets from china so no doubt my customers wouldn’t either. 

The science issue.

We did order some sample packs with the coating recipe I had created anyway, to see if it would be viable. Oddly when the samples came it looked like they had sweat in the bad, leaving the product looking wet and unappetising. We contacted the supplier thinking there was some kind of issue in transit or hot weather that might have caused this. The supplier came back and explained to us the issue; when you reach a critic acid content above a certain level it begins to draw water out of the gummy! We order another sample with lower critic acid content and we ended up with your average tangy, so called sour, sweet. This is why you can’t find really sour gummy sweets!

The solution.

After a brief cry into my cereal, I returned to the drawing board. How can we overcome this problem? I WANT MY SOUR SWEETS! The issue was the water in the sweets. After some research I came across a process called freeze drying. A process where a machine removes all the moisture from a food item by freezing it to an extremely low temperate inside a vacuum and removing the moisture while it slowly heats back up. This is an extremely popular way of storing food for an extremely long time and was how NASA made things like astronaut ice cream. 

This was the AH-HA moment. If we can use our coating then remove the moisture from the sweets, we can maintain our recipe while circumventing the citric acid from reacting with water. The rest is history.

Back to blog