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Gum Drop Grapes

Gum Drops are an irresistible sugary candy we all know and love. So when talking about the Gum Drop grape, it is interesting to learn these healthy bite-sized snacks are incredibly similar. Most grapes that you can purchase at your local grocery store have a lovely sweetness, but none of them can match the Gum Drop grape!

Keep reading to learn how tasty these grapes are, why they’re so darn good, and what makes Gum Drop grapes stand out from the rest of the grape crowd.

Closeup of bunch of red grapes, similar to Gum Drop grapes.

History of the Gum Drop Grape

The Gum Drop grape is a product of 12 years of cross-breeding at the Grapery in San Joaquin Valley in California. Jack Pandol and Jim Beagle, the owners of the Grapery, worked closely with their fruit geneticist, David Cain, at the Institutional Fruit Genetics Company to develop these candy-tasting grapes.

A group of taste-testers named the Gum Drop grape after noting the sweet sugary taste was similar to gummy bears. The Gum Drop was quickly registered and patented in 2015 by Grapery and was ready for sale.

They were first marketed in 2016 to supermarkets in the United States. These grapes then became one of the highest in-demand grapes in the country. Now you can find them at your local grocery store when they are in season, around late summer to early fall. But because of their popularity, they go out of stock very quickly. So if you ever run into the Gum Drop grapes, you should pick them up before it is too late!

Characteristics of the Gum Drop Grape

The Gum Drop grape is a medium-sized grape that grows from an oval to a round shape, starts green then matures into a dark purplish-red shade. The flesh is seedless and has little opacity, and is incredibly juicy. They grow in looser clusters on their long sprawling vines and are harvestable in late summer.

Bunches of red grapes on the vine.

Taste

The taste is what makes these grapes so sought after. The Gum Drop grape is much sweeter than your average grape, which was no accident. These hybrid grapes were explicitly bred to bring a naturally sweeter flavor into a healthy snack. They have a slight tartness from the skin but finish with a sugary sweet taste on the tongue.

Overhead view of plate of dark purple-red grapes.

Snacking

The Gum Drop grapes are perfect when looking for the best snacking grape. One fun way to use these grapes is by tossing them into the freezer and enjoying them frozen. Unlike most grape varieties, these don’t lose their flavor once frozen and make for the perfect summer snack. The Gum Drop is the ideal table grape and goes well with charcuterie boards and different cheeses.

Bowl of frozen red grapes.

Recipes

There are many ways to add the Gum Drop grapes into fresh, delicious recipes. Because of their candy-like flavor, these grapes are great when looking for a healthy dessert option. Gum Drops work well as toppings for fresh salads, fruit salads, charcuterie boards, sorbets, and more! Here are a few recipes that the Gum Drop Grapes would pair well with:

Chicken and Grape Waldorf Salad

Grape Parfait

Sour Patch Grapes

Grape Salad

Jars of chia pudding with grapes halves and almonds.
Chia pudding with grapes and almonds.

Health Benefits of Gum Drop Grapes

Gum Drop grapes are full of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and B-complex. Kids love these grapes, making it even easier to ensure they are getting the vitamins they need. For such a tasty grape, they sure do pack a punch when it comes to healthy nutrition.

Are you looking for more information on the health benefits of grapes? We’ve got you covered. Just check out this article that dives deep into just how amazing these delicious fruits are for you.

Can Your Pets Enjoy These Grapes?

The short answer is no. Grapes are incredibly toxic to dogs and cats. Our pets cannot metabolize the fruits like our bodies can. Unfortunately, grape toxicity is linked with kidney damage in our furry friends. It is unknown what the grapes’ poisonous trait holds, but even in small doses, it can cause horrific effects.

A cat reaching for a plate with grapes on it.

So no matter how cute they look, remember never to allow them to eat any type of grapes or raisins.

Growing Gum Drop Grapes

Unfortunately, the Gum Drop grapes are specifically licensed for the use of the Grapery only. So you won’t find any plants, seeds, or cuttings for sale. Because of the patent, the only way to enjoy these grapes is by finding them in-store once they are in season and in stock. The best time to start looking for the Gum Drop grapes is late July and early August.

Clusters of grapes hanging on the vine.

Similar Grapes Like the Gum Drop you can Grow at Home

Concord Grapes

Since you cannot plant Gum Drop grapes specifically, there are a few varieties you could plant that can offer a bit of sweetness to your garden. The Concord grapes are excellent and can easily be planted and grown outside your door. They have a sugary taste just like the Gum Drop and are vigorous growers so that you can enjoy your grapes all season long! Find them at Nature Hills Nursery (see below).

Thomcord Seedless Grapes

Another great alternative to the Gum Drop is the Thomcord Seedless grape. These grapes are easy to grow and produce an abundance of seedless, tasty grapes to enjoy as a snack or in desserts and salads, just like the Gum Drop grape. Find them at Stark Bros.

Champagne Grapes

Champagne Grapes are a fantastic grape variety that everyone loves. These tiny grapes that almost resemble the bubbles floating in a champagne glass are easy to grow and provide delicious table grapes for snacking.

If you are interested in planting and caring for your grapes but are unsure when or how to start, you can check out our articles about growing and caring for grapes.

Where to Purchase Gum Drop Grapes

If you are looking for which of your local stores carry the Gum Drop Grapes, the Grapery’s website has an interactive map to help you locate just where to purchase. But being such a popular grape variety, most stores carry them for a limited time until they have been sold out. Late July to mid-August is when they hit the shelves, but once they do, they are only available for a short time.

Person holding handful of dark purple-red grapes.

Wrapping up the Gum Drop Grape

The Gum Drop grape is genuinely unique. After 12 years of hard work, the Grapery and the Institutional Fruit Genetics found a diamond in the rough per se. Although you cannot purchase a Gum Drop grape plant to grow at home, the Grapery makes sure to spread them around the US so all grape lovers can enjoy their fine produce.

Closeup of red grapes.

If you are interested in more grape varieties, check out our other grape articles!

Karen Vettese

Sunday 25th of September 2022

Gum Drop Grapes are my favorite of all grapes. Does your company have tours for samples of your grapes?

Karen Vettese

Matt

Tuesday 27th of September 2022

No we don't do tours.