This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what we’re eating, drinking, and buying right now. Here, Ali Francis writes about Gigantic candy bars.
My love affair with these perfectly chewy, chocolate-covered vegan candy bars started in the usual way: an Instagram doomscroll stopped in its tracks, followed by an impulsive shipment of all four flavors, and the fluttery suspense before meeting in person.
Unlike internet dating, Gigantic candy bars did not disappoint in real life: the Salted Peanut—filled with coconut milk caramel, studded with toasty nuts, and dipped in fair-trade dark chocolate—tastes much like a Snickers. The Banana Pecan is ripe and rich like fresh banana bread, the Almond Horchata is unimaginably cinnamony, and the Hazelnut Cafe, as one reviewer put it, is “a healthy alternative to eating a jar full of Nutella.”
I’d be lying if I said that Gigantic’s attractive retro packaging wasn’t part of the appeal. The bars are reminiscent of old-school candy, rather than something you’d find in the health food aisle. But with only 7 grams per serving, Gigantic’s “sorta sweet” bars are incredibly low in sugar—for comparison, a Mars bar clocks in at 60 g. The sweetness comes from small amounts of brown and cane sugars instead of relying on gross-tasting artificial sweeteners. Because the sugar isn’t as heady, the other flavors are more pronounced. More peanut. More hazelnut. More banana. No games, just the real deal.
This article was originally published in 2021 and was updated in 2023.