What is Russell Stover sugar free candy made from?

Russell Stover is a popular candy brand that offers a wide variety of sugar free candy options for people looking to reduce their sugar intake. Their sugar free candies use alternative sweeteners and ingredients to create treats that taste sweet without the added sugar.

Common Sugar Substitutes in Russell Stover Sugar Free Candy

The most commonly used sugar substitutes in Russell Stover sugar free candies include:

  • Maltitol – A sugar alcohol derived from maltose, maltitol has about 75% of the sweetness of sugar but with fewer calories and carbohydrates. It does not raise blood sugar levels as much as regular sugar.
  • Sucralose – Sold under the brand name Splenda, sucralose is an artificial sweetener made from sugar but is about 600 times sweeter. It contains no calories or carbohydrates.
  • Stevia – A natural sweetener extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant. It has no calories and does not raise blood sugar levels.
  • Acesulfame potassium – An artificial sweetener that is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It provides sweetness without any calories or carbohydrates.

Using these sugar substitutes allows Russell Stover to create sugar free candy that provides the taste and sweetness people expect without the high calorie count and blood sugar spike of regular candy.

Ingredients in Popular Russell Stover Sugar Free Candy

Here is a look at some of Russell Stover’s most popular sugar free candy options and what ingredients they contain:

Sugar Free Chocolate

  • Sugar alcohol (maltitol usually)
  • Cocoa butter
  • Unsweetened chocolate
  • Milk ingredients
  • Emulsifiers like soy lecithin
  • Natural and/or artificial flavor
  • Salt

The chocolate candies use sugar alcohols like maltitol along with cocoa butter, chocolate, and milk products to provide the taste and texture of chocolate without the added sugar. Emulsifiers and flavorings enhance the chocolate flavor.

Sugar Free Caramels

  • Sugar alcohol (usually maltitol)
  • Sweetened condensed skim milk
  • Butter
  • Corn syrup
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Salt
  • Palm oil
  • Soy lecithin
  • Caramel color

For sugar free caramels, the sugar alcohol and milk products provide sweetness and chewiness. Butter, corn syrup, and palm oil give the caramel flavor, while emulsifiers keep the texture smooth.

Sugar Free Hard Candies

  • Sugar alcohol (usually maltitol)
  • Water
  • Natural and/or artificial flavors
  • Corn syrup
  • Citric acid
  • Artificial colors

The sugar free hard candies use sugar alcohol as the primary sweetener along with corn syrup for texture. Flavors, citric acid, and colors provide the fruity and minty flavors.

Benefits of Sugar Free Candy

There are several potential benefits of choosing sugar free candy options like those made by Russell Stover:

  • Reduced calorie intake – Sugar free candy has fewer calories than regular candy, making it easier to limit calorie consumption.
  • Lower carbohydrate amount – The sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners have minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels compared to regular sugar.
  • Does not promote tooth decay – With little to no sugar, sugar free candy does not feed the bacteria that cause cavities.
  • Diabetes friendly – The minimal effect on blood glucose levels makes sugar free candy an option for people with diabetes.
  • Keto diet friendly – The low carbohydrate amount suits low carb and ketogenic diets.

This allows people watching their sugar and carb intake for health, diet, or medical reasons to still enjoy sweet tasting candy.

Potential Drawbacks of Sugar Free Candy

However, there are some potential drawbacks to note with sugar free candy:

  • Gastrointestinal distress – Sugar alcohols can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea in some people when eaten in excess.
  • Tooth decay risk – Though less than sugar, certain sugar substitutes may still increase cavities if consumed frequently.
  • Does not satisfy sugar cravings – The taste of sugar is difficult to perfectly replicate, so sugar cravings may persist.
  • Uncertainty about health effects – More research is still needed on the long-term health effects of artificial sweeteners.

Those sensitive to sugar alcohols may need to moderate their consumption of sugar free candy. For others, brushing after eating candy and limiting frequency can help minimize risk of cavities. Moderation is key for enjoying sugar free candy as part of an overall healthy diet.

Popular Russell Stover Sugar Free Candy Options

Here is an overview of some of Russell Stover’s most popular sugar free candy products:

Sugar Free Chocolate Variety Boxes

Russell Stover offers many different sugar free chocolate assortments, often in gift box sets. These include an array of chocolate candies like:

  • Sugar free chocolate-covered nuts
  • Sugar free pretzel clusters
  • Sugar free chocolate-covered coconut
  • Sugar free peanut butter cups
  • Sugar free mint meltaways
  • Sugar free assorted chocolates

The variety boxes allow sampling different sugar free chocolate candies in one package.

Sugar Free Caramel Boxes

Russell Stover sugar free caramels often come in stand up bag boxes with flavors like:

  • Creamy milk caramels
  • Chewy chocolate caramels
  • Caramel filled chocolates
  • Turtle candies
  • Salted nut rolls

These provide the classic chewy caramel experience without the added sugar.

Sugar Free Single Servings

Some of Russell Stover’s popular sugar free candies also come in single size packets, which are conveniently portable options. These include:

  • Sugar free chocolate-covered strawberries
  • Sugar free chocolate-covered cherries
  • Sugar free chocolate truffles
  • Sugar free chocolate-covered pretzels
  • Sugar free chocolate mints
  • Sugar free peanut butter cups

The single servings allow greater portion control when craving something sweet.

Sugar Free Hard Candy

Russell Stover sugar free hard candies provide sweet flavor without sugar. Popular varieties include:

  • Butterscotch discs
  • Cinnamon discs
  • Assorted fruit discs
  • Spearmint leaves
  • Peppermint sticks
  • Wintergreen mints

These come in bag or box packaging for convenient enjoyment.

Ingredient Sourcing and Manufacturing Process

Russell Stover obtains ingredients for its sugar free candy from various accredited suppliers. Here is an overview of their manufacturing process:

  1. Recipe creation – Formulas for each candy product are developed by confectioners and chemists.
  2. Ingredient weighing – Dry ingredients like sugar alcohols and emulsifiers are precisely weighed.
  3. Melting – Ingredients like chocolate or caramel are melted in large vats.
  4. Mixing – Dry and wet ingredients are thoroughly combined in industrial mixers.
  5. Cooking – Batters or fillings are cooked and condensed to desired consistency.
  6. Cooling – Candy mixtures are cooled to optimal temperature.
  7. Forming – Candy is shaped into desired forms, like squares or assorted chocolates.
  8. Coating – Pieces like caramels or truffles are coated in chocolate.
  9. Packaging – Candy is wrapped, bagged, or boxed.
  10. Case packing – Finished packages are packed into shipping cases.
  11. Warehousing – Products are stored until distribution to retail locations.
  12. Quality assurance – Samples from batches are tested to ensure safety and quality.

Automation allows high productivity while maintaining quality control throughout the manufacturing process.

Nutrition Information

Here are some of the basic nutrition facts for Russell Stover sugar free candies:

Candy Type Serving Size Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Sugar Alcohols (g)
Peanut butter cup 1 cup 100 7 5 2
Chocolate mint 1 piece 15 1 2 1
Milk caramels 4 pieces 100 2.5 18 8
Fruit discs 8 discs 60 0 15 8

As shown, a serving of Russell Stover sugar free candy generally provides under 100 calories with 1-7 grams of fat, 2-18 grams of carbohydrates mainly from sugar alcohols rather than sugar. This allows enjoyment of sweet flavors without excessive calories or carbohydrate load.

Cost Analysis

Russell Stover sugar free candies cost slightly more than conventional candy. Some average prices for their products include:

  • Sugar free chocolate variety box (12 oz) – $10 to $15
  • Sugar free caramels (16 oz) – $8 to $12
  • Sugar free single serving chocolates (6 pack) – $5 to $7
  • Sugar free mints (4 oz bag) – $2 to $3

This equates to roughly $0.80 to $1.25 per ounce of sugar free candy. By comparison, regular store brand candy may cost $0.50 to $0.75 per ounce. So there is often a 25-50% price premium for the Russell Stover brand and sugar free formulation. However, consumers may find this cost justifiable if the product allows them to follow a low sugar diet or manage health conditions like diabetes.

Where to Buy Russell Stover Sugar Free Candy

Russell Stover sugar free candies are sold in the following locations:

  • Grocery stores – Found in the candy aisle or sometimes health food section of major grocery store chains.
  • Drug stores – Carried at national drug store chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.
  • Mass retailers – Available seasonally or year-round at retailers like Target and Walmart.
  • Convenience stores – May be stocked at convenience store chains like 7-Eleven.
  • Online – Can be purchased directly from the Russell Stover website or retailers like Amazon.
  • Russell Stover stores – Sold at over 70 Russell Stover candy retail locations across the United States.

The company strives for wide distribution so most consumers can conveniently find Russell Stover sugar free candy. Seasonal varieties for holidays are readily available each year.

Company Background

Russell Stover Candies is a leading American chocolate brand started by husband and wife Russell and Clara Stover in 1923. It has since grown through mergers and acquisitions to become one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of boxed chocolates. Key facts about the company include:

  • Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Over 4,000 employees
  • Major manufacturing facilities in Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, and Tennessee
  • Acquired by Switzerland-based Lindt & Sprungli company in 2014
  • Produces over 100 million pounds of chocolate annually

Russell Stover is best known for their large assortment of boxed chocolates as well as candy bars, samplers, and seasonal treats. Their move into sugar free candies allows them to meet demand from health conscious consumers.

The Future of Sugar Free Candy

The sugar free candy segment will likely continue growing as consumers seek healthier sweet indulgences. Russell Stover and competitors are responding by expanding their selection with innovative sugar free formulations. Potential developments include:

  • New sweetening blends – Combining multiple non-nutritive sweeteners could improve taste.
  • Lower glycemic sugar substitutes – Sweeteners that have less effect on blood sugar may emerge.
  • Plant-based sweeteners – Naturally-derived sweeteners from monk fruit, stevia, and erythritol are gaining use.
  • Improved sugar alcohol tolerance – Manufacturers are seeking ways to reduce laxative side effects.
  • Novel flavors – Candy brands offer new flavor fusions beyond fruity and chocolatey staples.
  • Increased accessibility – Wider distribution, online sales, and subscription services for convenience.

Russell Stover has a longstanding brand reputation that should enable them to capture a sizable portion of the sugar free candy market as it evolves.


Russell Stover offers a wide range of sugar free candy made without added sugar but sweetened with sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners instead. Their chocolate, caramel, hard candy, and assorted treats provide the taste of candy with fewer calories and reduced effect on blood sugar compared to regular candy. Consumers with diabetes, following low carb diets, or simply watching their sugar intake can enjoy sweet indulgences in moderation through the brand’s sugar free formulations. As consumer demand grows, Russell Stover and competitors will continue innovating with healthier candy options.

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