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At first glance, the invitation to celebrate the launch of Sugarfina’s new “green juice” gummy bears, made in collaboration with Pressed Juicery, at the SoulCycle in Culver City seemed like one big joke — a basic bitch trap, if you will.
But that inclination isn’t too far off from how the gummy bears came to be. In fact, the whole idea began as an April Fool’s joke back in 2016.
“Last year on April Fool’s we sent out this email saying we were launching cold-pressed gummy bears as a joke,” said Rosie O’Neill, co-founder of the luxury candy company Sugarfina, which she launched with Josh Resnick in Malibu in the summer of 2012. “People freaked out and asked, ‘Where can I buy these?!’ and ‘Why aren’t these real?!’ so we decided to make them.”
Before you get too excited, the gummy bears, unfortunately, do not boast quite the same nutritional value as a typical beverage from Pressed Juicery, which is also an L.A.-born outfit. But even though the first ingredient is “glucose syrup,” the bears have 40 percent less sugar than typical gummies, and are colored and flavored with an all-natural green juice concentrate made of apple, lemon, ginger, spinach, spirulina and turmeric — a combination modeled after Pressed’s Greens 3 juice. Rather than the sugary sweet taste of regular gummy bears, the “green juice” bears are more tart, but still maintain the necessary gummy texture.
At Culver City’s SoulCycle studio, which overlooks The Platform from its second-floor perch, bloggers in all their forms — food, lifestyle, fashion, mom and a new genre I learned is referred to as “creative” — hovered around the beautifully packaged bears, snapping ‘grams of the Pressed Juice bottles in which they were packaged, as well as the humorous “7 Day Gummy Bear Cleanse” faux-marble box, which included a “daily shot” of bears for each day of the week.
The fluorescent lights paired with the 8 a.m. sunlight set the all-white room ablaze, while the chatter of the leggings clad women with perky ponytails seemed to reverberate against the walls at its own unique decibel level. As a SoulCycle newb, who had previously referred to the cycling phenomenon as the SoulCult, I wondered if I had not made a huge mistake, as I was now drowning in an L.A. cliche without an escape — my shoes were literally affixed to my bike, and I had no idea how to get them off.
Forty-five minutes later, however, as I emerged from the cramped, shoebox of a studio, my attitude (and maybe a muscle or two) had shifted thanks to Briana, our energetic instructor/theater BFA holder. A steady mix of classics (“My Humps,” Black Eyed Peas, 2006) and modern tunes (“Come Down,” Anderson .Paak, 2016) as well as the near blinding darkness of the room had me believing that maybe the SoulCult wasn’t a crazy, sorority sing-along type class after all.
“We do a lot of SoulCycle events at Sugarfina for our team,” added O’Neill of Sugarfina’s choice to reveal the collaboration at the Culver City studio. She smiled, acknowledging the very L.A.-ness of the event and the basic bitch trap that she had set. “We try to have a lot of fun and do things that are unexpected,” she continued. “Plus, Pressed is a great brand with a great sense of humor. They’re not taking themselves too seriously.”
Like Sugarfina’s collaboration with the renowned rosé maker Whispering Angel, these bears will go fast. The “green juice” flavor gummies are now available ($3 to $14) at all Sugarfina and Pressed Juice locations, as well as at Nordstrom. However, just hours after its release, the “7-Day Cleanse” was already sold out on Sugarfina’s website.
Added O’Neill, “I would say get them fast because they’re a limited quantity and they’ll be gone!”
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