Wally and Whiz: The wine gum that connects people, families and cultures
By Heidi Kokborg | Photos: Wally and Whiz
A Wally and Whiz wine gum is not just a wine gum. The Danish brand has reinvented the classic and created tiny taste explosions that your taste buds will love. But not only is Wally and Whiz constantly challenging your wine gum experience with new and exciting flavours; with their wine gums they are also building bridges between cultures and people.
As a child, Kristian Them Hansen used to play in his grandmother’s garden. Here, he had free range to plant whatever his heart desired, and he combined all sorts of flavours. He would take elderflower, gooseberries and whatever else he could find and make compote. Perhaps this is when his fascination with flavours and colours started – right in his grandmother Dina Hansen’s, garden.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and Kristian Them Hansen is now playing with colours and flavours for a living. Having always been fond of wine gums, he started Wally and Whiz.
“I could never really taste what the exact flavours of wine gums were, and then one day the idea came to me – it had to be possible to make a wine gum that both tastes of and contains real fruit, without countless additives,” says Kristian Them Hansen, CEO and founder of Wally and Whiz.
A bottle of blackcurrant juice, a bag of vegan starch and some citric acid from the local supermarket were among the first ingredients to enter Kristian’s pots. He tested and tossed away ingredients like a wizard mixing his potion in big pots to create the wine gum he was dreaming of. The rest, as they say, is history.
Playful and creative flavours
A Wally and Whiz wine gum always consists of two flavours that complement each other, creating a delicate and exquisite taste experience. One flavour is found in the coating of the wine gum, the other is packed inside. Wally and Whiz approaches taste with curiosity, constantly searching for new and exciting flavours.
“We find inspiration in berries, fruits, roots and flowers from all over the world. The flavour combinations are playful and creative and sometimes not at all what you would expect. The wine gums add colour to your everyday life,” smiles Hansen.
From more classic flavours like strawberry and vanilla, or mango and passion fruit, to more unusual flavours such as quince and apple, guanabana and gooseberry, Wally and Whiz is not afraid to challenge the convention. This is a wine gum of the highest quality, with the taste and colour of the natural ingredients it is made from, and is 100 percent vegan and free of gluten and allergens.
“Everyone can eat the wine gums, regardless of diet. That has been the vision from the very beginning. Flavours from all over the world allow us to taste different cultures,” says Hansen.
By opening ourselves up to cultures through flavours and colours, we are building connections. For Wally and Whiz, it has never just been about creating an exquisite wine gum, but building bridges between cultures and people.
“Perhaps it’s a bit philosophical, but I want us to talk more, and I believe flavours and colours tell stories. My vision is that we can gather around a wine gum, and actually talk to our children, friends, colleagues, strangers, and go back to respecting each other,” says Hansen.
That is why Wally and Whiz has made an advent calendar in collaboration with Save the Children. The advent calendar encourages children and parents to put away the phone and talk. Behind each door hides a question that will spark a conversation between children and parents.
But that’s not all. Wally and Whiz has also created a calendar for Ramadan. Here, there are 32 doors instead of 24. The Ramadan calendar has been made in collaboration with imams, and behind each door hides a little wine gum treat.
Wally and Whiz have reinvented a beloved piece of candy, so it’s perhaps no wonder that they have attracted collaborations with Michelin chefs from around the world. The resulting ‘Signature’ series is a limited-edition collection of wine gums developed with some of the best chefs in the world.
Signature editions include wine gums by Thomas Bühner, Sasu Laukkonen and
Jeppe Foldager. Perhaps you are tempted by a liquorice wine gum coated with lemon and thyme and lemon verbena powder? Or how about a yuzu wine gum coated with shiso powder, or lime with chervil and blueberry powder?
No matter which flavour combination you choose, one thing is for sure: your taste buds are in for a treat! And you never know what Wally and Whiz have up their sleeve in the future. After all, they are rethinking candy.
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