how do cotton candy grapes get their flavor

You may have tasted the sweet, vanilla flavor of the new cotton candy grapes if so, you might be wondering: how do cotton candy grapes get their flavor?

Cotton candy grapes are a healthy and nostalgic treat. They taste exactly like their namesake. The fruit results from intensive cross-breeding.

It is much sweeter than other grocery store varieties. As cotton candy grapes become more popular, you can expect to see them everywhere.

You may find the fruit anywhere from specialty shops to your local grocery store.

Read on as we discuss what gives cotton candy grapes their flavor. We’ll also cover whether they can make a tasty addition to your pantry.

Cotton candy grapes get their flavor from cross-breeding. They don't use chemicals or GMO practices. This makes them a safe and eco-conscious choice.

What Are Cotton Candy Grapes?

what are the cotton candy grape

In recent years, you may have seen some interesting designer fruits. They have been hitting supermarket shelves since the early 2000s.

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In 2012 U.S. stores saw the introduction of the pineberry. This fruit is a tart hybrid that looks like a strawberry and tastes like a pineapple.

The grape-infused apple known as the “Grapple” also gained widespread popularity.

Cotton candy grapes, unlike many designer fruit options, contain no artificial flavors.

Moreover, they are not the product of intensive genetic engineering. Instead, they’re the result of traditional cross-breeding practices.

Tip: Cotton candy grapes are becoming more common due to their growing popularity. But it's still easiest to find them in specialty shops.

The History of Cotton Candy Grapes

Since the introduction of cotton candy grapes, their unique flavor has turned heads.

It leaves many people asking: how do they get the grapes to taste like cotton candy?

cotton candy grapes history

Fruit breeder David Cain and his team first set out to create a sweet grape. They wanted consumers to see more variety in their produce.

They decided to rely on traditional cross-breeding practices to produce a unique-tasting grape.

Under the company Grapery, the team cross-bred two common species of grape.

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There is the Concord varietal, which is often found in preserves. They also used Vitis vinifera, a common grocery store variety.

It took several years and thousands of plant embryos. After years of effort, Cain and his team achieved the desired results. 

When they finally tasted their cotton candy hybrid, they knew they had struck gold.

Taste and Appearance

Cotton candy grapes look almost indistinguishable from white table grapes.

They are plump, light green, and seedless. Yet, they taste very different from the average grape.

the taste and appearance

Instead of a tart, fruity flavor, cotton candy grapes boast a sugary sweetness. They also include hints of vanilla.

You can eat cotton candy grapes without anything. But you can also include them in fruity desserts for some extra sweetness.

Tip: When in doubt, do a quick taste test. Doing so will tell you whether a grape is a cotton candy variety or a traditional white variety.

How Do Cotton Candy Grapes Get Their Flavor?

If you’ve ever tasted a cotton candy grape, you know how the fruit tastes like a carnival treat.

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You might have wondered how do cotton candy grapes get their flavor?

Cotton candy grapes get their flavor from their parent varietals. These grapes boast sweet Concord notes.

how get their flavor

They also have a firm, juicy texture from Vitis vinifera.

Cain and his team also cross-bred grapes with lesser-known varieties. This gave them unique flavors.

This extensive gene pool allowed the team to pinpoint unique flavors. It allowed them to breed grapes boasting vanilla and cotton candy flavors.

Why Are Cotton Candy Grapes So Sweet?

The cotton candy grape has more than a unique taste profile. This grape also contains more sugar per volume than other varieties.

There are around 19 grams of sugar per 100 pounds of grapes or about 12% more than traditional grape species.

Unlike many other designer fruits, cotton candy grapes are not GMO. They don’t pose a threat to the environment and are safe to eat.

All flavors are 100% natural. There are no artificial chemicals or flavors involved in production.

Tip: Cotton candy grapes will raise your blood sugar more than traditional varieties. This is important for those on a low-sugar diet.

The Benefits of Cotton Candy Grapes

Cotton candy grapes offer a healthy, all-natural alternative to processed sugar and candy.

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the benefits

Even though they’re high in sugar, they’re low in calories. If you’re watching your weight, they make a great treat.

You can replace your favorite desserts with a healthy helping of cotton candy grapes.

Cotton candy grapes are both low-calorie and packed with healthy nutrients. Like most fruits, they contain plenty of fiber to help maintain digestive health.

Adding fiber to your diet may also help lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.

Cotton candy grapes contain plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. You can find plenty of vitamin A, vitamin C, and copper in a cup of fruit. 

Cotton candy grapes also contain smaller amounts of nutrients such as:

  • Potassium
  • Thiamine
  • Riboflavin
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B6

Together, these vitamins and minerals offer a variety of health benefits.

They can reduce inflammation, boost cognitive functioning, fight infections, and improve health.

Tip: A cup of cotton candy grapes contains almost one-third of the vitamin C you need daily. This antioxidant is essential for healthy immune function.

Where Can I Find Cotton Candy Grapes?

where to find cotton candy grapes

It used to be a challenge to find cotton candy grapes anywhere but the most high-end specialty shops.

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Nowadays, though, the fruit is much more widespread thanks to its growing popularity.

You can find cotton candy grapes in the produce section. Many neighborhood grocery stores have them.

Organic markets such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s also sell cotton candy grapes. So do certain big-box stores, such as Target and Walmart.

Cotton candy grapes are available in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. You can also buy them in most Canadian provinces.

This included Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Tip: If you don’t live in North America, you may still be able to find cotton candy grapes. Stores sell them in Chile, Brazil, Peru, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Mexico, and Australia.

When Can I Find Cotton Candy Grapes?

Cotton candy grapes have a short growing season. They are only available at certain times of the year.

when to find cotton candy grapes

If you are having trouble finding any at your local supermarket, don’t worry. It could be because you are shopping out of season.

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Cotton candy grapes are usually available from late summer through early fall.

The exact harvest schedule can differ based on local conditions and weather patterns.

You can usually expect to see grapes appear on shelves around July or August. They disappear from September to October.

Tip: If you can’t find grapes nearby, you can urge your grocery store to contact Grapery. They can learn more about stocking cotton candy grapes.


So, how do cotton candy grapes get their flavor? Cotton candy grapes are a result of years of cross-breeding.

But unlike other designer fruits, cotton candy grapes have a natural flavor.

They aren’t GMO. They don’t use any artificial chemicals or sweeteners either. Yet they have more sugar than the traditional grapes. This makes cotton candy grapes extra sweet.

Cotton candy grapes contain plenty of natural sugars and limited calories. They make an ideal snack when you’re trying to watch your weight.

Even if you’re not on a diet, you can enjoy the many vitamins and minerals that a serving of grapes has to offer.

You can find cotton candy grapes at supermarkets across North America. Keep in mind they might cost a little bit more than regular grapes.

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Yet their unique, sugary flavor makes cotton candy grapes well worth the splurge.