Swedish Fish are candies sold across North America but were created by the Swedish confectioner Malaco.
They are a famous brand of candy across the US, but their flavor is hotly debated.
Swedish Fish have different flavors depending on the color. The original red candy’s flavor has been debated for years, but it’s believed to be lingonberry-flavored.
However, no one knows for sure, and the Swedish Fish company has never answered the question outright.
There are different Swedish Fish candies colors, each with a different flavor.
This article will discuss the flavor profile of Swedish Fish, why they taste so good, and whether or not they are the same as Sour Patch Kids.
Also, see What Is Swedish Death Cleaning? to learn more.
The Flavor Profile of Swedish Fish
Sweden is so rich because it’s a high-value export of goods, including famous candies like Swedish Fish.
Although the sweets are now generally shipped from Canada, they were initially a tasty and highly popular Swedish candy exported from the motherland.
So, what makes them so popular, and what is their flavor profile?
Although there are different flavors of Swedish Fish, each one is super sweet, mainly due to one of the main ingredients: invert sugar. Invert sugar is so sweet that it’s even sweeter than regular white sugar. 
So, people should certainly expect a sugary kick when they taste these candies. However, it also means the treats are highly unhealthy in large quantities, so always enjoy them in moderation.
Below is a list of the different colored Swedish Fish and their corresponding flavors:
Original Red Swedish Fish: Possibly Lingonberry
The red Swedish Fish has a distinct taste that is hard to completely recognize, but many sources generally agree that the candies are lingonberry-flavored. 
Lingonberry is a tart fruit popular in Sweden and much of Europe, so it wouldn’t be surprising if that was the actual flavor.
Many people describe the taste as being unique, as it’s unlike many other candies.
While lingonberry is a possible flavor, the red Swedish Fish tastes like a fruit punch to many Americans.
Unfortunately, there are no specific flavors listed on the ingredients list of the original red Swedish Fish. The only thing listed in terms of taste is “artificial flavors.”
The candy is sweet, as it contains lots of sugar and preservatives, which is one of the reasons they are addictive and taste so good.
Yellow Swedish Fish: Lemon
The yellow variety of Swedish Fish is commonly found in assorted packs, available in the US.
Generally, yellow-colored candies are lemon-flavored, and the yellow Swedish Fish is no exception.
Even though they’re lemon-flavored, these candies are deliciously sweet due to the high sugar content, leaving people wanting more after eating each one. Although some might expect the yellow lemon-flavored Swedish Fish to be tart like a natural lemon, it’s not the case.
Ingredients like invert sugar, regular sugar, and corn syrup all add plenty of sweetness to the yellow (and other colored) Swedish Fish, making them a tasty snack for someone with a sweet tooth.
Green Swedish Fish: Pineapple/Lime
The green-colored Swedish Fish are also available in assorted packs. They have a fruity flavor, with some saying they taste like lime or apple.
Since they’re colored green, being lime or apple-flavored certainly wouldn’t be a surprise.
However, these candies are generally thought to be pineapple-flavored, which makes sense due to their subtle sweet fruity taste.
The green-colored Swedish Fish tend to have a slightly weaker taste than some other colors, but they’re still super tasty and sugary.
Orange Swedish Fish: Orange Flavor
Another color of Swedish Fish available in the assorted pack is orange, which is orange-flavored.
Like the lemon-flavored ones, people may expect the orange Swedish Fish to be slightly tart like a real orange, but they’re more sweet than tart.
Still, they give off a slight orange flavor that goes well with the added sweetness from all the sugars.
Like other orange-flavored candies, orange Swedish Fish don’t necessarily taste the same as actual oranges–instead, they have that distinct artificial orange flavor that’s slightly similar to an actual orange but not entirely.
Purple Swedish Fish: Grape Flavor
Purple Swedish Fish are some of the only ones with an officially confirmed flavor. These ones were never sold in assorted packs.
Instead, they were sold by themselves and labeled grape-flavored on the front of the packaging.
Unfortunately, the official purple Swedish Fish candies are hard to come by today.
Still, alternative fish candies mimic the grape-flavored Swedish Fish ones, like American Fish candy.
The candies are not flavored using real grapes. Like most fruit-flavored candy, they contain artificial grape flavoring, giving them a sweet and slightly grapey taste.
Why Do Swedish Fish Taste So Good?
Swedish Fish tastes so good because they contain lots of sugar, causing some people to eat more than they should. Sugar is thought to have the same addictive properties as certain street drugs like cocaine. 
So, it’s no wonder people become addicted to eating candies like Swedish Fish.
Besides the sugar content, Swedish Fish also contain artificial flavorings, which can be just as addictive as sugars and street drugs.
According to Penn State University, businesses (such as Mondelēz International, the company that currently makes Swedish Fish) put a lot of research into what artificial flavorings they’ll use for their products. 
The flavors these companies choose are sure to match the preferences of their consumer base, ensuring customers enjoy and possibly become addicted to the flavors in their foods.
Therefore, Swedish Fish are likely so tasty because a lot of work and research has been put into which artificial flavorings will keep people coming back for more.
Do Swedish Fish Taste the Same As Sour Patch Kids?
Swedish Fish tastes similar to Sour Patch Kids, but Sour Patch Kids have an added layer of tartaric acid, which isn’t present in Swedish Fish.
Tartaric acid gives Sour Patch Kids their distinctive sour flavor, but once that layer is gone, they taste highly similar to the original red-colored Swedish Fish.
As it turns out, most of the ingredients in Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish are the same.
For example, both candies contain:
- Invert sugar
- Corn syrup
- Modified corn starch
- Less than 2% of citric acid
People who don’t like tart candies but enjoy the flavor of Sour Patch Kids once the initial tartness subsides will most likely enjoy Swedish Fish because of the lack of tartaric acid.