Thursday, January 31, 2008

The (Unofficial) History Of Jelly Belly

The Jelly Belly Candy Company is a prominent maker of gourmet jelly beans and other candy. It was formerly known as The Herman Goelitz Candy Company before being renamed for their most popular product, "Jelly Belly" jelly beans. The company is based in Fairfield, California, off of State Route 12, with warehouse facilities in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.

Jelly Belly makes many varieties of naturally flavored jelly beans, including juicy pear, watermelon, root beer, cherry and buttered popcorn. The success of their brand led to a jelly-bean renaissance, particularly in the 1980s, when U.S. President Ronald Reagan began keeping a jar of them on his desk in the White House.

The product is considerably more expensive than most retail candies due to the use of real fruit and other juices, averaging US$16.99 for a 2.2 lb (1 kg) bag (here is your $5 off coupon).

The person responsible for the invention of Jelly Belly jelly beans was David Klein (born in 1946). He created the concept of a new kind of jelly bean that had not only a flavored shell, but a flavored jelly center. He engaged the Goelitz Candy Company to manufacture it, where candy manufacturer Marinus van Dam was employed at the time. Marinus van Dam was born in Ooltgensplaat, a township in Oostflakkee, Netherlands, on October 24, 1929. After obtaining a candy manufacturing degree in the Netherlands, he immigrated to the United States and soon went to work for the Herman Goelitz Candy Company. He rose to the level of vice president before moving on to other companies and finally starting his own business, Marich Confectionery.

When Marinus was asked how he developed the manufacturing of the Jelly Belly, he answered that most jelly beans at the time were cheap candy that had a 56% sugar content and were sold as penny candy. All jelly beans started out with plain, uncolored starch centers that were merely sweetened with sugar. Only the outer candy coating was colored and flavored. He wondered how he could bring this candy to the adult market, and his solution was to enhance the jelly beans so that they would appeal to everyone. The centers for the new jelly bean were colored and flavored with real fruit juices and natural flavors. This flavor enhancing process was also used on the outer candy shell. The finished Jelly Belly contained about half the sugar of the regular jelly bean, was more flavorful, and consequently healthier than the generic jelly beans sold in stores.

David Klein sold the first Jelly Belly jelly beans in a small ice cream parlor, Fosselman's, in Alhambra, California in 1976. The first flavors were Very Cherry, Tangerine, Lemon, Green Apple, Grape, Licorice, Root Beer, and Cream Soda. David Klein's newest creation is a super sour jelly bean called "Spanks."

Official 50 flavors
The 49-flavor assortment of jelly beans features all of the official 50 flavors except for jalapeño.
The 49-flavor assortment of jelly beans features all of the official 50 flavors except for jalapeño.

Jelly Belly officially has 50 flavors that are made all year. Seasonal flavors such as candy cane are only produced at specific times of the year. Additionally, Jelly Belly frequently produces "rookie" flavors that sometimes are added to the jelly beans in the 50 official flavors if they become popular enough. Here is a list of the current official 50 flavors:

* A&W Cream soda
* A&W Root Beer
* Berry blue
* Blueberry
* Bubble gum
* Buttered popcorn
* Café latte
* Cantaloupe
* Cappuccino
* Caramel apple

* Caramel corn
* Chocolate pudding
* Cinnamon
* Coconut
* Cotton candy
* Crushed pineapple
* Dr Pepper
* French vanilla
* Grape jelly
* Green apple

* Island Punch
* Jalapeño
* Juicy pear
* Kiwi
* Lemon
* Lemon drop
* Lemon lime
* Licorice
* Mango
* Margarita

* Orange juice
* Orange sherbet
* Peach
* Peanut butter
* Piña Colada
* Pink grapefruit
* Plum
* Raspberry
* Red apple
* Sizzling cinnamon

* Strawberry cheesecake
* Strawberry daiquiri
* Strawberry jam
* Tangerine
* Toasted marshmallow
* Top banana
* Tutti-Fruitti
* Very cherry
* Watermelon
* Wild blackberry

[edit] Rookie Flavor

Jelly Belly usually produces new prototype flavors that occasionally are added to flavors in the Official 50 group. Previous rookie flavours include:

* Apricot
* Buttered Toast
* Chocolate Cherry Cake
* Honey Biscuit
* TABASCO® Cinnamon
* Baked Bean

The latest rookie is:

* Pomegranate

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