Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jelly Belly in the aisle

I have always loved Jelly Bellies. When I was a kid I remember we would get them as presents (instead of a box of chocolates) for my dad whenever there was occasion. Not sure why we never got them for mom, just dad.... but I suppose that's beside the point. Jelly Belly jelly beans are awesome!

Sorry, but I have a point of grammar here, is it Jelly Bellys or Jelly Bellies? thoughts???

I was over at a different Walgreens than I usually go to and saw that they had a huge Jelly Belly display up in the theater candy aisle. This store is much bigger than my Walgreens and so naturally has room for such extravagances. I must say I was impressed with the variety of options from the Jelly Belly company.

I was particularly surprised to see how many products Jelly Belly makes that aren't beans. They've got gummy bears, and mints, licorice, and more.

While that's pretty interesting, of course I'm still mostly drawn to their beans. They're just so darn good! Check out some of the varieties they had below.

The fruit bowl variety has been sponsored by Sunkist... My picks for ones I'd like to try most here would be peach, raspberry, or lemon.


The Tropical Mix sounds pretty great. My top picks here are strawberry daiquiri, island punch, and pina colada.  


If I'm looking at everything on the Jelly Belly shelf, I think,I'm going for the Kids Mix. This mix has by far the most flavors I want to eat... so many good ones. Buttered popcorn, toasted marshmallow, chocolate pudding, strawberry jam, orange sherbert, tutti-fruitti... seriously this has to be the best mix. My only concern is that it may be too many flavors in one mix. You'd never be able to remember what was what and probably only get 2 or 3 of each kind.

 And here we finally have the classic Assorted mix. I have to say overall it looks like a legitimately good assortment, there are some standouts like cotton candy, caramel corn, chocolate pudding, strawberry cheesecake, and tutti-fruitti. But why are people still putting black licorice flavored anything in with regular flavored candy. Its insulting to the rest of the candy and makes everyone look bad. Black licorice should be off in a corner on its own. I thought we'd all learned that by now.

For an Assorted Mix its pretty solid, sizzling cinnamon, strawberry, tangerine, pineapple, and of course buttered popcorn. But it's sugar free... I just don't see myself ever getting this. Also, only 10 flavors here instead of the 30 found in the regular Assorted Mix.

So now we get into the branded mixes. And talk about your serious branding, this one does a great job. Pepsico struck a good deal here, because these jelly bellies are great. I'm pretty sure I've had all of these flavors before and I definitely remember liking them. I'm not a huge Dr Pepper guy, but I've always loved A&W root beer, and how can you complain about an Orange Crush. Question, why is there no Pepsi?

If you've never ad it before Cold Stone Creamery is a fantastic chain of ice cream parlors here in the States. They mix chocolate bars into your ice cream right there in front of you, so it really feels like you're getting something special. This mix of jelly bellies is pretty special too. The branding deal is only with Cold Stone here so you're not going to get a Heath bar double brownie blast, but you will get their in house mixes which are pretty freaking great in their own right. I've had this mix of jelly bellies before and highly recommend it.

For our final bag of branded jelly bellies we have the Sunkist (I mean Citris) Mix. These Sunkist flavored beans seem to have made their way into a lot of the various jelly belly mixes, and I suppose that's with good cause. They're really pretty solid flavors all around. Whether I'd know a sunkist orange vs a regular one is debatable, But I would know a Sunkist drink vs an Orange Crush so I wonder which flavor they're going for here. They're both owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group (ne Pepsico). Its also notable that Jelly Belly doesn't seem to have non-Sunkist branded versions of these flavors, so I'd say the big winner here is still and always Pepsico...

I'm not a big sour guy, but if I was I think I'd be down with this assortment. All of these fruits fit well in the sour category, and unlike say the Kids Mix, there are only a few different flavors in the pack. Enough to enjoy a variety, but not enough to forget what each of the flavors are. 

In an impressive feat the regular Sour and the Sugar Free Sour varieties actually contain the same flavors. Good job on the consistency.

These solo flavors must be doing something right to get a whole feature bag of their own!

Nice how the Pomegranate is so high in anti-oxidants. Its practically healthy! 


Besides buttered popcorn, cotton candy has to be one of the best flavors of Jelly Bellys.

These are definitely two distinct flavors for a specific subset of candy fans.

Could this be good? I like Orange, I like Chocolate... hmmm. I think some further investigation is required here.

Like I said, I've been a fan of Jelly Belly for a while and its nice to see them still so alive and well. The Jelly Belly factory where the give tours is actually nearby where I live. I'm in San Francisco and its up in Fairfield just between here and Sacramento. Maybe I'll get up there one of these days.I bet they've got some pretty cool stuff there...

If you're interested in more on Jelly Belly there was a documentary made about the company and it's founder called Candyman: The David Klein Story that I'd recommend you check out. The film itself is a bit rough, but the content is interesting, and David Klein is a fascinating guy. Anyone in the states at least who has Netflix streaming can check it out for free. Otherwise here's the trailer so you can get a taste of it.

That's all for now. I'm really a fan of this candy and I'll be bringing you a review very soon.


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