Whenever we think of jelly beans, we almost always think of Jelly Belly jelly beans. They are the most famous brand of jelly beans around, and they also have one of the most impressive array of flavors available to purchase. The Jelly Belly Candy Company, formerly known as Herman Goelitz Candy Company, was founded in 1898 and its headquarters reside in Fairfield, California. Jelly Belly’s themselves were not invented until 1976, and now there are 50 official Jelly Belly jelly bean flavors, along with many other “unofficial” flavors available. The number of different flavors available for purchase can reach upwards of 100 at any point in time.
Every single Jelly Belly flavor, from the standard tastes to the downright strange, originated from ideas submitted by the general public, Jelly Belly employees, or anyone else who felt like giving their two cents. However, the actual creation of the accepted flavors depends on a team of four food scientists. They pick exactly what type of flavor they with to create, and they then begin to mix certain flavors together in the hopes of creating what they are looking for.
Now, it’s not like they are randomly mixing flavors and just praying they get the desired effect. There is an actual science to it. For example, aldehydes give a flavor like fresh greens, esters are for fruity flavors, and oddly enough, mixing pear and orange will net you a peach flavor. Also, Jelly Belly has a secret ingredient that masks the sugary sweet flavor of a bean so that more mellow or wholesome flavors, such as the buttered popcorn, can be properly achieved.
Another crucial component of flavor creation is test tasting. Jelly Belly repeatedly runs taste tests to make sure that everything with the new bean flavor is perfect. They want the flavors to be instantly recognizable, and if anything is off they may confuse the consumer as to what the real flavor is supposed to be.
Occasionally, even a failed flavor can still be useful to the company. When what was supposed to be cheese pizza emitted a nauseating smell, they retrofitted the bean to become barf flavored. These “gag” beans, which are sold under the new Beanboozled novelty line, sell extremely well with for the company.
With so many flavors already out, its a wonder that Jelly Belly can keep coming up with new flavors to entertain us. If you have any ideas that you believe could become a great new flavor, you should consider sending your idea into the company to see what happens. Hopefully, with a lot of new suggestions, Jelly Belly can keep coming up with flavors that will satisfy and amaze our taste buds.